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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK
Would you holiday in the UK?
Blackpool tower
The Queen is at Legoland today in an effort to promote British tourism.

She and nine other members of the Royal Family are visiting some of the UK's top tourist attractions as part of British Tourist Day.

The industry has lost an estimated 3bn since the 11 September terrorist attacks in America, the foot-and-mouth outbreak in the UK, and the Iraq war.

Would you visit the UK? What attractions would you recommend to visitors? Has your job been affected by falling tourist numbers?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Let's face it - the UK is not exactly the world's hotspot in terms of weather. In the four week summer window, any spot worth seeing is so full that it's crazy to even try. With Europe opened up and cheap, why not open up the horizons and leave UK to those who don't live here?
George Blair, UK

I have to join the chorus of many: The UK is simply too expensive and not good value for money. Many hotels are substandard and antiquated (far from quaint), but charge prices as if they were a regal residence. Little distinction is made between kitsch and quality sights, and entrance prices are plain astonishing. Wake up to the real world: It's not only 9/11 and the Iraq war that keeps tourists out of Britain.
Jurgen W Schulze, Miami, USA

Of course, before I was married, I lived in England for many years and ever since I had children, I have travelled to England many times. Now my boys are older they love it there and appreciate the beautiful and historic sights - It's a great place to get about and have fun!
Mariam, Maryland, USA

Most seaside towns have something to offer
Martin Curtis, England
I would recommend Legoland, Waterworld in Stoke, Dovedale, the Lake District, the fantastic landscape of the Cambridgeshire Fens and the Norfolk Broads. Most seaside towns have something to offer, and there are varieties from Great Yarmouth and Blackpool with the huge entertainment scene to places like Gorleston, Old Hunstanton or Wells which are less hectic. Every area of GB has something to attract visitors and if you look there is something for everyone.
Martin Curtis, England

I love doing the tourist bit in the UK but the prices are simply too high. It actually works out cheaper to go to Europe for a week then a few miles up the road.
Cath Tomlinson, UK

Not a chance!!! We have just finished taking four American friends on a tour of Scotland - I have never been so ashamed in all my life. With one clear exception - Fort George - we met with uniformity of rudeness, unhelpfulness, overpricing and mediocrity at every turn. Scotland needs to wise up big time - people work hard for their money and they deserve a lot better than is currently on offer - how about a bit less kitsch and a lot more substance.
Hazel, Edinburgh, Scotland

We're a reserved nation
Chris, England
We're holidaying in Northumberland next week. The cottage looks wonderful and is costing us under 350, the scenery spectacular and if it's wet the dark skies make the colours of the hills even more vibrant. Holiday locations around the Med always seem baked dry and arid - too hot to go exploring on foot. As for the comments about the British being unwelcoming, we're a reserved nation. My local at the weekend had a couple of American tourists in - you could hear their conversation OVER everyone else's! Try to fit in with the environment you're in and keep the noise down (especially in our sleepy villages).
Chris, England

Absolutely. My family and I were in the UK on holiday last month. I would definitely recommend the many beautiful stately homes and unique castles as well as the wonderful nature areas but, oh my goodness, the prices! A dinner for one costs as much as a dinner for a whole family here. Three nights in a middle class hotel costs as much as a South African school teacher earns in a month! If the UK is serious about tourism from non European countries then prices have to come down.
Stephen Jeffrey, South Africa

Value for money is the main reason why so many of us choose to holiday abroad. Every year for the 12 years my family has been camping. We've been to France, Wales and Devon. The French campsite was superb, good facilities, well maintained. The site in Wales was in a great position and the facilities were OK. The site in Devon was also OK but the comparative costs were ridiculous. To travel to Brittany and Camp for 5 nights including all our food and drink, sightseeing etc cost us far less than the week in Wales (wet weather entertainment is pricey and so is parking!) or the rain drenched bank holiday week in Devon.

