The UK’s top attractions draw in millions of tourists each year but the majority of Brits have not discovered some bucket list destinations on their doorsteps.

This is according to new research amongst 4,000 Brits from Vrbo, a global expert in family holiday rentals.  

Despite the pandemic encouraging Brits to go holidaying in the UK rather than travelling abroad, they are still missing out on some of the country’s locations.

The research by Vrbo revealed that despite the UK’s number one attraction, the British Museum, drawing in 6.2 million visitors a year from all over the world, less than a third of Brits have actually visited.

Similarly, other iconic London destinations such as the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral, two of London’s biggest attractions, remained unvisited by a majority of Brits (57% and 70% respectively).

This isn’t just happening in London. Only 3 in 10 said they had previously visited Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace despite the town welcoming up to six million visitors from around the globe each year.

Chester Zoo is another family friendly attraction Brits are missing out on. Just over a quarter have visited, despite the zoo being the third most visited paid for attraction in the UK.

Topping the list of overlooked attractions in the UK was Anglesey Abbey on the outskirts of Cambridge, with less than 3% of respondents saying they had visited the National Trust property. The university city receives approximately 8.2 million visitors annually.

Undiscovered film set locations

The research also revealed that many Brits haven’t even heard of some of the UK’s most recognisable attractions.

Settings for some of the UK’s best loved TV shows and films are also largely undiscovered, according to the findings. Lacock Abbey, the set of the first two Harry Potter films, known for its ‘Hogwarts’ corridors, was one of the least known attractions in the UK, with only 13% of respondents having heard of it.

Cliveden House, the setting for scenes in films such as Sherlock Holmes and the location for ‘A Very British Country House’ was also widely unknown by 84% of Brits. It’s also known as the place Meghan Markle spent her last night before marrying Prince Harry.

Locations of natural beauty

The UK isn’t short of breath-taking scenery, but many of us have never explored the natural beauty and wonders it has to offer.

However, Vrbo’s research revealed that more of us are waking up to the great British outdoors; when asked which domestic attractions they would consider adding to their bucket list, all of the top 10 chosen by Brits were in fact natural wonders located across the whole country.

Despite being one of the least visited destinations by Brits, the magical Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye in Scotland came out on top as the number one place we would consider adding to our bucket lists to visit, with 8 in 10 respondents expressing their desire to visit.

The Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy, Wales was another popular choice as somewhere Brits would like to visit (84%), even though it was found to be the third least visited attraction in the UK, according to the research.

Other wish list attractions included Dorset’s impressive Jurassic Coast, and the Cheddar Gorge Caves in Somerset, all offering stunning views and impressive land formations.

The top UK attractions Brits would consider adding to their bucket list

  1. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland – 86%
  2. Green Bridge of Wales, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 84%
  3. Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy, Wales – 84%
  4. Durdle Door, Lulworth Dorset, Dorset – 81%
  5. Attingham Park, Shropshire – 81%
  6. Stourhead National Trust, Wiltshire – 81%
  7. St Michael's Mount, Cornwall – 80%
  8. Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Devon to Dorset – 80%
  9. Lake Windermere, Cumbria – 79%
  10. Cheddar Gorge & Caves, Somerset 79%


Karen Mullins from Vrbo said: “We are so fortunate to have such a vast variety of incredible attractions to visit in the UK, and there’s never been a better opportunity to get out and explore the country we live in.

“With 4 in 10 Brits revealing they haven’t yet planned any trips for 2022, perhaps it’s time to start researching the local area to make sure upcoming trips are full of unforgettable memories and interesting places to explore! We want holidaymakers to create their very own bucket lists of places to visit.

“With family friendly attractions all across the UK, you may be surprised at just how many are free of charge too”.

If you’re looking for the best UK holidays for families, Vrbo’s Bucket and Spade List could help you out.