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Foreign landmarks tower above the UK’s in minds of British

The Eiffel Tower. Picture: Getty

The Eiffel Tower. Picture: Getty

  • by ANGUS HOWARTH
 

IT WAS promoted as an opportunity to appreciate the splendour of your own country while saving a pound or two. Yet the “stay-cation” has failed to make a lasting impression on the British public, according to a new poll which found that holidaymakers are better at recognising foreign landmarks than one in their own country.

Despite having some of the most iconic buildings and scenery in the world, such as Edinburgh Castle and the white cliffs of Dover, British landmarks faired poorly in a new survey that sought to discover the most recognisable tourist icons among British holidaymakers.

While not a single person out of the 1,714 British holidaymakers polled by sunshine.co.uk, an online travel agent, failed to recognise the Eiffel Tower, only 77 per cent recognised Stonehenge, it is claimed.

To add insult to injury, places such as the Sydney Opera House and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge were more recognisable than Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.

Only Big Ben in London and Stonehenge made it into the top ten of the most recognised landmarks in the world. While 98 per cent recognised the Pyramids, 96 per cent identified the Statue of Liberty in New York and 95 per cent recognised the Great Wall of China. Big Ben had a “score” of 93 per cent but Trafalgar Square and the London Eye failed to make it into the top ten of most-recognised landmarks.

The Great Wall of China came fourth with 95 per cent of those polled recognising it, while the Taj Mahal came in sixth with 84 per cent.

The top ten most recognised landmarks for UK holidaymakers was completed by Stonehenge in seventh place, the Sydney Opera House in eighth place, the Colosseum in Rome in ninth place and San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge in tenth place.

Yesterday, Chris Clarkson, the co-founder of Sunshine.co.uk said: “I actually can’t quite believe that more UK-based landmarks didn’t feature in the top ten here. To see that more people recognised the Golden Gate Bridge above the likes of the London Eye and Trafalgar Square is a bit of an eye opener.”

However, Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said it aimed to make people more familiar with Scotland’s landmarks as well as the more out-of-the-way places in the country.

He said: “One of the main aims of our ongoing marketing campaign, Surprise Yourself, is to encourage more Scots to get out and about and explore what’s on their very doorstep.

“From iconic landmarks, such as Edinburgh Castle or Loch Ness, to hidden gems that you won’t find in the guidebooks, VisitScotland is working hard alongside Scotland’s tourism industry to promote every area of our stunning country and make sure Scots staycationers have every reason to stay close to home for their autumnal break.

“No matter how well you think you know Scotland, the beauty of it is there’s always something new to discover.”

TOP TEN

1. Eiffel Tower - 100%

2. Pyramids - 98%

3. Statue of Liberty - 96%

4. Great Wall of China - 95%

5. Big Ben - 93%

6. Taj Mahal - 84%

7. Stonehenge - 77%

8. Sydney Opera House - 71%

9. Colosseum, Rome - 69%

10. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco - 65%

 

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