We now try to do day trips to UK attractions and also have a short spring break in the UK but take our main holiday in France. We love holidaying in the UK but the reality is that we could not afford to have our main holiday here unless we give up all other family trips during the rest of the year.
Mandy, UK

It's all too easy to take it for granted
Neil Wood, Scotland
I have travelled all round the world to over 70 countries and I honestly believe that no where in the world, with the possible exception of France, has as much to see and do as The British Isles. I currently live in Australia, not through choice, and go home, to Scotland, on holiday as often as possible. Living somewhere with virtually nothing to see like Australia really brings home how much there is to see in your own country. It's all too easy to take it for granted. What I would say is that hotel accommodation in the UK is very overpriced and so are meals. This can be very off putting when you can spend six months somewhere like India for the same amount of money as two weeks in the UK.
Neil Wood, Scotland

I lived in London for a year back in the Sixties and have returned on holiday more than a dozen times since. It is like a second home. The countryside is beautiful, the food is what it is--good comfort food and the weather? Well, it never rains inside a pub, does it?
Bob K, USA

I like to reach the top of mountains
Kevin, UK
Our family usually holidays in Britain. I'm not one for lounging on the beach turning myself into a prune; I like to go and see stuff; I like to reach the top of mountains. There's more than enough of that in the UK.
Kevin, UK

Standing in the car park of the Chichester branch of Safeway's queuing for the cashpoint with a light drizzle descending from the heavens is a sensation second to none!
Nick Stutley, UK

I love going on holiday in the UK. We might not get guaranteed weather but when you look at the increase of skin cancer it is probably a blessing! The downsides to the UK are every town centre is the same, a lack of diversity with regard to shops is a disappointment, except in York! If you can rough it in a tent the costs are far cheaper.
Jennie, UK

Who wants to leave the UK for a holiday, when there are more drunken British louts abroad than there are back here?
Andy, UK

The cost of decent holiday accommodation is too expensive
Mark Wood, England
I have never understood why people, who live in the UK, would wish to go on holiday there. The cost of decent holiday accommodation is far too expensive. It's cheaper to travel to Europe and depending on where you go the sun is guaranteed.
Mark Wood, England

Moan, moan, moan! Especially if it means knocking our own country, history, culture and traditions. That's probably why I'd go abroad, to get away from the constant whingeing. Let's face it, nowhere's perfect: the British just seem to be the best at highlighting what's wrong. We are never going to improve our tourism if all we ever do is knock what we have to offer.
Robbie, UK

I am British and very proud of it. I have lived in Holland for 10 years now and do go back to the UK twice a year. Unfortunately, it is too expensive to visit the UK for a holiday. Hotel prices are very steep. It's much easier and cheaper for us to visit our neighbouring countries with the same currency.
Diane Sparreboom, The Netherlands

I have lived, worked, and holidayed in different countries around the world. And, whilst I can appreciate their individuality and beauty, it is my homeland of Scotland which never fails to take my breath away. Having lived in extremely hot and extremely cold climates, I have grown to love our weather.
Marina, Scotland, UK

Only the Royals could afford a holiday in Britain!
Henry, London

What really keeps me away is how racist the UK is becoming.
Miguel Nieto, Germany
I lived, and worked, in the UK for 10 years. I'm now in Germany. No, after living in the UK, I'll not travel there. Not even to see my family! What really keeps me away is how racist the UK is becoming. No, I don't need to experience some of the bad times I had when I lived there.
Miguel Nieto, Germany

With my caravan attached to the back of my car I can go any place I please. Britain is such a diverse country with wonderful places of interest. My favourite is Eastbourne, it is so lively and the nightlife is very vibrant.
Barney Hesketh, UK

I think what attracts people to UK is its rich history, the rustic buildings and renovated pubs. Though the Tourism Council wanted to change the old London image with some new injection eg building London Eye in the heart of the old city, it was a disappointment for a tourist like me to see the new does not match with the old. Though it is still a pleasant ride up there. Scotland on the other hand, still maintains that rich 'Scottish' character.
Pia, Canada

