Happy Labor Day to all my American Readers. I know that this is "official end of summer vacation" but according to my calendar, summer does not actually end until September 20 so there's still time to have some fun. Speaking of fun, I thought today we could take a tour of the United Kingdom's top attractions for foreign tourists with some help from Rachael Bletchly. The basis for this tour is an article submitted from Nutmeg UK who thought it would make for a good post. Let's start are journey shall we.
German visitors to "Old Blighty" (England to the rest of us) love the West Country. According to statistics released by Visit England, "more than 100,000 Germans traveled [sic] to Cornwall and Devon to the sights made famous in the books and lives of authors Rosamunde Pitcher and Agatha Christie..." German viewers who love the adventures Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple flock to the places in Brixham and Torquay, where Dame Agatha herself once tread.
|Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm|
Who doesn't love Peter Cottontail? Apparently, Japanese tourists adore this beloved children's story so much that 700,000 visitors from the Land of the Rising Sun flock to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's farm, annually. Hill Top in Sawrey and nearby Yew Tree Farm in Coniston were the sites where many of her books were written. Since 2010, Japanese tourists have charged £5 to help maintain the Lake District property.
England without spires is, well, someplace else. No place screams spires more than Oxford, England that venerable and hallowed place of higher learning. It's also the home of television's Inspector Morris and a favorite tourist destination for visitors from China. The Chinese are the fastest growing travelers to the United Kingdom-a record 179,000 in 2012 and coincidently for the Olympics-spending £300 million. After photographing the Magdalen Bridge, the Chinese are quite happy to visit that venerable and hallowed place of higher spending, the Bicester Village retail outlet.
|William Shakespeare's Birthplace|
What would a visit to the United Kingdom be without the requisite pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Bard of Stratford-on-Avon, William Shakespeare? Incomplete. Not visiting one of the UK's top tourist attractions would mean an incomplete visit for American tourists. In fact, American tourists have been coming to breath in the Shakespearean airs since the eighteenth century. However, one tourist complained, on record, about the entry fee being too high, third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson.
|Newcastle City Center|
Argentine visitors to the UK find Newcastle-on-Tyne a very attractive place to visit. The Argentines come to this port town in northeast England for the night life and cultural delights. They tango in the Bigg Market and the Quayside. Newcastle is also a must visit for tourists from down under. About 70% of Australians and New Zealanders say that a visit to Newcastle is a must when traveling to the UK.
Rachael Bletchly writes, "More Indians than ever are taking foreign holidays and by 2020 many of those 50 million tourists will be coming to the UK." Further, according to Mumbai travel insiders, many are already partaking of the delights to be had in Bournemouth. An aside, perhaps Nutmeg UK can teach me the correct pronunciation. The tourists from the Asian subcontinent love the natural beauty of the Dorset countryside, strolls along the coast topped off by eating ice cream on the beach.
The Russians, perhaps more so than Americans, do love the British royals, even though they murdered their last Czar and his family. While the Americans twice ousted the British from their shores, Ms. Bletchy reports, "In a recent survey 59% of Russian visitors listed Buckingham Palace as their 'must do' destination..." The Queen's official London residence is not the only 'must do' on the Russians's travel itinerary. Other stately homes such as Highclere Castle, Berkshire, the location for Downton Abbey and Chatsworth House in the Peak District also rate high with Russian tourists.
|221b Baker Street|
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the father of the iconic literary detective Sherlock Holmes, always had a massive following in Scandinavia and Denmark where there is a flourishing Sherlock Holmes Klubben. Perhaps it was A Scandal in Bohemia, a Holmes mystery centered around a blackmail plot involving a Scandinavian princess that drew the Danes, Swedes, Finns, and Norwegians to this most British of detectives. Perhaps this story and the Sherlock Holmes television series featuring the very talented Benedict Cumberbatch (totally biased), reignited interest in Holmes and his able assistant Dr. John Watson, sending tourists from Denmark and Sweden flocking to 221b Baker Street. Elementary.
|Harry Potter studio tour at Warner Brothers|
What tour of the United Kingdom's top attractions would be complete without experiencing the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour in Hertfordshire. The South Koreans seem to think so. The South Koreans really love Harry Potter so much that when they visit the UK, their "Seoul intention" is experiencing the Harry Potter Tour and making a pilgrimage to other sites made famous in the J.K. Rowlings series. Some devotees have actually run, head first, into a brick wall at the King's Cross Station. I presume that does have something to do with the book? Regardless, the station bosses, wishing to avoid injury-related lawsuits, have kindly installed a wizards-only "entrance" on Platform 9-3/4 where the Hogwarths Express departs.
I hope you have enjoyed our quick tour through some of the United Kingdom's top tourist attractions. It is always fun to visit places that have some hold on the imagination and certainly the United Kingdom has many such places. Other than the typical tourist places, some of my own choices would be:
|Church of St. Mary|
Whitby, Yorshire, England
The site of The Caravan Club in Liverpool, England. She loves this yeah, yeah, yeah
|The site of The Caravan Club|