Survey Outs England’s Most and Least Popular Tourist Attractions

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7th October 2014 11:02 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

A recent VisitEngland survey has outed England’s most and least popular tourist attractions of 2013.

The study, which included 1,279 of the nation’s attractions, discovered that, with 6,701,036 visitors in 2013 alone, the British Museum was the most popular free tourist attraction, followed by the National Gallery (6,031,574) and the Natural History Museum (5,356,884).

Tate Modern (4,884,939), Brighton Pier (estimated 4,000,000), the Science Museum (3,316,000), the Victoria and Albert Museum (3,290,500), the National Portrait Gallery (2,014,636), Old Royal Naval College (1,788,712) and the British Library (1,475,382) made up the remaining top 10 free tourist attractions.

The Tower of London (2,894,698 visitors), St Paul’s Cathedral (2,138,130) and Westminster Abbey (2,020,637) occupied the top three spots for the most visited paid for attractions, with Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo (1,521,901), Chester Zoo (1,413,936), Windermere Lake Cruises (1,411,995), the Royal Botanic Gardens (1,325,917), ZSL London Zoo (1,294,483), Stonehenge (1,241,296) and the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (1,041,000) completing the top 10.

At the other end of the spectrum, with just six visits throughout the entire year, the Radar Tower in Essex was found to be the least popular tourist destination. The British in India Museum (70) was the second least popular attraction, with North Ings Farm Museum (98) the third.

St Andrew’s Church (105 visitors), The Gissing Centre (118), Old Buckenham Mill (125), Astley Cheetham Art Gallery (147), Long Crendon Courthouse (153), Barton Ghost Walks (estimate 160) and Calverton Folk Museum (175), all made it into the survey’s 10 least popular tourist attractions too.

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, told The Independent: “This survey is open to all attractions to participate, from large attractions attracting thousands of visitors a year, to those with few visitors, but that have local appeal and importance, sometimes even just as well-known local landmarks. At the local level these attractions can make their own unique contribution to the local area, by providing interesting things for visitors to see and do.”

Many of the attractions included in this survey were museums or cultural institutions, and more detail on the research solutions provided to these types of organisation are available through the link above.

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