When things gather a certain amount of hype, it can be almost impossible for them to actually live up to expectations. Inevitably, some visitors leave disappointed.
Now, a new study by Vision Direct has (ostensibly) found out which bucket-list attractions in the UK visitors have left visitors feeling the most let down. Vision Direct’s study ranked ‘underwhelming’ attractions by looking at their percentage of poor, terrible and average reviews on TripAdvisor, as well as their average rating, number of Instagram hashtags and number of TikTok views.
The research concluded that the Eden Project in Cornwall is the country’s most underwhelming attraction, with the ratio of poor, terrible, or average reviews at 29.8 percent. Most of the negative reviews rate the botanical biomes as an experience but complain that entry fees are a bit too pricey, which in a cost-of-living crisis is probably a fair complaint. That said, there are over 9,000 reviews ranking the Eden Project as very good or excellent, so clearly plenty of visitors still have a fabulous time.
Ranking second in the UK list was Stonehenge. We’re not sure what people were expecting here. No, it doesn’t have magical spiritual ceremonies to watch 24/7, but prehistoric humans carried some of those humungous stones all the way from Wales, which is simply mind-blowing. Anyway, 21.3 percent of Stonehenge reviews were apparently poor, terrible or average, with most of the bummed out visitors calling it a ‘disappointment’ or a ‘rip-off’.
Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway came third, but had a significantly smaller portion of one-to-three-star reviews at 11 percent. Yes, it may be another big bunch of stones but it’s also an incredible testament to the power of nature. In fact, most reviews call it ‘spectacular’, ‘breathtaking’ and ‘astounding’. Apparently people who rated the Giant’s Causeway poorly cited its cost, but top tip: you can actually see it for free if you bypass the National Trust visitors centre and walk from Dunseverick Castle or Portballintrae instead.
The Roman Baths in Bath came fourth on the most disappointing list, with average-to-terrible reviews making up six percent of its TripAdvisor feedback, while the Tower of London ranked fifth with eight percent.
But those are pretty small proportions, really, and all of the attractions mentioned have an average rating of either four or 4.5, so we’d take the negative stuff with a pinch of salt. Plus, people do mostly tend to go on TripAdvisor specifically to complain.
Completed all of the UK’s big bucket-list stuff? Get more inspo from our list of our favourite evergreen stuff to see and do up and down the land, or level-up and check out the best things to do that are brand-new in 2024.
Did you see that: three UK cafés have been named the most popular in the world?
Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out UK newsletter for the latest UK news and the best stuff happening across the country.