LONDON ~ British visitors have put the boot into some of Britain and the world’s best-known tourist attractions, branding the likes of Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower dismal letdowns.
A top 10 list of the “most disappointing sights” in Britain was topped by Stonehenge, the mystical, 5,000-year-old standing stones in Wiltshire, south-west England.
The Houses of Parliament’s clock tower, commonly called Big Ben after the bell inside, was included, as was the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in London’s Hyde Park.
On the international list of let-downs, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is ranked the worst, followed by the nearby Louvre museum and Times Square in New York.
Britain’s top 10 must-see sights was topped by Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, northeast England, with the Royal Crescent row of Georgian houses in Bath, southwest England and the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in the top five.
Leading the world “must-see” table was The Treasury at Petra in Jordan, the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, the Masai Mara game park in Kenya and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Virgin Travel Insurance questioned 1,267 adults for the survey.
“It’s easy to be swayed by brochures that opt for the mainstream and focus on clichÃ©d tourist sights around the world, but many of them are overcrowded and disappointing,” said travel expert Felice Hardy.
“Pick carefully and don’t always go for the obvious. Natural phenomena are usually more exciting than the manmade, and can be wonderfully free of tourists.”
She branded the Eiffel Tower “frustratingly overcrowded and overpriced” and said Stonehenge was “an isolated pile of rocks in a usually muddy field.”
She dubbed the Diana fountain “a colorless wet skateboard park” and added of Big Ben: “Once you’ve seen it, you’ll know what time it is – time to go somewhere else.”
10 Most Disappointing Sights:
1. The Eiffel Tower, Paris
2. The Louvre, Paris
3. Times Square, New York
4. Las Ramblas, Barcelona
5. Statue of Liberty, New York
6. Spanish Steps, Rome
7. The White House, Washington
8. The Pyramids, Egypt
9. The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
10. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire
2. Angel of the North, Gateshead
3. Blackpool Tower
4. Land’s End, Cornwall
5. Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, London
6. The London Eye
7. Brighton Pier
8. Buckingham Palace, London
9. White Cliffs of Dover
10. Big Ben, London
Top 10 Must-See Sights:
1. The Treasury at Petra, Jordan
2. The Grand Canal, Venice
3. The Masai Mara, Kenya
4. Sydney Harbour Bridge
5. Taroko Gorge, Taiwan
6. Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia
7. Cappadoccia caves, Turkey
8. Lake Titicaca, Peru and Bolivia
9. Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia
10. Jungfraujoch railway, Switzerland
1. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
2. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland
3. The Royal Crescent, Bath
4. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London
5. The Backs, Cambridge
6. Holkham Bay, Norfolk
7. Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast, Devon and Dorset
8. Tate St Ives gallery, Cornwall
9. Isle of Skye, Scotland
10. The Eden Project, Cornwall