Published date 27 April 2023

Explore local this coronation weekend, says Metro Mayor

Royalists and republicans alike are being urged to take advantage of the extra Bank Holiday weekend by West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris. He says there is no better time to explore locally and support local attractions.

Speaking on a visit to Bath Abbey where King Edgar, the first King of all of England, was crowned in 973 AD, Mr Norris said: “The extra time off for most of us means we have a great opportunity to get out and about and visit the brilliant attractions and open spaces we have locally. It’s a chance to find out more about our local history.”

At the Abbey, Reverend Guy Bridgewater and Bath Abbey’s Executive Director Frank Mowat will explain how the Coronation service used for King Charles III descends directly from that of Edgar at the Anglo-Saxon monastery on the site of Bath Abbey. Bathonians can still see a 'belfry window' - part of the monastery’s bell tower that would have been ringing loud and proud during Edgar’s crowning - at the Abbey's new Discovery Centre.

Over a thousand years later, coronation festivities will begin with a Royal Celebration Concert on Friday 5 May, followed by a live screening of the ceremony in London on Saturday 6 May, themed services on Sunday 7 May, and then a drop-in 'Patriotic Printing' family craft activity on Monday 8 May.

Mayor Norris, who is who is running an Explore Local campaign, is keen to “royally” big up local visitor attractions that are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

New stats show that overall visits to British attractions increased 69% compared to 2021, but they saw 37.8 million fewer people walk through their doors than in 2019. That is having a big effect on the local economy, according to the Mayor.

Mr Norris, who has responsibility for jobs and economic development, continued: “I love Bath and the surrounding areas - there’s so much to do and explore. Very often going out also has a big positive knock-on effect too, when you buy a bus ticket, enjoy some local produce on a picnic or buy a postcard, you’re supporting local jobs. That’s something we can all get behind – whether you’re a right royal enthusiast, or a staunch republican.”

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