More than 5,000 tourists give their opinions on the United Kingdom’s top historic attractions, which include the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Tower of London, the Ullswater Steamers, and Cliveden.

best UK attractions

When we asked 5,402 members from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to rate a total of 50 historic attractions, the winner was not the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s birthplace, or even Stonehenge.

The findings of the survey indicate that modern visitors to our historic attractions expect more from them than the simple fact that they have stood the test of time.

We would love the opportunity to brandish a sword at the Tower of London or to go snooping around the Queen’s bedroom while the Royal Yacht Britannia is docked at the Tower of London. In addition to that, there are some unexpected hot spots for tourists.

The likes of Culzean Castle, Tyntesfield, and Stourhead House and Gardens were all rated as being among the top ten best attractions in the UK, beating out other destinations that are more well-known.

Because of the coronavirus restrictions, we are forced to look closer to home for weekend activities; however, there is no better time than the present to learn about the best attractions in the United Kingdom for families, couples, and individuals who are interested in history.

The Royal Yacht Britannia is the most popular historical site in the UK, with a rating of 90%.

best UK attractions

The warmth and cosiness of the former yacht of the Queen, which completed its final voyage in 1997, is a large part of the boat’s appeal. Now that they are finished, we can gawk at the rooms that the Queen herself designed, which feature floral curtains, comfortable upholstered furniture, and chintz that is surprisingly reminiscent of the 1950s suburbs.

Guests of the ship, which was constructed in Clydebank in 1953 and is now permanently berthed in Leith, have the opportunity to explore the vessel at their leisure while listening to an informative audio guide (the quality of information provided was rated five stars in our survey).

On the Royal Deck, where Charles and Anne used to play deck quoits and where the Duke of Edinburgh liked to paint, champagne cream teas are served. This is an opportunity for you to dine as if you were a member of the royal family. The guests rated both the food and the drink with five stars overall.

89% of visitors ranked Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden as the top attraction in the United Kingdom.

Foutains Abbey best UK attractions

It was a very close finish, but Fountains Abbey ended up coming in second place, behind only the Royal Yacht Britannia. It earned a perfect score of five stars for the absence of crowds, which is ideal at a time when the absence of crowds is particularly important to all of us.

It means that visitors can roam with plenty of space between the two worlds: the Royal Water Garden with its peaceful, mirror-like pools, statues, and follies, and the well-preserved, impressively grand Romanesque Abbey ruins. The Royal Water Garden was designed to look like a series of mirrors. It is recommended that visitors begin their exploration of the country’s largest monastic ruin at the hilltop lookout located within the Water Gardens.

William Aislabie, the man who designed the garden, realised that there are few focal points that are more impressive and more surprising than a ruined abbey, so in 1767 he purchased the abbey with the intention of incorporating it into his grandiose landscape scheme.

Stourhead House and Gardens, which is located in the United Kingdom, comes in third place.

Stourhead House best UK attractions

Stourhead House, a Palladian mansion that is home to some incredible artwork, takes the third spot on our list. The focus of the property, however, is on the landscaped gardens, which feature an Arcadian world of classical temples, grottos, rare trees, and follies, all of which are reflected in a large, still lake. This garden can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

It is home to some of the tallest trees in the United Kingdom, including a 40-meter oak, which shed their leaves in a spectacular manner during the fall season. The Stourhead House and Gardens are notable for more than just their aesthetic appeal. Which? readers had very positive things to say about the facilities, the food and drink offerings, the lack of crowds, the information, and the value for their money.

The Tower of London is the fourth most popular tourist destination in the UK.

Tower of London best UK attractions

Even though it is a well-known landmark, the Tower of London manages to keep its visitors on their toes with its constantly evolving roster of fascinating exhibits. Be prepared to wait in line as a result of the large number of people who are attracted to it because of its one-of-a-kind promise of horrifying histories, dazzling jewels, and friendly Beefeaters. The lack of crowds earned it a score of only two out of five points.

The largest diamond in the world, armour that has been worn by multiple kings, and sculptures of exotic animals from the royal menagerie can all be found in this location.

You will also be able to learn about some of the most gruesome events in British history in the actual locations where those events took place.

At the Tower of London, people were put to death, tortured, and imprisoned. Visitors can participate in bloodthirsty activities like shooting an arrow to get a better sense of what life was like at the Tower. It is not surprising that it received a perfect score of five out of five for engagement. Attraction number five in the United Kingdom:

Houses of Parliament, accounting for 86%

Houses of Parliament best UK attractions

The birthplace of democracy in the United Kingdom came in fifth place. When you pay a visit to the Houses of Parliament, you will have the opportunity to explore the chambers, as well as Westminster Hall, which dates back to the 11th century, with the assistance of an audio or tour guide to get a sense of the “palace” where the most important decisions for the nation are made.

In addition to discussing current political issues, the tour guides will educate you on the past history of the structure, which will include the blaze that occurred in 1834 and destroyed a significant portion of the structure. As tours do not take place on a daily basis, it is not surprising that it can get quite crowded, so it is in your best interest to book tickets online in advance and check opening times.

In our poll, it only received a score of three out of a possible five points for the absence of lines. If you live in the UK and want to attend the event for free, contact your member of parliament (MP).