TOURIST attractions in Dorset received a welcome boost last year with several among the most visited in the region.

There were six percent more visitors to the south west in 2014 compared to 2015 according to VisitEngland’s Annual Attractions survey.

As well as the boost in visitors coming to the region, the report shows the most visited free and paid for attractions.

In the south west, Poole Museum was the fifth most visited free attraction with around 140,500 visitors.

Several paid for attractions made it in to the top 20 list as well.

The Kingston Lacy Estate was the ninth most visited paid for attraction in the region.

It received 292,402 visitors last year, up 13.4 percent from 2014.

Corfe Castle came in at thirteenth, with 229,171 visitors, a 2.5 percent drop from the previous year and the Tank Museum also made the top 20, coming in at eighteenth.

The figures for the first four months of this year also paint a positive picture nationally, with a record set for domestic holiday trips in England, an increase of eight percent to 11 million.

Spending on domestic holiday trips has also gone up 22 percent to £2.8 billion.

The survey for last year also showed an increase of five percent to rural attractions and four percent to coastal ones, showing a boost to seaside and countryside resorts.

Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch, said: “Year after year, our world-class tourist attractions continue to draw millions of visitors not just into London, but to the country as a whole.

“It is fantastic to see such strong growth across the regions, particularly in rural and coastal communities.

“Tourism contributes around £60 billion to our economy every year and these results show that the benefits of this thriving industry are being spread more evenly around the country.”

On the whole, visits to attractions in England rose by two percent in 2015 with revenue up five percent.

The most popular paid for attraction in England was the Town of London with 2.8 million visits followed by Westminster Abbey and Kew Gardens.

The British Museum, National Gallery and Natural History Museum were the most visited free attractions.

Bath Abbey was the south west’s most popular free attraction with Stonehenge the most popular paid for.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “The attractions sector is an integral part of our national tourism offer and plays a crucial role in driving economic growth across all of England’s regions.”