National treasures 'cost too much'

The cost of visiting London heritage sites is spiralling out of control, according to a report by the Consumers' Association.

A trip to Westminster Abbey has risen in the last year from pounds 3 to pounds 4. Entrance fees for the Tower of London have in-creased by 19 per cent and now cost pounds 7.95 per adult and pounds 21.95 for a family.

A visit to Hampton Court will cost 8 per cent more than last year and English Heritage sites have gone up by 5 per cent.

Patricia Yates, editor of Holiday Which, published by the Consumers' Association, said: 'Such increases, at several times the rate of inflation, are now putting national heritage out of bounds for the great number of visitors, particularly families.

'The pricing seems to be aimed at the once in a lifetime tourist market; 80 per cent of visitors to the Tower, for example, come from overseas.

'Tourist attractions or not, there's simply no reason why anyone should be deprived of the chance to enjoy our national treasures because of high prices.'

Historic Royal Palaces, which runs the Tower of London and Hampton Court, say that higher entry fees are required to pay for restoration work and refurbishment.

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