Brits more likely to have seen 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.

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