Top UK destinations people have never visited - but desperately want to

Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands were amoung the top bucket list destinatiosn for travellers

Astrid Cooper
Tuesday 24 October 2023 13:17 BST
A poll of 2000 Brits revealed 11 per cent are stuck in a holiday rut
A poll of 2000 Brits revealed 11 per cent are stuck in a holiday rut (Dean Allan / SWNS.COM)

Loch Ness is the top UK destination people have never visited - but desperately want to, according to research.

The mysterious lake topped a poll of 20 ‘bucket listtourist attractions, followed by the Scottish Highlands and the environmentally focused Eden Project in Cornwall.

The iconic White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, the picturesque Scottish Coastline and London’s Kew Gardens, were also popular ‘wish list’ destinations.

The poll of 2000 Brits revealed 11 per cent are stuck in a holiday rut, as 60 per cent like familiarity, but a 18 per cent are unsure of where to go.

And 13 per cent are ‘afraid to risk trying somewhere new’.

As a result, nearly a third (31 per cent) of Southerners have never been to Scotland, with 29 per cent of Northern residents never venturing as far south as Devon or Cornwall.

The research was commissioned by London North Eastern Railway (LNER) which has teamed up with Visit Kent, Southeastern, St. Pancras International and the King’s Cross Neighbourhood to launch an extended fourth version of its popular LNER Green Guide series.

The latest version of the guide features environmentally friendly traveller tips for people looking to discover the best of the south and east Coasts of England and Scotland with the guide focusing on Leeds, Aberdeen, Canterbury, Folkestone, and the King’s Cross St. Pancras area - all ‘underdiscovered’ gems.

David Horne, managing director for the brand, said: “In spite of the fact that three quarters of us want a staycation this year and millions of us want to do that as part of a wider sustainability commitment, it’s clear that we just don’t know where to start.

“We’re visiting destinations on repeat, yet there are so many gems just waiting to be explored.”

The study also found half (49 per cent) have three or more UK destinations on their bucket list.

With Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria, Stonehenge in Salisbury, and London’s Buckingham Palace also featuring on the nation’s list of places they’d love to visit.

It emerged 43 per cent have never visited the beautiful and historic town of Canterbury, while three in 10 have never ventured to Leeds.

More than seven in 10 (73 per cent) of those likely to visit areas of the UK they’ve never seen before are planning a trip within the next 12 months.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 21 per cent have simply passed through England’s capital, without taking the time to enjoy the rich nature, culture and gastro opportunities London has to offer.

In fact, 72 per cent were unaware the cultural hotspots of the newly developed Granary Square and tranquillity of Regent’s Canal are within 10 minutes walking distance of London’s King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations.

The research also found 37 per cent said it’s important they stay somewhere that is environmentally friendly, while almost half (48 per cent) want to support places that source food locally.

David Horne added: “This autumn, we’re delighted to partner with other leading travel and tourism partners - to bring green travel inspiration to millions dreaming of staycations.

“We’re lucky to live in a country with vibrant, diverse, and beautiful locations all within easy reach by the most sustainable form of transport.

“Whether you’re looking to explore sweeping scenery, historic landmarks or cities buzzing with life, the possibilities are endless.”

Top 20 UK destinations on Brits’ wish lists:

  1. Loch Ness, Drumnadrochit
  2. The Scottish Highlands
  3. Eden Project, Cornwall
  4. Lake District, Cumbria
  5. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  6. Roman Baths, Bath
  7. Jurassic Coast, Dorset
  8. Stonehenge, Salisbury
  9. Ben Nevis, Fort William
  10. Land’s End, Cornwall
  11. Scottish Coastline
  12. Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria
  13. Kew Gardens, London
  14. Windsor Castle, Berkshire
  15. Mount Snowdon, Gwynedd
  16. Buckingham Palace, London
  17. The Needles, Isle of Wight
  18. The Peak District, Derbyshire
  19. York Minster, York
  20. White Cliffs of Dover, Kent

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