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Chester Zoo is one of UK's most popular tourist attractions

Visit Britain survey for 2015 also shows increase in numbers for Cheshire Ice Cream Farm

Chester Zoo's new Islands habitat has helped attract one million visitors to the zoo earlier than ever before

Chester Zoo is one of England’s most popular tourist attractions outside London.

The zoo reported 1.52m visitors in 2015, according to the latest Visit Britain survey.

This was up 6% on the year before and the attraction’s best yearly total in figures published by the tourism agency going back to 2011.

Watch cute bush dog pups venture from their dens at Chester Zoo

The zoo rivalled such institutions as the British Library and St Paul’s Cathedral in popularity.

Brighton Pier was the only other tourist attraction outside London to post better figures than Chester Zoo.

The most-visited place of interest in the whole country that responded to Visit Britain’s survey was the British Museum, with 6.82m people coming through its doors in 2015.

Elsewhere in Cheshire, it was a good year for Cheshire Ice Cream Farm.

Santa's elves due to take over Tattenhall Ice Cream Farm this Christmas

The family-friendly destination reported an estimated 650,000 visitors, up from 525,000 the year before.

Lyme Park and Gardens reported a 28% rise in visitors, up to 146,675 for the year.

Lyme Park in Cheshire

On the other hand, only 462 people showed up to Dorfold Hall in Nantwich, making it Cheshire’s least visited attraction.

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However, it is mostly only open on Tuesday afternoons in season and requires a guided tour to be shown round.

Dorfold Hall near Nantwich

Visit Britain’s survey is optional to complete, which means it won’t feature every tourist attraction in Cheshire.

Cheshire Ice Cream Farm named biggest on the planet by Guinness World Records

The Visit Britain survey showed the following visitor numbers for other Cheshire attractions in 2015:

Tatton Park 875,000

Quarry Bank Mill and Garden 183,000

Astbury Mere Country Park 183,000

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre 128,928

Little Moreton Hall and Gardens 80,000

Beeston Castle 53,894

Go Ape! Hire Wire Forest Adventure - Delamere Forest 41,252

RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands 36,100

National Waterways Museum - Boat Trip 30,000

Hare Hill Gardens (NT) 25,000

Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre 23,442

Cheshire Military Museum 13,500

Rode Hall and Gardens 13,188

Knutsford Heritage Centre 7,544

All Saints Church 6,000

Adlington Hall and Gardens 2,393

Congleton Museum 2,073

Bollington Discovery Centre 1,601

NB: some figures may be estimates

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