10 Most Disappointing Tourist Destinations in the U.K. According to Brits
We Brits love to complain about stuff (we are renowned for it). I haven’t lived full-time in Britain for a few years, though I morph back to type occasionally. A recent online post asks Brits for their complaints about the most disappointing tourist destinations on our funny little island. Here are some discouraging tourist traps most subjects of the King dislike.
1. Madame Tussauds, London
“Surely it’s Madame Tussauds,” suggests an English commenter. “Often, there’s a queue outside it, but I cannot wrap my bonce around why!” I know this contributor is English because no other people worldwide use the word “bonce,” which translates as the brain!
2. Loch Ness
While Loch Ness is a marvelous natural spectacle, a hole of deep post-glacial freshwater framed by hills and mountains, don’t expect to see any “Nessie,” the famous Loch Ness Monster. One Brit posts a story about visiting when they were seven and complained to a shop owner that Nessie wasn’t there. “The old woman in the shop trolled me by saying, ‘Oh ye just missed him. He popped up yesterday,'” says the observer.
“I’ve said it before,” says our next commenter. “But Stonehenge.” Admittedly, Stonehenge was much better when tourists could touch the monoliths and structures. However, due to soil erosion threatening the chalk bedrock, officials cordoned off the ancient site.
However, if you are a Druid or Wiccan (or you can dress like one convincingly), there are opportunities to get close for celebrations, namely on the summer solstice in June.
4. Land’s End
Land’s End is, unsurprisingly, the end of the land; more accurately, it is the southernmost point of mainland Britain, the nethermost region of Cornwall in the South West.
One of my compatriots complains that the site is now a tourism cash cow. “Expensive parking, cafes, gift shops, and even to get a picture of the sign they wanted to charge,” shares the miffed road-tripper. “Got a sneaky picture of it and left.”
This one is my personal choice. I lived in London for three years, I enjoyed most of my time there, and it is a remarkable city. However, I deter visitors from basing their holiday in our capital because they have a limited view of British culture. Nevertheless, London is a wonderful destination for a long weekend. If you want to know the real United Kingdom, visit small villages, hamlets, or national parks.
6. Leicester Square
Another reason not to visit London is the woefully overrated Leicester Square. It is a commercialized zone with overpriced restaurants and bars, though it makes a great thoroughfare for nearby Chinatown.
It can even be dangerous late at night sometimes. “I don’t even really get why it’s a tourist destination, but nonetheless, it is,” asserts a visitor. “And it’s an absolutely awful place.”
Britain’s answer to Las Vegas is more like Jersey Shore. Blackpool’s Victorian seaside town throwback ambiance is a favorite for bachelor and bachelorette weekends.
However, most Brits have no desire to go there. “A mud beach surrounded by one of the most deprived towns in the country,” explains someone in their best Trip Advisor accent. “Utterly depressing.”
8. Rhyl, Wales
Rhyl is a British seaside town capitalizing on thousands of visitors yearly. With such a large sandy beach, one might think they could escape for some much-needed relaxation, but in reality, they will be faced with hoards of sunburnt British people shouting at their kids. “I once went to Rhyl,” recalls a victim. “The only bit I enjoyed was getting back into the car and exiting the car park.” Car park means parking lot.
Brighton is, effectively, London-by-the-Sea. This coastal city is an hour south of the capital by train, bringing millions of city visitors each summer. “Another disappointing place in the U.K. … is Brighton Pier,” warns a one-time visitor. “The beach was horrible and packed with litter everywhere.” I would advise visitors to try Bournemouth, a two-hour drive west, and not a pebble beach.
10. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Chatsworth House appears in dozens of famous movies and TV shows, including Peaky Blinders, Pride and Prejudice, and The Duchess. However, the tourism effect creates wear and tear, forcing owners to take measures.
“Most of the furniture has been removed and been replaced with art pieces,” claims a recent visitor. “Also, it’s too busy, and the staff isn’t able to cope with the crowds.”
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.