A major literary-themed experience is on the cards for Gosford Forest Park – with plans to open ‘Gulliver’s World’ in the not-too-distant future!
This thrilling play experience is all part of a major package of enhanced amenities and facilities which is long overdue.
The council hopes to capitalise on the area’s literary and screen associations, among other things.
The Gulliver experience at Gosford is based on the fact that Dean Jonathan Swift stayed at the estate during part of the time he was writing the iconic Gulliver’s Travels.
The forest park plans also include five-star log cabin accommodation.
And then there’s the cross-over with screen, and Game of Thrones, which has seen filming take place at Gosford.
The Frankenstein Chronicles was also filmed on location in Armagh and the council aims to build upon that and promote the area as a potential filming location and reap the tourism benefits.
The plans are central to a new five-year tourism strategy which went before council committee this week.
The Gosford Forest Park plans will cost well in excess of £1 million and a number of site visits to other areas had taken place ahead of the proposals – which also included trails and enhanced accommodation and amenities – being drawn up.
Under the umbrella of ‘screen tourism’ there exists the potential for fans to want to visit locations for their favourite TV shows.
Both Game of Thrones – a good deal of which was filmed in the Banbridge area – and the Frankenstein Chronicles have helped put Armagh centre stage as a possible filming location.
And there is the potential for more – with this avenue to be explored.
The report reveals: “There has been sporadic interest since from other productions in using the heritage assets of Armagh city as locations and back drops. Discussions will be held with NI Screen to explore further opportunities for future collaboration across the borough.”
Council – also as part of its tourism plan – hopes to encourage visitors keen on exploring family history.
Many of the museums in the area can provide information of relevance to people researching their ancestry, but Armagh Ancestry and Banbridge Genealogy resources are not fully available online. Council will now explore the opportunity to make these databases available online with appropriately trained staff located in the main Visitor Information Centres or in a museum.
Other potential tourism draws fall under the category of ‘discretionary business’, with the opportunity to attract small conferences. Peace, architecture, agri-food, heritage etc, all come under this umbrella, while there is the change too to promote ‘activity tourism’,such as walking, cycling, angling, horse-riding and other pursuits.
*Photo of Gulliver’s World for illustration purposes only.