A picture of Snowdonia
A picture of Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park named Wales’ favourite ‘happy place’ 

  • 88% per cent of Welsh adults have missed their happy place during lockdown
  • Snowdonia National Park, St Fagans National Museum of History and Cardiff Castle feature in the top 10 happy places across Wales
  • Photographer Tom Oldham has captured a portrait series of people back in their ‘happy place’, including Welsh swimmers Daniel Jervis and Xavier Castelli
  • To say thank you for the £30million raised for good causes every week by its players, The National Lottery is offering a ‘Ticket to Your Happy Place’, with special offers and free entry during The National Lottery Open Week 5-13 June and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend 19-20 June

New research out today from The National Lottery reveals how much the public has missed visiting their ‘happy place’ – their favourite visitor attraction or venue – during lockdown restrictions, as well as the most popular ‘happy place’ locations around Wales. 

The research was commissioned to celebrate The National Lottery Open Week and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend this month, which sees venues around the UK offer discounts and free entry as a thank you to National Lottery players for the £30million raised for good causes every week.

Snowdonia National Park in North Wales (48%) topped the poll as the place most people would consider the best attraction in Wales, followed by St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff (34%), Cardiff Castle (29%) and National Botanic Gardens of Wales in Carmarthenshire (27%).

The types of ‘happy places’ missed most in lockdown are the wider countryside (61%), heritage sites such as castles and gardens (34%) and theatres or cinemas (28%).

The study reveals that almost 9 in 10 Welsh adults (88%) have missed their ‘happy place’ during lockdown, whilst almost half (55%) have developed a greater appreciation of the UK’s visitor attractions, cultural sites, history, and art in the wake of the pandemic. When asked why their chosen venue is their happy place, Welsh adults said that “it cheers me up” (34%), “it’s a place I’m familiar with” (34%) and “it never fails to amaze me” (31%).

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, says that The National Lottery Open Week and Cinema Weekend will be a great chance for people to get back to the places they most enjoy:

She said: “National Lottery Open Week and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend are really exciting moments in the year for us, where an amazing variety of venues and projects across the UK give thanks to National Lottery players for the £30 million they raise each week for good causes.

“Now, more than ever, people are excited to rediscover their happy place, or find a new one close to home, and we’re proud that so many incredible spaces across the arts, screen, heritage, sport, and community sectors have signed up to offer their thanks.”

The National Lottery has also commissioned photographer Tom Oldham to capture a portrait series celebrating people revisiting their happy places following lockdown.

Subjects include Olympic hopeful Daniel Jervis, and Xavier Castelli back in the Wales National Pool in Swansea, and Kate Jones from Port Talbot returning to her happy place – St Fagans: National History Museum in Cardiff.

The series also includes boxing champion, Nicola Adams OBE, at the Fight for Peace Academy boxing ring in London; ex Liverpool and England star John Barnes MBE, reminiscing at Wembley Stadium; architect Akiko Kobayashi in her beloved Collective art gallery in Edinburgh; local wildlife photographer, Tal Chohan, at RSPB Sandwell in Birmingham; and writer and film director, Marley Morrison, at the BFI Southbank, London. All photographed venues will be taking part in The National Lottery Open Week or The National Lottery Cinema Weekend.

The research also revealed:
– Over half (58%) of Welsh adults associate their ‘happy places’ with their childhood

– Almost 8 in 10 (76%) have taken their little ones to their happy place in the hope they will enjoy them as much as they do

– Value for money (38%) and discovering new things about the country they live in (35%) are what people look for most in their favourite attraction or venue

– On average, those polled have felt a special connection to a particular Welsh attraction for around 15 years

– Around half (51%) prefer to visit these locations with their partner, almost a third (32%) would rather head there with friends, while 29% would prefer to go with their children

From Saturday 5 to Sunday 13 June, The National Lottery Open Week line-up includes free entry as well as exclusive discounts and special offers at attractions and experiences across the UK, for anyone with a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard.

In Wales, fitness fans can enjoy a free swim at Wales National Pool in Swansea, history buffs can take advantage of discounts at St Fagans National Museum of History and nature lovers can enjoy free entry at RSPB sites including Conwy Nature Reserve and Ynys-hir Nature Reserve.

And for those whose happy place is enjoying a film at the cinema, The National Lottery Cinema Weekend, in partnership with the BFI, will take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June at over 20 cinema sites across Wales. Cinema Weekend will make over 200,000 free adult tickets available (UK-wide) for any film screening across the weekend, as a thank you to National Lottery players for their vital contribution to film.

To explore the full selection of offers available to National Lottery players, including offers taking place online, please visit www.NationalLotteryUnlocked.com

Terms and conditions and booking instructions across special offers will vary, check the individual offer listing for details.

Please check your relevant national and local authority website for more information on COVID-19 restrictions where you live before booking and travelling.

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