Brown tourist signs

To get a brown tourist sign, you must apply for an assessment and pay the relevant non-refundable fee. We will then give you a quote for the cost of putting up the signs.

Before you apply, please read the information that follows carefully to make sure your destination meets the conditions for a tourist sign. We ask for a non-refundable fee with each application so we can cover the costs of inspection, design, and preparing a quote. If your application is not successful because your destination doesn’t meet the conditions, you won’t get your money back. 

Your destination must meet a set of standard conditions as well as any specific conditions relevant to the type of destination. This is because too many road signs can be a distraction for drivers and cause accidents.

Standard conditions for brown tourist signs 

Brown tourist road signs are to help people find a destination. For this reason, we only put them up where the destination is hard to find and where the place attracts visitors other than those who come regularly. 

Before we can agree to a sign, we’ll expect you to be doing everything you can to help visitors find your destination. For example, your website and marketing material must give clear directions or a map, together with the best post code for sat nav use.

We won’t consider putting up signs for destinations on a main road unless access is awkward and people can’t see the turning in time.  

To qualify for a sign, the destination must be open to the public and provide recreation, education, historical interest or services. It must also: 

  • open for at least 4 hours a day, 150 days a year – though we might accept a different pattern of opening hours if we think the tourism value of the destination is high enough
  • provide car parking, catering and toilet facilities appropriate for the expected number of visitors
  • be available to the public without the need to pre-book or be a member
  • attract visitors from outside the local area
  • comply with all relevant statutory requirements
  • be publicised to tourists and advertised in tourist promotions

We can only put signs up in places where the signs won’t cause any traffic problems. Where possible, we use existing sign structures.

Types of destinations and any specific conditions

The types of destinations for which we may be able to erect tourism signs include:Accommodation and hospitality in rural areas, Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation and youth hostels, together with pubs and restaurants where food is served both at lunchtimes and in the evening.

Camping and caravanning sites

Touring sites with at least 20 pitches for casual overnight use and which are licensed under either the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 or the Public Health Act 1936.

Static sites where people don’t need to book might qualify, but we can’t include a caravan symbol on the sign. That’s because it might confuse people with touring caravans looking for a pitch.


Craft centres, shops and other retail attractions can qualify for tourism signs where:

  • there is a mix of facilities providing a genuine leisure experience
  • the retail facility is unique or unusual
  • most customers travel from outside the area

Garden centres no longer qualify.

Countryside attractions

Cycle routes, picnic sites, natural attractions such as forests or country parks, farm centres and leisure drives.


Cinemas, theatres, concert halls and theme parks.


Leisure centres, sports clubs open to non-members, golf driving ranges, fisheries, stadiums.


Tourist information centres, zoos, museums, historic or architectural buildings.

Costs for brown tourist signs

The total cost for brown signs will be the non-refundable assessment fee plus the cost of making and erecting the signs. 

Tourist sign non-refundable assessment fees

The non-refundable assessment fee covers inspection, assessment, design and quote.

  • 1 sign - £300
  • 2 signs - £500
  • each extra sign - £100

Cost of making and erecting tourist signs

You can expect to pay a minimum of £1,000 for us to make the signs and put them up. The cost will depend on the number of signs, the size of the signs, and the number of new posts needed. We will use where existing posts where possible. 

There will be extra costs if we need temporary traffic lights or other traffic management measures to protect the workers putting the sign up. 

How to apply for tourism signs

We recommend you contact us before you apply so we can talk about whether your destination is likely to meet the conditions.

Once you’ve decided to apply, you’ll need to fill in the tourism sign application form (MS Word, 39KB) and send it to us with a cheque for the non refundable assessment fee. 

What happens next

We’ll contact you to arrange to visit. When we come, we see if your destination meets the conditions, talk about how many signs you want, and do a site inspection to check where the signs could go. If we agree to provide signs, we do the design and give you a confirmed quote for the project.

Contact us

Report a problem online

If you consider a highways issue to be dangerous, or an emergency, please call us on:

0300 123 5020
(8:30am – 5:00pm)

0300 123 5025
(after 5pm and before 8:30am, including weekends)

Floor 6
Delamere House

Delamere Street Crewe

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019