The Royal Yacht Britannia has been rated Britain’s favourite historical attraction. A survey by the consumer magazine Which? of its members has placed the Queen’s former yacht, now permanently moored at Ocean Terminal, Leith, in Edinburgh, as the best of the UK’s top-50 most visited attractions.
The yacht, which sailed to 144 countries during 44 years of royal service, topped the survey and was given a five-star rating for food and drink, information and value for money.
Runner-up was Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire, the country’s largest monastic ruins. The abbey was praised for its spectacular setting and for the lack of crowds and queues.
Third place in the Which? survey was given to Stourhead house and gardens, in Wiltshire, followed by the Tower of London, the most expensive of the 50 attractions in the survey. Entry costs £25 a head for adults. Nevertheless, the tower was still rated as providing good value for money.
By contrast, Durham Cathedral – in seventh place – was the highest-scoring free attraction in the survey. Visitors also gave it five stars for lack of crowds.
Others making it into the survey’s top 10 were the Houses of Parliament; Culzean Castle in Ayrshire; Dover Castle; Titanic Belfast, the city’s maritime museum; and Tyntesfield house, outside Bristol.
Southend Pier, the world’s longest pleasure pier, came bottom and was criticised for giving poor value for entertainment and for its food and drink. Visitors complained that the pier was “run down” and “not the most exciting place in the world” although they did like the option of taking a train from one end to the other to enjoy the views.