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UK’s favourite and worst tourist sights revealed

Folk museum tops Which? visitor attractions survey

St Fagans Abernodwydd Farmhouse

St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff is the public’s favourite UK tourist attraction, according to a Which? satisfaction survey.

Proving that visits to good attractions need not cost anything, the free, open-air folk museum (pictured) achieved a customer score of 90%, based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood to recommend.

Many of the other most highly rated attractions also have free entry:

• Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden came top in the ‘Historic Properties and Gardens’ category, with 86%
• London’s Imperial War Museum received a customer score of 85%
• Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, York’s National Railway Museum and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland each scored 83%.

Room for improvement

Paignton Pier sticks out as the worst-rated attraction overall, scoring a dismal 50%, while Stonehenge achieved the lowest score (56%) in the ‘Historic Properties and Gardens’ category.

Warwick Castle achieved a customer score of 69%, but this week the advertising watchdog criticised its website for not being upfront about non-optional card charges.

Family favourites

The Which? survey asked 3,001 members of the public online for their views on the UK tourist attractions they visited between May 2009 and May 2011. Children went along on 38% of the visits, showing the importance of attractions that offer a good family-friendly experience. 

Paultons Park near the New Forest, which includes Peppa Pig World, scored five out of five stars for its child-friendly features, and topped the category of ‘Theme parks and experiences’ with a 77% customer score. Legoland, Paignton Zoo and London’s Science Museum were among others scoring top marks for their child-friendly features.

Save money on attractions

Jonathan Mitcham, Principal Researcher at Which? Travel commented: ‘It’s great news that there are so many highly rated attractions in the UK that don’t cost a penny.

‘But with tickets for a family of four costing more than £100 at some theme parks around the UK, it’s well worth searching out discounts for those.

‘Buying tickets in advance online can save on entry costs, though watch out for credit and debit card charges with certain attractions. Use points and vouchers accrued through loyalty schemes such as Tesco Clubcard Rewards or Nectar, and take a look at websites such as www.vouchercodes.co.uk that usually have plenty of deals such as ‘2-for-1′ offers and free child tickets.’

More on this:

        Find scores and ratings for all 72 attractions in the October issue of Which? Travel magazine.

        Join our Which? Conversation to share your experiences of visits to UK attractions.

        Advice on 10 free and cheap activities for kids      

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