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Home Tourist Attraction Tourist attraction prices in 1974 show how much expensive days out in UK are now

Tourist attraction prices in 1974 show how much expensive days out in UK are now

by Staff

A trip to tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds, the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, London Zoo and Westminster Abbey have all become a lot more expensive in real terms in the past 50 years

Which? research has revealed the rising costs of days out(AFP via Getty Images)

London tourist attractions have shot up hugely in real-terms prices in the past 50 years.

Which? Travel researchers analysed the cost of major attractions in the UK as well as flights and holiday packages to see how holiday prices have changed since the magazine’s first issue in 1974. The research found that flight costs have fallen significantly in real terms since the 70s, but they’re now pricier on average than the comparative lows of the 90s or early 2000s. Package holiday prices are also rising.




The cost of UK days out, however, has risen the most. In 1974, entry to the Tower of London was just 10p – the equivalent of 90p in today’s money. Visit this year however, and you’d pay a whopping £34.80 per adult – an increase of 3,767%

While entry to Madame Tussauds was once just 75p, or £7 in today’s money, a ticket now costs £33 if purchased in advance – rising to as much as £42 if purchased on the day, an increase of 500% based on the on the day price.

The Tower of London is not as cheap as it once was (Getty Images)

A ticket to Kew Gardens meanwhile was just 1p (9p in today’s money) in 1974. Now prices range from between £12 and £24 per adult depending on whether you visit in summer or winter, and whether you book in advance, an increase of 26,566%, based on the most expensive ticket.

London Zoo, which was once just 80p to enter (£7.20 in today’s money), costs £27 per head during off-peak periods, and up to £33 at weekends, an increase of 358% based on the weekend ticket.

On the flip side of things, flying has become a lot cheaper in the past five decades, making a holiday abroad much more affordable now than 50 years ago.

In the early to mid 70s, flights were particularly expensive, and prices could fluctuate quickly. Between late 1973 and March 1974, crude oil soared in price by 300%, sending prices soaring, while inflation hit a peak of 23% in 1975. At the time, shopping around wasn’t an option to secure a better price, as it was illegal for airlines to set their own fares, which were instead set by national governments.

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