Wish you were here: tourist attractions lament another empty Easter

Watch Matthew Hudson's report from the West of the Anglia region

Watch Natalie Gray's report from the East of the Anglia region

Tourist attractions in the region are facing up to another empty Easter but hopes are rising for a more normal summer season.

Some owners have expressed dismay at not being able to open for a second Easter in a row after Boris Johnson said people can't travel to take holidays in the UK or visit outside attractions until after it's over.

But others say they'd rather restrictions were lifted slowly if it means we didn't have to endure a fourth lockdown.

And some business owners say they're already seeing a surge in holiday bookings now the roadmap to easing restrictions is clear.

Hire boats waiting on the river at Wroxham in Norfolk Credit: ITV Anglia

Wroxham - the capital of the broads - depends on tourism.

"Tourism is worth £3 billion pounds to Norfolk's economy and for the second year running this won't be a happy Easter here."

Wroxham Barns is a visitor attraction with a farm, funfair, restaurant and shops.

They'd spent a quarter of a million on new rides ready for last Easter. They've got rare breed ewes ready to lamb at Easter this year - but they'll have to be closed again.

"Yeah it's devastating it's now our second Easter that we'll have missed - we've lost February half term again so yeah it's just gutting."  

But now businesses are cancelling people booked in for Easter - many are the same people they'd moved from Easter last year.

Because if you're a business you're used to the season kicking off at Easter but the roadmap means it can't start until it's over.

"It's really busy normally at Easter, it's normally the kickstart to our season. It's normally absolutely heaving down Wroxham. Hopefully we'll be back to normal by the summer."  

James Knight who runs Norfolk Broads Tours has sixty holiday cruisers, fifty day boats and four big passenger boats which are usually booked up over Easter.

It's the same story in Cambridgeshire, where Huntingdon's Old Bridge Hotel has another storm to weather.

But every week it remains closed costs its owner thousands of pounds, its staff on furlough.

John Hoskins who owns the Old Bridge never expected to be open for Easter. 

Outdoor service is set to resume in April, indoor service from May 17.

John's more concerned that the sector continues to get financial support as it struggles back onto its feet.

I can't say I'm delighted about it but I do think we have to accept it.  The issue for me is how do we survive until then and how do we survive for the rest of the year. And I really hope that March 3rd, Budget day, is the day that we get the good news that we really need.

John Hoskins

Any other year Mark Jeffries' holiday cottages would be booked out by families and hen and stag parties. They have, of course, been empty for months.

Now he can reopen on April 12 and relishes having to a date to aim for after yesterday's announcement.

Holiday cottages would normally be booked up over Easter but owners must wait until April to take guests Credit: ITV Anglia

Any other year Mark Jeffries' holiday cottages would be booked out by families and hen and stag parties. They have, of course, been empty for months.

Now he can reopen on April 12 and relishes having to a date to aim for after yesterday's announcement.

I was hoping to hear exactly what happened. A date when we can open up again and April 12 is absolutely brilliant for family holidays. Shame it's just after Easter but it's brilliant that now we can plan.

Mark Jeffries