When asked to guess which were the UK’s favorite attractions, you might be expected to say Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London. But it was Fountains Abbey and the royal yacht Britannia that tied for first place in a survey by consumer body Which?.
The poll of nearly 3,000 Which? members ranked venues in April and May based on value for money, helpfulness of staff and lack of crowds. Fountains Abbey, a famous monastic ruin in North Yorkshire, and the Royal Yacht Britannia, a disused royal yacht moored in Edinburgh, have become joint favorites.
The consumer group said it was “easy to see why” historic sites topped the survey at 88%. “Fountains Abbey and the Royal Yacht Britannia provide a unique day out with visitors telling us they enjoyed the opportunity to immerse themselves in a slice of history for the day,” said Guy Hobbs, editor. by Which? Travel.
Eight hundred years ago, 13 Benedictine monks seeking refuge founded Fountains Abbey by the River Skell. Last year the foundations of a medieval tannery at the abbey were discovered in the UK’s largest monastic ruin, now managed by the National Trust, revealing a ‘missing link’ and providing further insight into the history of the abbey.
“It’s so easy with a place like Fountains to think it’s exactly as the monks saw it. What we’re discovering is there’s a whole unacknowledged history,” said Mark Newman , a trusted archaeologist, upon discovery in October 2021.
Topping the consumer body’s survey for the second time since 2020, the Royal Yacht Britannia has belonged to the British Royal Family since 1660, when Charles II purchased a small collier, named HMY Royal Escape, on which he s fled to France a decade earlier. . In 1953, and 82 ships later, the Britannia was launched and later used extensively by the Royal Family on nearly 1,000 state visits.
Due to rising maintenance costs, the yacht was decommissioned in 1997 by Tony Blair and has since become a lucrative political tool for successive Prime Ministers.
In 2021, Boris Johnson announced that a new national flagship would be built, “reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a major independent maritime trading nation”. His intended successor, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, has sought to bolster his leadership campaign by pledging support for another national great ship.
“I support the idea of promoting our trade to the world,” Truss said in July, adding that she would look to the private sector to invest at the planned price of £200million.
After the pair, the Roman Baths and Pump Room in Bath took third place, alongside Culzean Castle and National Park in Scotland, managed by the National Trust for Scotland.