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More Brits have seen the Eiffel Tower than Buckingham Palace

More Brits have seen the Eiffel Tower than Buckingham Palace

The average Brit has only seen one in four of the UK’s top landmarks, a study revealed yesterday.

Researchers have found that despite ‘Staycations’ becoming all the rage during the recession, millions of us have failed to visit the attractions and locations on our own doorstep.

In fact, around two thirds are yet to see major UK landmarks such as the White Cliffs of Dover and Windsor Castle, while three quarters have never visited Scotland’s famous Loch Ness.

One in two adults even admitted they are more likely to visit locations overseas than those closer to home, with more people catching a glimpse of Paris’ Eiffel Tower than London’s Buckingham Palace.

Yesterday Charles Millward, chief executive of luxury cottage rental firm Rural Retreats, which commissioned the study, said: “It’s a shame that so many people are yet to discover the great places and landmarks within the UK.


‘’And it’s even more of a shame to think that we are more likely to see overseas landmarks rather than those in our home country.

“We have so many World Heritage Sites, areas of outstanding beauty, with the advantage that people don’t have to travel to find something fascinating to visit – something that others travel around the world to see.

“There is so much on offer within the country we live in. Whether it’s Stonehenge, Blenheim Palace, or the birthplace of the industrial revolution, these islands have a unique appeal – maybe we forget as it is all on our doorstep.”

The study, of 2,000 Brits revealed that of the top 50 landmarks and locations in the UK, the average adult has visited just 14.

And more than one in ten have visited no more than five.

Big Ben is the most popular landmark, with 60 per cent visiting it at some point in the past, with other London tourist attractions, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London in second and third place.

More than half of all adults have also been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the Lake District.

But 50 per cent of people have visited Paris’ Eiffel Tower which means more people have seen the French landmark than the British tourist hotspots of Blackpool Tower and London’s Westminster Abbey.

Brits are also more likely to have seen the popular French tower than Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and Brighton Pier.

Twenty-three per cent of people have also paid at least one visit to Florida’s Disneyworld – more than the one in five who have visited the Eden Project in Cornwall or the 16 per cent who have spent time exploring the Jurassic Coast.

Other foreign attractions to get more visits from Brits than those on our own doorstep include New York’s Statue of Liberty, The Colosseum in Rome and the Rock of Gibraltar.

Mont St Michel, in France, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Egypt’s Pyramids are also among the list of popular overseas landmarks

Researchers found that of those who are more likely to visit a foreign landmark, more than a third say they don’t view something as a landmark when it is on their doorstep, while another 36 per cent say they are too busy to do it when they at home.

Another 32 per cent only really sightsee when they are on holiday and they usually holiday abroad.

Despite this, 94 per cent of Brits enjoy exploring and visiting different parts of the UK and another nine in ten wish they were able to see more of the country they live in.

Eighty-eight per cent also think it’s important that any children they have explore the UK and the area they live, and 90 per cent want their youngsters to be aware of the country’s history and landmarks.

Charles Millward from Rural Retreats added: “Swapping the routine of our urban living environment for the scenery of a rural location, or discovering something new and different closer to home can be a really positive thing, especially for children.

“We have some of the finest landmarks, attractions and heritage in the world, right here on our doorstep. Rather than automatically booking a break aboard each year, I urge families to explore what our great country has to offer, they will not be disappointed.”

Top 50 most visited UK landmarks
1.    Big Ben
2.    Tower Bridge
3.    Tower of London
4.    Blackpool Pleasure Beach
5.    Lake District
6.    Buckingham Palace
7.    Blackpool Tower
8.    Houses of Parliament
9.    Natural History Museum  
10.  Westminster Abbey
11.  The London Eye
12.  Lake Windermere
13.  Edinburgh Castle
14.  Brighton Pier
15.  Cheddar Gorge
16.  New Forest
17.  St Paul’s Cathedral
18.  Stonehenge
19.  Windsor Castle
20.  Cotswolds
21.  Land’s End
22.  Peak District
23.  White Cliffs of Dover
24.  Dartmoor
25.  Snowdonia
26.  Natural History Museum  
27.  Roman Baths, Bath
28.  Loch Ness
29.  Hampton Court Palace
30.  Kew Gardens
31.  Clifton Suspension Bridge
32.  Angel of the North
33.  Sherwood Forest
34.  Hadrian’s Wall
35.  The Needles
36.  The Forth Bridge
37.  The Eden Project
38.  St Michael’s Mount
39.  Ben Nevis
40.  Tintagel
41.  The White Horse
42.  Chesil Beach
43.  Clovelly
44.  The Jurassic Coast
45.  Glastonbury Tor  
46.  Globe Theatre
47.  Avebury Stone Circle
48.  Giant’s Causeway
49.  John O’Groats
50.  Cerne Abass

Top 20 foreign attractions
1.    Eiffel Tower, Paris
2.    Disneyworld, Florida
3.    Statue of Liberty, New York
4.    The Colosseum, Rome
5.    Rock of Gibraltar
6.    Mont St Michel, France
7.    Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
8.    Pyramids, Egypt
9.    The Grand Canyon, Arizona
10.  Hollywood sign, LA
11.  Sydney Opera House, Australia    
12.  Niagara Falls, USA
13.  The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
14.  The White House, Washington DC
15.  The Dead Sea, Jordan
16.  Ayers’ Rock, Australia
17.  Great Wall of China
18.  The Taj Mahal, India
19.  The Burl, Dubai
20.  Christ the Redeemer, Brazil