The clouds and midges never lifted
Roger, Scotland
I would need to be absolutely off my head to pay to holiday in Britain. Last year we had a long weekend in Argyll. The clouds and midges never lifted, the 'resort' staff were incredibly rude, the nearest (only) restaurant did not serve food after 1.30 and the nearest shop open on a Sunday was in Oban, 15 miles away across a road that was considered too difficult to be included in the RAC rally. This year Mexico, next year France.
Roger, Scotland

I'm 18 and just got back from my first visit to the UK. I had a wonderful time, learned a lot, soaked in your culture, met many nice people and even enjoyed the food! You have a truly wonderful country and should not be shy about singing its virtues.
Felicia, Tucson, AZ USA

I am coming to visit in November for the 40th anniversary of Dr Who. I would definitely recommend London for a first time visitor. :)
Dan, USA

I went to Scotland right before the 9/11 attacks. It was great, from St Andrews, to the fringe festival in Edinburgh, to the whiskey distilleries, how could you go wrong? It was cool and rainy in August, then I fly back to NY, and its 97 degrees outside. I would go back just to escape our oppressive heat.
steve, NYC, USA

The Brits don't like Americans in their country
Isaac, California/US
No. The Brits don't like Americans in their country, so I'll go somewhere else. They're just like the French and Japanese, they don't like others in their country, are rude, then turn around and cry about their tour industry losses!? "British tourist industry" is an oxymoron!
Isaac, California/US

I've been living in Scotland for a year and whilst it is a beautiful country, the people are just so grumpy. Maybe it's cause of the weather and the litter?
Stephanie, NZ

Why must we Brits always bemoan the weather? It's partly because of our climate that we have such wonderfully diverse countryside in such a small island. I defy anyone not to be awestruck by the scenery to be found in the Peak District, Snowdonia, Scotland and the Lake District. (Incidentally, we need the rain to keep the lakes topped up). Yes, not everything is perfect: service is sometimes poor, prices high and quality mediocre, but let's be constructive in our criticism and help to change these failings, not just whinge about them.
Jane, Lake District, UK

Made us look like Python-esque caricatures
Allan McEwan, Working in Canada
I, like everyone else in British Columbia, saw the irritating 'Do come' advertisement showing shots of London, a black cab and a couple of blokes in medieval armour playing silly beggars in the Lake District... made us look like Python-esque caricatures - 'somebody tell Sid' advertising in a sophisticated, discerning culture like North America requires dedicated research and a clue.
Allan McEwan, Working in Canada

I've been holidaying in the UK for over 30 years. It's hard work. A general air of amateurism and muddling through and "we're doing you a favour", and patronising remarks about your country of origin. I only go back to see family now - holidays in the UK are too much like standing in the rain tearing up banknotes.
Dale, New Zealand

I was very disappointed to see the Prince of Wales visiting Scotland today to promote Scottish tourism, when he should have been in Wales, if his title is anything to go by.
Maxine Bileckyj, UK

When I go on holiday I always stay in the UK because I can't be bothered to fill in a passport application.
Ronnie, UK

Streams, fells, misty rain, scudding clouds, rainbow of wildflowers
Sande, USA
Wales in the autumn is simply Technicolor beautiful - hues of fuchsia, gold and russet against emerald green grassy hillsides - I felt like Dorothy in the Land of Oz! The Lake District is dramatic and ever-changing, with its streams, fells, misty rain, scudding clouds, rainbow of wildflowers and character-filled villages. Morecambe and its Bay have incredible sunsets - and somebody PLEASE buy and restore the Midland Hotel to its original Art Deco glory! Being fogged in way up at Kirkstone Pass Inn, lunching on Morecambe Bay shrimp and Scottish salmon is a unique memory; it's practically a second home now.
Sande, USA

