Edinburgh Festival Fringe named UK’s top experience by Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet ranked 500 of the UK’s best sights and experiences

Cathy Adams
Tuesday 13 August 2019 09:54 BST
Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been ranked the UK's top experience by Lonely Planet
Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been ranked the UK's top experience by Lonely Planet (David Monteith Hodge)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been crowned the UK’s top experience in a new ranking.

The largest arts festival in the world, taking place this month, topped Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist.

Also in the top 20 were two other unmissable Scottish sights: Glencoe in the Highlands and Arthur’s Seat, also in the capital.

Travel experts from Lonely Planet ranked 500 sights and experiences across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands to compile the list.

According to Lonely Planet, Edinburgh Festival Fringe “floods the city with art and nowhere beats it for spectacle or scale”.

“There is theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, opera, music and spoken word, and whatever the time of day, an acrobat, trapeze artist, contortionist or tried-and-tested bagpiping busker will be pleased to entertain you.

Simply step through the looking glass and prepare to be dazzled by the greatest show of arts and culture on Earth.”

The festival was followed by the British Museum in London; Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland; the city of Bath; and Hadrian’s Wall to make up the top five.

London had five entries in the top 20, of which three were in the city’s zippy SE1 neighbourhood: the Tate Modern, Borough Market and the South Bank.

Other entries in the top 500 sights and experiences included using Victoria Pier’s public toilets in Hull; getting a fast train to Margate; visiting the renovated Birmingham library; and watching tennis at Wimbledon.

Top 20 UK experiences according to Lonely Planet

  1. Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh
  2. British Museum, London
  3. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
  4. Bath, Southwest England
  5. Hadrian’s Wall, Northeast England
  6. Sunday pub roast
  7. Tate Modern, London
  8. Stonehenge, Southwest England
  9. Windermere, Cumbria
  10. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South Wales
  11. Punting in Cambridge, East Anglia
  12. Glastonbury Festival, Southwest England
  13. St Paul’s Cathedral, London
  14. The Scilly Isles, Southwest England
  15. Stratford-upon-Avon, Midlands and The Marches
  16. Borough Market, London
  17. Glencoe, Highlands and Islands
  18. Yorkshire Dales National Park
  19. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
  20. South Bank, London

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in