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Tourism report reveals travellers don’t know where Lichfield is

Lichfield Cathedral. Pic: Tom Allwood

Lichfield Cathedral. Pic: Tom Allwood

Lichfield has been named in a list of cities that are disliked by British travellers – after more than half of the people polled admitted that they didn’t know where it was.

The city finished tenth in the list of least favourite cities in a survey of 5,000 people conducted by Travelodge.

Bradford, Wakefield, Dundee, Sunderland and Newport topped the list of places called No Entry cities. Many were cited for being ugly, boring or dangerous. But Lichfield’s appearance on the list came after 59 per cent of those asked had no idea where the city was lcoated.

The list in full was:

  1. Bradford
  2. Wakefield
  3. Dundee
  4. Sunderland
  5. Newport
  6. St David’s
  7. Wells
  8. Ely
  9. Ripon
  10. Lichfield

The survey claimed the places on the list were at risk of falling off the tourist map and becoming ‘lost cities’ to future generations as a result of misconceptions, lack of UK knowledge and poor geographic skills in being able to locate them.

Patricia Yates from Visit Britain said:

“This report has highlighted that Brits need to reacquaint themselves with some of the UK’s great cities. It’s a shame that misconceptions and lack of UK’s knowledge of what cities have to offer could stop British travellers from having a great weekend break.

“Our cities have seen a renaissance with modern hotels, cafes and galleries and are just waiting to be explored. If we do not invest in discovering the cities that make Great Britain great, these cities will be lost to future generations.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.


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  2. Streethay Swampy

    19th March, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Lichfield has a few attractions but these are not targeted towards the masses and we have little to offer for the shopping fraternity and when tourists arrive what are they hit by:- lack of car parking and excessive prices when they find a spot. With so many attractions near by, Alton Towers, Drayron Manor, Snowdome to name but a few you can understand why Lichfield is by passed. Visit Doctor Johnson’s birthplace or to take in thrill rides No Contest

  3. Foxy

    19th March, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Well – i’ve always thought that re-opening the tunnels would be an exciting tourist attraction – if this is possible.

  4. Chris McGranaghan

    19th March, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    As long as Lichfield retains its fiefdom of mayor/sherriff and associated inward looking hangers on it will never look over the canopy and see life outside the city walls. Lichfield is an inward looking, backward thinking little town that thinks its a city but is no better than Walsall, Rugeley or Stafford. The people are not that welcoming and believe that ripping tourists off is a fair thing to do. Let’s drop some of the ancient bureaucracy, abolish the position of self serving sheriff and major and appoint poeple who know how to inject some life into the place. Take it a stage further and penalise greedy landlords who are keeping business out of the town by charging expensive rents. What are the chamber of commerce doing about this – every little helps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Have a guess which “tourist attraction” has the most brown traffic signs in Lichfield and you’ll begin to understand the depth of the problem. Go on, guess!

  5. Foxy

    20th March, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Chris – i agree with some of your points there but you’ve taken a bit of a cheap shot suggesting the people of Lichfield “are not welcoming and believe ripping off tourists is a fair thing to do” -that’s simply not true.
    If you’re referring to the high car park charges – us locals are ripped of by that too.
    Yes, High rents are unappealing to independent traders – i’ve heard they are comparable to parts of London.
    Lichfield is a City for historical reasons – the Cathedral/diocese and also because Lichfield was once its own County/administrative region.
    Lichfield is not a City because we are inward looking and backward thinking – it’s due to events in history so don’t take it too personally.

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  7. Steve

    20th March, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve heard the Lichfield is a city but it is no better than other places that aren’t arguement before, but I can’t really understand it, and those making that arguement appear to have no understanding of the historical reasons. I don’t think that Lichfield thinks it is better than other places because of it, and it doesn’t really mean anything – we don’t get extra funding from Government. If rents and car parking charges are higher, that is simple commercial reasons and they are pitched as high as Landlords feel the market can bear – same as anywhere else

    What I do note about Lichfield that differs from other places, and appears to make outsiders cross is this – people who live in Lichfield generally LIKE living in Lichfield. This may lead to some appearing to others as snobby and unwelcoming, but most people are friendly and polite

  8. Chris McGranaghan

    20th March, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I enjoy living in Lichfield, I came down from Manchester 20 years ago and wouldn’t go back. However, you are always an “outsider” – that’s the way it is in small communities. It isn’t the car parking althought that and the insensitive traffic wardens are poor enough, it’s the misunderstanding of life outside this area that annoys me. There is an inability and unwillingness by some to understand that history can be a negative as well as a positive. I fully understand why Lichfield is a “city” and have a wide knowledge of the city and Staffordshire so I could do without the lesson. What I do understand is that as a relative “outsider” – this little town needs to have a hard look at what it is and what it wants to be. If you want to attract more tourism then there are better things to look at than middle age men dressing up as major and sherriff and potificating about the place. Heraldry is all very well in very small doses, this town is “obsessed” with it and the ancient roles and hierarchy associated with it. As for rents, landlords in this town are greedy beyond belief and the council, media, chamber of commerce do nothing. Their greed is driving business out of town and if you have less trade in small towns, you will have fewer visitors/shoppers. Still, we have Tesco’s. The “place of interest” with the most brown traffic signs, approved by the Highways Agency etc is Arthur Price’s shop on an industrial estate. 16 signs at my last count – more than the cathedral and Sam Johnson’s house together. I wonder why that is.

  9. Foxy

    21st March, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Chris – I expect Arthur Price Cutlery has the most signs because they have more money to buy them. They have a monopoly on Royal Warranted Cutlery Manufacturing in Lichfield. I just hope Tesco don’t follow suit with as many signs.
    Google for  “Blue Raja” and click Images… ;)

  10. Chris McGranaghan

    21st March, 2010 at 7:16 am

    There’s a little more to it than just paying for the signs – have a look at the Highways Agency site for their brown signs guidelines. I have a monopoly on record shops in this area but I don’t see any signs pointing to the shop in Rugeley. When I queried all of this with the HA they were deeply embarrased

  11. Foxy

    21st March, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    TD 52/04 is available as a PDF. Could these 16 signs be the reason why the City centre doesn’t get enough visitors? TD 52/04 clearly states brown signs should not be used for retail parks. However – Britannia Enterprise Park is ummm…. well… an Enterprise Park, a perfectly acceptable tourist destination.

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