With the monster that is the British pound, I would gladly spend my weak Namibian dollar in South America or the Far East.
Elvis, Namibia

I often wonder why some people bother leaving the UK for holidays, they go to English bars, eat English food, speak only English, and read British tabloids, and complain about anything that is not 'British'.
Ed, UK

It's the ridiculous time in the evening that the country closes. Say 11pm to a foreigner and they think you are joking and scoff at us for accepting being told by our government when we should go to bed. When people are on holiday - many want to relax and let their hair down beyond our nanny state watershed time.
Paul Cave, UK

The churches in England are so depressing compared to the continent. The reformation destroyed the great abbeys, which remain in ruins and the Anglicans have taken so much beautiful art from the churches they took over. If you want to see a beautiful and working monastery, come to the Benedictine Abbey of Melk in Austria. There are many others.
Rosa, Austrian/ Belgium

It's pricey, the weather's foul, the roads are always busy! But the pubs and the real ale more than make up for that!
Tom Potts, UK

The children really don't care if the weather is fabulous
Stefan Thomas, UK
An English seaside holiday is inexpensive and the children really don't care if the weather is fabulous all the time. Rock pooling in Devon is much more attractive to my children than lying by a pool in Greece. We've always found English restaurants close to seaside resorts ARE very accommodating to children. All this and we don't have to endure a three or four hour flight on a tiny plane which really doesn't try to accommodate the needs of children.
Stefan Thomas, UK

I wanted to travel around parts of the UK by national rail for two weeks in June. Even with young person's discount it is cheaper for me to go abroad!!
E Kingscote (21), UK

One summer holiday in the (guaranteed) sun and the other in the UK because it's home and does have a lot to offer (if only it wouldn't rain!)
Andrew, UK

The UK is one of my favourite places to visit. I try to make it over once a year, and there's never any shortage of things to keep me occupied. I've never had any trouble with the service, either. And you can't complain about the weather until you've spent time in Russia in January!
Drusilla, North Carolina, USA

The only thing I would like to see improved is our approach to families
John Smith, UK
Having been here and there around the world I would rate the UK over most other holiday destinations on the planet. The only thing I would like to see improved is our approach to families... child tickets cost a fortune at most places; getting a child's portion of food in most (proper)restaurants is a pain; some adult Brits seem to forget they were children once upon a time.
John Smith, UK

I would love to go back to the UK. I actually dream one day of living in London with my family and marrying a beautiful Brit. I love the UK, I would be back in a heartbeat.
Dominic, US

Nowhere in the world is quite as beautiful as Sussex in spring. For this reason, the locals try to keep you out with disgusting or grotesquely expensive food, unpleasant attitudes and a lack of the euro. As a tourist, I prefer Finland.
Johnny Rooke, France

I get better food at my local than I was served last year in Paris. I have never yet found a better country for lowland and fell walking. Culture can be equalled, but not bettered and my idea of hell is to have to lie on a hot beach for a week.
Paul, England

I would not holiday in UK because if I was applying for a visa from a Third World country I would be refused but since I apply from US I get it on the same day. Therefore I will not spend my money in a country that is discriminatory.
Sandra, USA

Sandra, US - news flash - all countries are discriminatory, including your own. Relax and live a little.
Joe, USA

It's bad enough living here!
Lee Furness, UK

My favourite place is Whitby. Stunning coastline, so close to the beautiful North York moors, steeped in history and fantastic curios. The hotels are a very reasonably priced. The service was outstanding and the experience was that of a lifetime - so much so that I am hoping to get married there
Rachel, UK

Sexy, sexy accents
Anon, US
I would like to visit England and Japan the most but it costs so much when you are lower-middle class. If I ever get the chance I would love to visit the UK and see the sights, go to a concert, and just chat with some Brits (sexy, sexy accents).
Anon, US

My family is going to Wales this year for our holiday. It's the greatest place to be and has the best rain in the world.
Keith, UK

