Attractions industry news

06 Apr 2020

Longleat's Lord Bath dies from COVID-19

The attractions industry has lost one of its personalities with the passing of Lord Bath, the owner of Longleat Safari Park in the UK, who died on Saturday 4 April aged 87 after contracting the coronavirus.

Born Alexander Thynn, he inherited the Longleat estate from his father, Henry Thynn, sixth Marquis of Bath, in 1958.

Henry Thynn and his rivals, the Duke of Bedford and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu – were the forerunners of the stately home business.

Longleat had been the first stately home to open to the public in 1949 and by 1966, launched the first drive-through safari park outside Africa.

The 9,000-acre attraction is home to over 500 animals, including giraffe, monkeys, rhino, lion, tigers, wolves and cheetahs.

Lord Bath handed the operation of the business to his son Caewlin in 2010.

He was known for his eccentricity and alternative lifestyle, as well explained by this Guardian obituary.

Longleat welcomed over 900,000 visitors in 2018 and the same year, was ranked as one of the UK's fastest-growing firms in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track league table.

With profits of £3.5m, it benefited from increased visitor numbers, boosted by TV exposure on the BBC’s Animal Park series with Ben Fogle and Kate Humble.

Longleat leases 400 acres of land to Center Parcs for the operation of the Longleat Forest holiday village.

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