Surge of visitors expected at city attractions

The Easter Bunny swims with the sharks at Deep Sea World. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The Easter Bunny swims with the sharks at Deep Sea World. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Attractions across the city are gearing up for a bumper Easter weekend, with record crowds expected at venues.

Staff at well-known tourist destinations like Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden reported thousands of visitors on Good Friday alone.

Claire Riddoch

We hope this year will be our busiest Easter ever, and that is certainly a possibility

And despite the dour weather bosses said figures looked “promising” for the rest of the Easter weekend, with some even taking extra measures to cope with the visitor surge.

The Camera Obscura extended its opening hours while The Real Mary King’s Close warned people to pre-book.

Deep Sea World in North Queensferry reported visitors queuing out the door for a host of activities including an underwater egg hunt.

Tony Millar, assistant manager of the Camera Obscura, revealed it was gearing up for its “biggest weekend ever”.

He added: “Easter is one of our busiest times of the year and figures so far are certainly very promising for a bumper Easter weekend.

“We are now open for the longest hours we have ever been, from nine in the morning to eight in the evening, through the Easter weekend.

“This is allowing us to accommodate many more visitors looking for something fun to do and we are ready for it to be the busiest weekend ever.”

Crowds upwards of 2000 people were also expected to flock to Passion play On The Edge in Princes Street Gardens West today from 2pm.

But spokesman Joseph Blythe stressed that the weather could be the decisive factor when it comes to visitor numbers.

“We are, of course, praying for a bit of sunshine but previous years have attracted crowds of 2000 upwards,” he said.

Events held in Scotland’s national aquarium included a diving bunny, complete with floppy ears and basket, who was exploring the depths of the aquarium’s Underwater Safari on the hunt for shark and ray egg-cases.

Young visitors were also invited to take part in a fun Easter Egg Hunt around the aquarium, and to enjoy the Easter Grotto with children’s activities.

Kerry Myers, marketing and sales executive, said visitors were queuing out the door on Good Friday and expected the trend to continue.

The Real Mary King’s Close, a warren of underground streets dating from the 17th century, saw a big influx of visitors.

Claire Riddoch, marketing manager at the attraction, urged people to book in advance to avoid lengthy waits.

She said: “There is availability but if they turn up on spec they may have to wait a couple of hours.

“We are getting a big family audience with the English school holidays starting a week earlier, with a good influx of visitors from south of the Border.

“We hope this year will be our busiest Easter ever, and that is certainly a possibility.”

The Botanics also reported strong Easter figures, with up to 3000 visitors on Good Friday alone.

Moira Wood, visitor welcome manager, said that: “If the weather holds we should be very busy.”