I have worked in a tourist info centre for years and last week was told that my pay would go down considerably and I will now be earning what I was on four years ago, which leaves me and my colleagues on the poverty line. This is just another example of how the government and local authorities just pay lip service to tourism.
Anon, UK

You must be joking!
Jeff Roper, UK

In a heartbeat! Culture, history, beautiful scenery, famous hospitality and those wonderful ales - what's not to love?
Marcus, US

I don't like rain, yobbos or chips with everything
Helen, UK
I don't like rain, yobbos or chips with everything. I want to leave the UK for good, not holiday in it! I like the sun, we don't see it here. I like Europeans as they are very friendly, I like learning the language of the country I go to.
Helen, UK

In a New York minute! Aside from the bad weather and the quirky pub hours, I've found Brits are generally inviting and hospitable. Even your argumentative and bombastic attitude towards Americans can be charming.
Dan Murray, Boston, USA

I will never visit UK. I am a Turkish citizen and I have been living in Belgium for 10 years. When I wanted to go to London for just two days, the British embassy asked for so many silly documents (including the information on my bank account and letters from my company testifying that I really work there and I really go on holidays!) I found it humiliating. I have visas from so many countries including the US, Syria, China, but I never had such an arrogant attitude. So, when I travel without pain to the rest of the world, why shall I bother to get UK visa?
Karatekin, Turkey

I would visit! Indeed, it will be the first country I visit when I graduate.
Melissa, US

Look what we offer: The worst service, with the most reluctance on earth
John Battersby-Hill, UK
I have travelled extensively all over this blighted planet of ours, and I have yet to find anywhere that is as lovely as the UK. Look what we have to offer the foreign tourist: We have wonderful scenery; glorious history, and some of the most ignorant people, giving the worst service, with the most reluctance on earth. If we could be as clean and as courteous as the Irish we would have it all.
John Battersby-Hill, UK

I might holiday in the UK, although some of the buildings seem a little old.
Andy, USA

I'd stay in Scotland and holiday here every year if authorities would clean up the town centres since people don't like to use bins. I live in a seaside town and I'm never finished complaining in our local paper about irresponsible dog owners. I had friends staying from the US a few weeks ago and to get me over my embarrassment of "dog doings" on the pavement - they made of game of counting them and the winner bought the first drinks. I was humiliated.
Helen, UK

I have made eight trips to the UK since 1991 - seven of them in the past five years, and I am considering another this summer. On every trip the UK has proven itself to be an almost magical place. The history, the scenery, and the people - friendly, open, and always welcoming to visitors. Of course I'd holiday in the UK! I couldn't imagine not!
Chet Cutick, Staten Island, NY USA

We are going to Scotland for a week in August. We tend to holiday in Britain every other year, since there is nothing worse than children growing up knowing only their own small local environment and the road to the airport.
Edward, UK

There is considerable room for improvement in the way we treat foreign visitors
Neil, UK
Personally I would visit the UK, though I think there is considerable room for improvement in the way we treat foreign visitors. If numbers of foreign visitors are once again to increase we perhaps need to address issues of overpriced goods and services, poor (mono-lingual) service, sub-standard transport infrastructure links and so forth. Britain does undoubtedly have a lot to offer visitors, but perhaps that in itself is not good enough?
Neil, UK

I moved to Milan in Italy 18 months ago, which is very close to the Italian Alps and numerous other beautiful places. However, leaving England has made me appreciate its special beauty even more. The Lake District is spectacular and, although much of the scenery in the UK, or England particularly, doesn't have the drama of other countries, this is what makes it special. Nothing beats the soft undulations of the Salisbury Plain in high summer when the corn is ripe and you can see for miles.
Martyn, Italy

If Britain has good weather, there is no reason to travel anywhere else! There is nothing nicer than a cliff walk, or a great beach with rock pools or a wander to the local real ale pub. We have cuisine from all over the world with little threat of a dicky tummy! When the weather is less favourable, there are attractions and museums, sports centres and shops. It is also less hassle, no delays at the airport, no transfers or lost luggage. I'm off to St Ives in Cornwall soon, and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather go!
Heps, England

