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The British Isles are blessed with an array of world famous landmarks and structures, attracting tourists from home and abroad. Castles, bridges, towers and internationally renowned galleries and museums make tourism authority Visit Britain’s job an easy one. Yet despite many attractions being well known, some are, well, a bit of a let-down. Here we run through the tourist trail and pick out some places we think are best left out.
Stonehenge is a British cultural heavyweight attracting hordes of crowds twice a year celebrating the Pagan festivals of the summer and winter solstice. This prehistoric Wiltshire stone circle is believed to have been constructed between 3,000 BC to 2,000 BC. Yet many visitors find themselves battling through crowds to visit the site, few knowing that there are several other stone circles in the UK. An alternative option is the much larger Avebury site, just 17 miles from Stonehenge and without all the tourists!
Dunnottar Castle has a rich history involving the Jacobite risings. This ruined medical fortress attracted 100,000 visitors in 2016. It’s not clear when precisely the castle was fortified, but the site is believed to date back to the Middle Ages. If you expect this castle to be as grand as Edinburgh Castle or Dover Castle, you’ll be disappointed. This castle has clearly seen better days as there’s not much of it left to see. It sits on top a steep cliff surrounded by the North Sea. So, this castle is mostly now rubble, offering just a small glimpse into its historical past.
Cumberland Pencil Museum
There really is world record for everything. While other nations have smashed eccentric records too, here in Britain, visitors can see the world’s largest colouring pencil at the Cumberland Pencil Museum. It is eight metres long and sits alongside many other unusual stationary dating as far back as World War II. Unless you have a particular fondness for giant pencils, you may come away feeling like your time would have been better served elsewhere. The sheer size of the pencil reduces any ability to write with it, so think again if you were planning to try out the mother-of-all writing utensils.
Tourists all over the world flock to Madame Tussauds to see the notorious wax works. There is an impressive level of artistry that goes into producing lifelike sculptures, however you should perhaps consider if these mere novelties are worth waiting in the extremely long queue for. Also, visitors with selfie sticks run riot in Madame Tussauds, and these photos have become prominent on social media, which has arguably dampened the mystique of the attraction. So, why not focus your efforts on the London Eye or the Tower of London?
Despite these being landmarks we believe are the worst, they still do have their merits and it’s entirely a matter of opinion. But it’s always best to take a moment to consider the benefits of visiting these places.
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