The wet summer put a damper on visitor numbers to top tourist attractions with some sites having their worst year ever, according to latest figures.

With the Olympics also affecting tourism, some London attractions hosted 60% fewer visitors during the Games, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) said.

Visits to gardens and heritage spots in London were particularly badly hit this summer by the "appalling weather", with the amount spent during visits also falling.

wet britain

The wet summer put a damper on visitor numbers to top tourist attractions


Among the attractions that saw a dip in numbers this summer were London Zoo, the Tower of London and Kew Gardens.
Overall, Alva member sites in London saw an average decrease in visitor numbers in May-August compared with the same period last year.

Garden and leisure sites in London received 21.3% fewer visitors this summer, while the capital's heritage and cathedral sector was down 20.3% and the museum and galleries sector fell 13.1%.

Visitor numbers to Alva member sites also fell in the rest of England and in Scotland, but not as markedly as in London.

Alva chief executive Bernard Donoghue said: "These figures from our 43 members, who manage nearly 2,000 tourist sites and welcome over 100 million domestic and overseas visitors each year, are definitely sobering reading and show that the summer of 2012 has been a difficult time financially for our most popular and best-loved visitor attractions.

"It is our belief that for gardens and outdoor attractions across the UK, the appalling weather during much of the year has led to one of the worst trading periods since 2001 - the year of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

"For London attractions, the Olympic period was one of their worst trading periods in living memory and for visitor attractions, the summer is their equivalent of retailers' Christmas. Once lost, the business can't be won back.

"Alva has always taken the long-term view that the economic benefits for tourism of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be long term rather than short term.

"We are working with the local and national tourist boards and others to turn the millions of Olympic TV viewers who loved how Britain looked into visitors who will come here in the next months and years."

Data released by MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, at the end of August, showed that 14.25in (362mm) of rain has fallen in June, July and August, making it the wettest summer since 1912.

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  • Residents and business owners clean up after flash foods on July 10, 2012 in Hebden Bridge, England. Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley are clearing up agin after being hit by floods for the third time in three weeks. Heavy rain overnight left many roads inthe valley flooded as a month's worth of rain fell in less than an hour.

  • Wettest summer for 100 years

    File photo dated 30/07/2012 of people sheltering from the rain at a bus stop at Heather, Leicestershire, as this summer has been the wettest in England and Wales for 100 years, according to new figures.

  • Wettest summer for 100 years

    File photo dated 28/06/2012 of torchbearer 047 Glenn Chambers carrying the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Edwinstowe and Mansfield in severe rain, as this summer has been the wettest in England and Wales for 100 years, according to new figures.

  • River football

    Bourton Rovers 1st XI, playing in light blue, clash with Bourton Rovers 2nd XI during the annual August Bank Holiday Monday River Football match at Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire. Picture date: Monday August 27, 2012. The match, watched by hundreds of spectators braving the rain, ended 2-2. See PA story SPORT River. Photo credit should read: Rod Minchin/PA Wire

  • Spectators stand in the rain during the first practice session at the Silverstone circuit on July 6, 2012 ahead of the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Festival goers brave the rain and the mud during T In The Park Festival at Balado on July 7, 2012 in Kinross, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

  • People look at the level of the River Ouse as it rises above its normal level in York, northern England, on July 7, 2012, as flood warnings were issued across the country following prolongued periods of rain. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • People take photographs of an inflatable doll as the level of the River Ouse rises above its normal level in York, northern England, on July 7, 2012, as flood warnings were issued across the country following prolongued periods of rain. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Residents and business owners clean up after flash foods on July 10, 2012 in Hebden Bridge, England. Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley are clearing up agin after being hit by floods for the third time in three weeks. Heavy rain overnight left many roads inthe valley flooded as a month's worth of rain fell in less than an hour.

  • Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 3, 2012 in London, England.

  • on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 29, 2012 in London, England.

  • Competitors take part in the Women's Marathon on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games near Parliament on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Members of the emergency services move a boat after flash flooding on Butterstile Close in Manchester, England, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. Heavy rain has led to flooding and disruption in some parts of the UK. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • The fast flowing River Ure at Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • Floodwaters surround the cinema and local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • Floodwaters surround the cinema and local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • The ford near Charvil, Berkshire, which flooded to a depth of 6ft after heavy rain hit parts of the UK.