You need to understand where your ancestors came from and how they lived
Christine, England
I am really looking forward to visiting the Orkney Islands later this month. It is a holiday that will be filled full of historic site visits and warm, friendly people in a group of islands that are unique and so full of character. I've done SE Asia, America, Europe and Australia all in the last 12 months but Orkney is the one I am most looking forward to, I think you need to understand where your ancestors came from and how they lived - you can't get that outside the UK.
Christine, England

I doubt if there is a more pleasant country in the world than the UK. The flora and fauna can hold their own with any other and we also have the advantage of animals and insects that pose no threat to us. The worst you will get is a bite from an adder, and I doubt if 5% of people have ever seen one. Give me the UK every time.
Rick Remlane, England

I have been fortunate enough to visit the US several times, central Asia, Malaysia, most of the European countries more times than I can remember. I have many wonderful memories of these places. Yet, I have to say that some of my most memorable times have been here in the UK! It has probably the highest density and most varied attractions for a holiday anywhere in the world! You may find something, somewhere in the world to beat any one attraction - but you won't find that variety and density anywhere else.
Jim, UK

Last year I spent three months travelling around Europe, the last five days of which were spent in London. I must have been exhausted from travelling so much because it didn't hit me until I got back to LA just how fabulous London was. I am going to sell my car just so I can make another trip!
Tom, USA

We would come more often if we could get decent food for the price we pay in Belgium
Anneke Pieters-Guide, Belgium
Britain is one of our favourite destinations and we would come more often if we could get decent food for the price we pay in Belgium. When one goes to a popular attraction, one does not feel popular at all. We do not expect to be treated like non-paying VIP's, but we expect staff to be civil.
Anneke Pieters-Guide, Belgium

Britain has some of the most beautiful landscapes to be found anywhere in the world, and deserves to be appreciated. Although the weather can be a bit dodgy and unpredictable I would chose a holiday in the UK over places like Greece or Spain any day - and I've been all over the world so I should know!
Graeme, England

Sometimes we travel to explore a new world, when there's often a massive world right on our own doorstep, ready to be enjoyed. Certainly this is true where I live in South Wales anyway, with plenty of beautiful coastline. Ok so you have to wait for a sunny day to enjoy it at its fullest, but coming back from a British holiday I feel relaxed and ready to start work. Often, returning from a foreign holiday I feel like I need a break at home to recover!
Paul Elliott, UK

I have never really had a problem with the weather on my holidays
Charles Sweetman, UK
I have also grown up holidaying in the UK, the south of England to be exact, I have never really had a problem with the weather on my holidays. The weather from London to the most southern coasts is quite a lot sunnier and warmer than elsewhere in the UK. Brighton, Isle of Wight, and Cornwall on a few occasions have dozens of memories of laying back with the sun blazing down for days on end.
Charles Sweetman, UK

I will be enjoying my honeymoon in Bath, Falmouth and the Scilly Isles later this summer. I think it can be too hot abroad during July and August and you're more at risk from skin cancer when it's hotter. I prefer to be cooler and not feel as though my blood is boiling.
Rachel Davies, UK

I've travelled to many fine places abroad and do prefer foreign travel, but only to sample the different way of life. As regards things to see I would say the UK has a wealth of interesting sites comparable to anywhere. In my eyes York Minster is a building that stands proud as one of the world's most beautiful.
Mick Smith, UK

Yes! Having just enjoyed a brief weekend in Cornwall - had forgotten how wonderful it could be. After spending months in Sydney and a couple of weeks in New Zealand I came back determined to appreciate my own country more. Next time in Cornwall, the Eden Project is a must see for my family. Come on, let's celebrate what the UK has to offer - stuff the weather, we're tough enough aren't we?
Andy Lea, UK

