Brits share their favourite UK attractions – and Kew Gardens comes out on top

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Brits have revealed their favourite UK attractions – with Kew Gardens coming out on top.

A study of 2,000 adults has identified the top locations they consider to be their ‘happy places’, with the Eden Project, Snowdonia National Park, and the Natural History Museum also popular.

Stonehenge, The British Museum, Bath’s Roman Baths, ZSL London Zoo and Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park also feature in the list.

While Giant’s Causeway tops the UK’s bucket list of attractions to visit in the future.

The research was commissioned to celebrate The National Lottery Open Week and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend this month – both ways of saying thanks to the money raised for good causes every week by its players.

It also found 55% associate their ‘happy places’ with their childhood.

As a result, two thirds (66%) have taken their little ones to these locations in the hope they will enjoy them as much as they do.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, said: “Now, more than ever, people are excited to rediscover their happy place, or find a new one close to home.

"We’re proud that so many incredible spaces across the arts, screen, heritage, sport, and community sectors have signed up to offer their thanks.

“National Lottery Open Week and Cinema Weekend are really exciting moments in the year for us, where an amazing variety of venues and projects across the UK give thanks to National Lottery players for the £30 million they raise each week for good causes .”

The research also identified what makes an attraction a ‘happy place’ – including “it cheers me up” (40%), “it never fails to amaze me (34%) and “I feel like I can be myself there” (20%).

Around half (53%) prefer to visit these locations with their partner, while 31%prefer to go with their kids, and 25% would rather head there with friends.

And on average, those polled have felt a special connection to a particular UK attraction for around 14 years – visiting it nine times in total.

For a whopping 81%, the bond is so strong they admitted they’ve missed their ‘happy place’ as a result of the lockdown, while 48% have developed a greater appreciation of the UK’s visitor attractions, cultural sites, history, and art.

The types of ‘happy places’ missed most are the wider UK countryside (45%), heritage sites such as castles and gardens with historical value (33%) and theatres or cinemas (31%).

Carried out through OnePoll, the study also identified what those polled want from a UK attraction, including value (44%) and fun (37%) – along with a surprise element (17%) and educational benefits for kids (16%Brits have revealed their favourite UK attractions – with Kew Gardens coming out on top).

The National Lottery commissioned photographer, Tom Oldham, to capture a portrait series celebrating people revisiting their happy places following lockdown.

Subjects include boxing champion, Nicola Adams OBE, at the Fight for Peace Academy boxing ring in London; ex Liverpool and England star John Barnes MBE, reminiscing at Wembley Stadium; and British swimmer Daniel Jervis, back in the Wales National Pool in Swansea.

The series also includes architect Akiko Kobayashi in her beloved Collective art gallery in Edinburgh; local wildlife photographer, Tal Chohan, at RSPB Sandwell in Birmingham; and writer and film director, Marley Morrison, at the BFI Southbank, London.

Speaking of his 'happy place', RSPB Sandwell in Birmingham, Photographer Tal Chohan, said: “The last year has made me appreciate local wildlife more than ever.

"Now that restrictions have lifted, I’m keen to get my friends here to show them the local natural world that I see through a lens.

"This is my happy place as I think that nature can be healing – especially this past year.

“I grew up around here, so I know the reserve quite well, and I’ve even got to know some of the wildlife pretty well too, such as Cedric the Swan.

"I’ve missed people over lockdown, so it will be great to welcome them back again.”

To say thank you for the £30million raised for good causes every week by its players, The National Lottery is offering a ‘Ticket to Your Happy Place’, with special offers and free entry during The National Lottery Open Week 5-13 June and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend 19-20 June

To explore the full selection of offers available to National Lottery players, including offers taking place online, visit NationalLotteryUnlocked.

Top five attractions in England

  1. Kew Gardens, London
  2. Eden Project, Cornwall
  3. Natural History Museum, London
  4. British Museum, London
  5. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Top five attractions in Scotland

  1. Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
  2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
  3. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  4. Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow
  5. Hampden Park, Glasgow

Top five attractions in Wales

  1. Snowdonia National Park
  2. Cardiff Castle
  3. Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, Snowdonia
  4. National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Cardiff
  5. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

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Top five attractions in Northern Ireland

  1. Giant’s Causeway
  2. Mourne Mountains
  3. Tropical Ravine at Botanic Gardens, Belfast
  4. Ulster Museum, Belfast
  5. St George’s Market, Belfast
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