THE BRIGHTON Palace Pier was the most-visited tourist attraction in the country outside London again last year.

Around 4,650,000 people promenaded on Brighton’s most famous landmark in 2016, placing it fourth-most-visited in the country behind only the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.

Brighton Palace Pier’s visitor numbers were only up just over one per cent on the previous year, but that looks a reasonable showing in the context of figures which show numbers for several London attractions going backwards.

Across the board, visitor numbers for attractions in the South East were up five per cent in 2016.

Alan Robins, lead member for tourism on Brighton and Hove City Council, told The Argus: “I’m really pleased for them.

“They’ve really tried to do their best for us and they work very closely with the council.

“It’s great news all round and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

“The i360 is a year old and doing well, the retailers in the arches between the i360 and the pier have told us they’re really pleased with how things are going.

“The whole seafront is doing well.

“The Shelter Hall work is almost coming to completion, the Volks railway is going to reopen in October we think, and the zip wire is doing well.

“Everything is looking good.”

The nationwide survey, which gathered information from more than 1,500 English attractions, found that historic houses and castles reported a seven per cent increase in visitor numbers, and country parks a four per cent increase. Outdoor attractions performed particularly well.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “Attractions are a much loved and valuable part of the tourism landscape, adding colour and variety to the visitor experience and encouraging people to get out and explore, driving the value of tourism across the regions.”

The British Museum was the most visited attraction in England in 2016, for the 9th consecutive year.

The Tower of London topped the list of paid for attractions for the 8th year running, with 2.7 million visitors.

Visits to England’s attractions rose by two per cent in 2016, with attractions reporting revenues up by seven per cent.