It has some lousy weather and no idea about service
Jonathon, England
During one stay in Cornwall, my wife and I walked into a pub/hotel at 3.00pm to overhear the owners moaning about lack of trade. When we asked for food, we were told it was too late. This was not a one-off experience. Yes, the UK has some fantastic scenery and a great history. It also has some lousy weather and no idea about service. Children are often seen as a pain and the as for the prices...how can we compare a week in Cornwall with two weeks in the med with guaranteed weather? But speaking as an Englishman, the best bit about going abroad is not meeting any other Englishmen!
Jonathon, England

I would not holiday in the UK. Firstly, the weather is disastrous. Secondly, the food is far from interesting at hugely over-rated prices compared to southern France, or even Paris! Thirdly, price of accommodation for my family and I is totally unreasonable compared to Scandinavian countries (four star hotels in Denmark for a family are the same price as a B&B in Oxfordshire).

Then once you get there, getting around is best done by car, and the cost of fuel alone is enough to put most continental Europeans off the idea all together. All in all, these factors push me more to a holiday in France than in the UK. The fact that France is in the euro helps too.
Stephen Taylor, Belgium

The US beats the UK at almost everything
David Marshall, UK
Having just been on a short holiday to Washington DC, I was reminded why I never choose to stay at home for my breaks... The US beats the UK at almost everything; customer service, transportation, value for money and yes, even the weather!! As an added bonus, I didn't hear the words "euro" or "Blair" the entire time I was away!!!
Andrew, UK

We own a B&B in the New Forest. Bookings are up by about 30% this year so it appears people are rediscovering the beauty of this area. As for expensive accommodation - is 45 for a double room and a huge breakfast really that extortionate?
David Marshall, UK

Living in West Dorset feels like a holiday every day of the year - quiet pubs, lost villages, stunning beaches, flower strewn country lanes, but best of all: a summer evening at home in the garden, glass in hand watching my chickens scratch, the veg growing and buzzards lazily riding the thermals overhead.
N Cooper, Dorset, UK

We have holidayed in the UK, showing American friends our country, and enjoyed it. The weather one can cope with - it's expected that it will rain - but the sheer amateurism, sloppiness and high prices of British hotels and restaurants defies belief. How can you explain to a tourist the rationale behind a restaurant that will serve apple pie and ice cream as a dessert, but which refuses to serve the ice cream on its own? This happened to us, believe it or not. These days, if holidaying in the UK, we stay in pubs: food is usually better, atmosphere more congenial, facilities just as good, and room prices about half what an independent hotel would charge.
Neil Murray, UK

We always holiday in UK. Fabulous scenery, climate not as bad as made out & you never know what you'll find round the next corner. Country pubs nearly always a delight. For me, a holiday on the Norfolk Broads cannot be topped.
Chris White, England

I frequently go rock climbing all over the UK, be it Wales, Scotland or England. The feeling of being in the Welsh or Scottish mountains, surrounded by stunning scenery whilst halfway up a rock face can not be beaten.
James Jackson, UK

Our country is stunning. However, so is the cost of having a holiday here
Christina, England
I think, when the weather is good, there is no better place to be than in the UK. Our country is stunning. However, so is the cost of having a holiday here. Accommodation, car hire, entrance to attractions, it is all far too expensive, and I hate to say it, but service and standards are still not as good as they could be. The UK is a great place, but I think most of us will only holiday here for a short while as we can be abroad for longer for less money. That is a great shame.
Christina, England

I have travelled the length and breadth of our green and pleasant place for the 28 years of my life. I am also northern so have had holidays in the Lake District, west and east coast seaside resorts as well as the Pennine national parks. All of which are simply gorgeous. I defy anyone to disagree that the Lake District, in particular, is an outstanding place of natural beauty and adventure.