  • Children play in a dingy along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • Floodwaters surround the cinema and local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • A man makes his way on a bike along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • Locals make their way in a boat along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • The garden of the Lower Lode Inn near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after flooding across the UK.

  • Landlady Samantha Snape (left) and Moilly Parker who works at the pub outside the Lower Lode Inn near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after flooding across the UK

  • Landlady Samantha Snape helps a local on the road to the Lower Lode Inn near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after flooding across the UK.

  • A car drives through a puddle near Epsom, Surrey, as wet weather continues across the UK.

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  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water Cascades past houses in Newburn, Newcastle today after yesterdays floods left them in a state of collapse.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water Cascades past houses in Newburn, Newcastle today after yesterdays floods left them in a state of collapse.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    An aerial view showing cars travelling along the A64 Scarborough to Leeds road as it passes over flood water from the River Ouse in York, North Yorkshire, communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left 400 homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    An aerial view showing the village of Sutton upon Derwent, East Yorkshire, surrounded by flood water from the nearby River Derwent as communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left 400 homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The High Street, in Newburn, Newcastle, where flooding has left business owners devastated and deposited huge amounts of mud and debris.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The High Street, in Newburn, Newcastle, where flooding has left business owners devastated and deposited huge amounts of mud and debris.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Two actors from a tourist attraction The York Dungeon, make their way into work along a flooded street in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Residents carry sandbags to riverside properties in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Riverside offices were difficult to access with rising floodwater in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Floodwater rises in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Floodwaters rise in city centre streets in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car submerged from yesterday's floods in Newburn in Newcastle.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car submerged from yesterday's floods in Newburn in Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos. See PA story WEATHER Wet PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Photo credit should read: Owen Humpreys/PA Wire

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car submerged from yesterday's floods in Newburn in Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos. See PA story WEATHER Wet PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Photo credit should read: Owen Humpreys/PA Wire

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The fields surrounding Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire are flooded following countrywide storms.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Flooding in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Natalie Stroughair sandbags a taxi office in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The bridge in the centre of Tadcaster which has been closed as flood waters from the River Wharfe continue rise.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A woman gets a piggy back ride to a Taxi Office in the centre of York, as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the floodwater rise in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Office workers are evacuated from their premises in York city centre as floodwater rises in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Rescuers bid to save ailing whale

    A 26ft (8m) minke whale washed up after gale force winds and high seas at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

  • Rescuers bid to save ailing whale

    A 26ft (8m) minke whale washed up after gale force winds and high seas at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

  • Rescuers bid to save ailing whale

    A 26ft (8m) minke whale washed up after gale force winds and high seas at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car drives through flood water on Noahs Ark Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the water levels rise as riverside properties in York are under threat from the River Ouse which continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Natalie Stroughair sandbags a taxi office in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Council workers sandbag riverside properties in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A man looks over rising flood water from the River Wharfe in the centre of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the floodwater rise in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the floodwater rise in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Elevated walkways carry pedestrians over floodwater in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A local riverside resident carries tea to Council workers who were placing sandbags at riverside properties in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    A resident of Knaresborough wades through water following flooding from the River Nidd in the town.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car makes its way through Rickerby Park in Carlisle after more heavy overnight rain.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water surrounds the 18th green at Stoney Holme golf course in Carlisle after more heavy rain overnight.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water covers the fairways at Stoney Holme golf course in Carlisle after more heavy overnight rain.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Flood water covers grassy areas of Rickerby Park in Carlisle after more heavy overnight rain.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A cyclist avoids flood water on the closed A34 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    A resident of Knaresborough wades through water following flooding from the River Nidd in the town.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A van is forced to turn around after flood water closed the A34 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A cyclist avoids flood water on the closed A34 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car drives through flood water on Noahs Ark Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car drives through flood water on Noahs Ark Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters rescue stranded motorists from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters rescue stranded motorists from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    A stranded motorist is helped by a member of the emergency services after being rescued from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters rescue stranded motorists from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Residents look on in Morpeth as the water levels rise near their homes, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters inspect a stranded lorry on a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters make their way along a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.