March 2014

The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich saw a further increase in attendance in 2013 breaking through the 1.8million figure for the first time it was revealed today, 5 March 2014. Attendance figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) saw the ORNC at 1,803,500 and this does not include the thousands of people who enjoyed the many outdoor events in ORNC grounds during 2013. The growth in attendance means that the ORNC remains one of the UK’s top twenty attractions and retains its place as Greenwich’s most visited heritage site.

“We were delighted to have welcomed over 1.8million visitors to the Old Royal Naval College last year,” says Brendan McCarthy CEO of the ORNC Foundation, the charity, which runs the Old Royal Naval College. “Among the many highlights of the year was the first phase of the conservation of The Painted Hall. Thousands of visitors enjoyed getting close up to the upper hall ceiling and west wall paintings for the first time in a generation during the conservation work through our programme of scaffolding tours and special events.”

Also popular with visitors was the new programme of themed tours introduced at the ORNC in 2013.

Yarns, Rations and Punishments offers an insight into the lives of the pensioner seamen for whom the ORNC buildings were deigned by Sir Christopher Wren; in Monarchs, Marriages and Madness visitors learn more about the many royal connections to the site from Tudor times to the present day; the Art and Architecture tour offers an in depth look at this astonishing collection of Baroque buildings, and in Lights, Camera, Action! visitors get to see the places were blockbuster movies from Pirates of the Caribbean to Skyfall, Les Misérables and the soon to be released Muppets Most Wanted were filmed. A themed tour runs every day at 2pm complementing the ORNC highlights tours which run daily at noon.

“The Old Royal Naval College has a rich and fascinating history,” adds McCarthy. “Through our themed tours and special events our visitors not only get the chance to see Sir Christopher Wren’s wonderful buildings, but are able to engage with the site in a deeper and more meaningful way.”

ALVA's 56 members are the UK's most popular, iconic and important museums, galleries, palaces, castles, cathedrals, zoos, historic houses, heritage sites, gardens and leisure attractions. They comprise over 2000 tourist sites, hosting over 100 million domestic and overseas visitors each year - around 25% of the visits made annually in the UK.

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