Staycation searches for "Barnard Castle" soar after Cummings controversy

A hotel booking site has announced a huge rise in searches for Barnard Castle, after the controversial trip made by chief government aide Dominic Cummings.

The online booking platform has reported a 160% increase in searches for accommodation in the County Durham village, following revelations around Dominic Cummings' visit during lockdown. The data spiked in the week following 22 May, [**when it was announced Mr Cummings drove to Durham to seek childcare.**](http://The unanswered questions about Cummings’ lockdown travels)

The Prime Minister’s chief advisor visited the 12th Century stone castle, situated just 30 minutes from Durham, on a day trip to test his eye-sight before making the journey back to London.

The sign adorns a wall in Barnard Castle. Credit: @claireashforth/Twitter

Just days after Mr Cummings' trip made the headlines, a fake blue plaque appeared in Barnard Castlepoking fun at his visit to the town.

The sign on the wall in the town reads: "DOMINIC CUMMINGS WAS LURKING IN THESE PARTS, 12.04.2020."

Blue plaques are installed in public places to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event.

On Thursday 28 May, Durham Constabulary concluded Dominic Cummings might have committed a "minor breach" of lockdown rules when he made a journey to Barnard Castle.

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