It is a miniature New Zealand in many respects with its own micro-climate, ever changing scenery, long and lush lakes steeped in history and globally documented literature. When I travel to the Lakes on my many journeys there per year I am always amazed at the lack of tourist presence particularly in the outer regions namely, Grassmere, Grisdale and Wastewater.
Guy, United Kingdom

Absolutely! I'm looking into it for this fall. The UK is so rich in history and I'm sure I would find London's nightlife a blast. It is the only foreign soil I have ever thought to go to. I was so moved when London played our national anthem at the Changing of the Guard. I cried so hard watching that. That gesture made me start watching the BBC news here in the States and gave me a different perspective on international news. I look forward to my visit.
Mr Sandy Clark, US

We have some of the most spectacular coastline of anywhere in the world
Mike, UK
I love to travel all over the world but I also like to explore my home country - Britain. We have some of the most spectacular coastline of anywhere in the world, especially in west Wales, Cornwall and Scotland, stunning countryside that is fantastic to hike through, and the endless fascinations of our long and colourful history. I never get tired of it - though the weather could be a lot better some of the time!
Mike, UK

With a new baby, I holidayed in the UK for the first time in years in 2002, spending two weeks in Cornwall. We were even lucky with the weather, but somehow being in the UK, visiting British supermarkets and watching UK TV left me feeling that it wasn't a proper holiday.

Going abroad on holiday is more than just seeking guaranteed good weather - it's about a change of scenery, seeing new things, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and broadening your horizons. These are experiences that Britain is unable to offer to the same degree simply because it is 'home'. So I might not choose to holiday in the UK but after travelling widely, I'm pretty sure that there's nowhere I'd rather live.
Ant, England, UK

For a holiday of a week or more, I'd happily explore the countryside of Wales and Scotland. But for England, only long weekends would tickle my fancy. Prohibitive costs of accommodation and travel are a major factor, but so is the sense of 'having already seen it'.
Wendy, UK

Scotland or Miami? I'll choose Scotland every time
Amy, UK
I do holiday in the UK, either walking or sailing holidays. The UK is a beautiful place and it's a shame that people explore other countries while ignoring what we have here. Holidaying in the UK doesn't have to be expensive either: budget airlines, budget car rental and youth hostels make it very accessible. Scotland or Miami? I'll choose Scotland every time.
Amy, UK

There are some spectacularly beautiful places to visit in Scotland, to rival any in the world. Explore your own country, before exploring abroad.
Rob Lightbody, Scotland

I grew up holidaying in England rather than going abroad, and last year we took our five-year-old to Cornwall for a taste of the British seaside. It was not a cheap option! The fortnight's rent on our small three-bedroomed cottage was 1750, and eating out proved extortionate. There were lovely restaurants where our son was extremely welcome, but children are not as welcome in pubs and we got fed up with being expected to sit outside in drizzle.

The scenery and beaches were absolutely stunning but when bad weather drove us inside (as we accepted it would from time to time), the entertainment options were extremely expensive. It was common to spend around 20 for family admission to an attraction with entertainment value that was exhausted inside a couple of hours.

This year we will be taking our main family holiday in the Greek islands, where we will spend less over two weeks in a four-star hotel than we did during a fortnight's self-catering in Cornwall, and where six-year-olds are welcome everywhere. We love Britain and especially it's seaside, but in future, for us, it will be for short breaks only.
Heidi Thomas McGann, UK




VOTE RESULTS
What is the UK's top tourist attraction?
Eden Project
 21.56% 
Madame Tussauds
 3.52% 
Edinburgh Castle
 10.74% 
Alton Towers
 12.14% 
Buckingham Palace
 20.61% 
Blackpool Illuminations
 6.97% 
Giant's Causeway
 4.29% 
London Eye
 20.10% 
2727 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

SEE ALSO:
Royal boost for tourism
28 May 03  |  UK
Early boost for tourism industry
20 May 03  |  Scotland
Taking flight to attract tourists
29 Jan 03  |  Scotland
Royals back British tourism
10 Jun 03  |  North Yorkshire


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