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The world’s most ‘overrated’ tourist attraction is in the UK

by Staff
Can you guess who took the crown? (Picture: Getty)

From sprawling green parks to Royal palaces, the UK has a lot to offer the almost 40 million tourists that visit each year.

However, it’s also home to the world’s most ‘overrated’ tourist attraction – and it’s not in London. Any guesses?

Sadly, it’s Stonehenge.

The survey, conducted by Rough Guides, saw visitors overwhelmingly reject this glorified pile of stones in Wiltshire, despite its historic roots.

The road that runs next to this monument is famous for its traffic queues as, inevitably, many drivers slow down to get a good look at this ancient site.

But despite its very public position, Stonehenge comes with a price-tag.

Stonehenge has been named the most ‘overrated’ tourist attraction (Image: Getty Images)

Members go free, but an adult ticket costs a whopping £23 with donation and £20.90 without. It’s no wonder people choose to save their pennies and drive past instead.

As such, one Tripadvisor review has labelled it ‘over-commercialised.’

‘As an associate member the visit was free, otherwise a lot to pay just to get up closer to see the stones,’ one person with the username BSBDRB wrote.

Elsewhere, another visitor described it as a ‘disappointing exhibition for young children.’

Yvonne G took her two grandchildren to Stonehenge during half term so that they could join in with some of the activities advertised, but both she and her family were sorely disheartened.

‘The exhibition area is devoid of any interaction, with the exception of being able to see how many people it will take to pull a stone,’ she penned.

A tourist taking a selfie at Stonehenge
Over 1 million people visit Stonehenge each year (Image: Getty Images)

The world’s top ‘hidden gem tourist attraction’ is in London

Did you know that the world’s top ‘hidden gem tourist attraction’ is actually in London?

In a hidden gems list pulled together by airline Wizz Air, the Wallace Collection in Marylebone scooped the top spot.

For those not familiar with the art gallery, it’s home to a whole host of wonderful art and artefacts including paintings, sculpture, ceramics and furniture. Inside, you’ll find everything from eighteenth-century French paintings to Renaissance objects.

However, not everyone who visits Stonehenge has a bad word to say about it. In fact, it’s a cherished place for many, and has been for thousands of years.

‘Was a little sceptical about coming here since it was a little out of the way and a “pile of rocks,”’ KrissNicole wrote.

‘I was so wrong. 110% would recommend coming here and I would love to visit again.’

Each year, thousands flock to Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice, AKA the longest day of the year with over 16 hours of daylight.

An aerial view of Stonehenge at sunrise
Thousands flock to Stonehenge for the summer solstice (Image: Getty Images)

Many camp overnight to catch the sun rising above the stones, with the thousands-strong crowd cheering and dancing as it comes in.

The tradition of pilgrimaging to Stonehenge dates back thousands of years when, it’s believed, Neolithic people created it as a temple aligned with the sun.

It was built between 3,000 BC and 1,6000 BC and for the first hundred years, it was actually used as a cremation cemetery.

The stones were set up and re-arranged in the following years, and whilst its exact purpose is still a mystery, because of the alignment of the stones on winter and summer solstice it is believed people also used to gather at the site during these days.

Elsewhere, Stonehenge is particularly significant for pagans, who celebrate ‘Litha’ on the same day as the summer solstice, which represents the battle between the ruling kings of summer and winter.

So, has Stonehenge been unjustly written off as an overpriced pile of stones? Perhaps – but there’s no denying its fascinating history.

The world’s top 10 most overrated tourist attractions, according to Rough Guides

  1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England
  2. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
  3. Central Park, New York City, USA
  4. Niagara Falls, North America
  5. Statue of Liberty, New York City, USA
  6. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
  7. The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
  8. Château de Versailles, Versailles, France
  9. The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
  10. The Louvre, Paris, France.

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