We’ve seen the Eiffel Tower but not Stonehenge

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
image of Stonehenge

Stonehenge – perhaps one of the most recognised sites in the world but not to some

Every year, or so a survey reveals that we know so little about our own countries. Sometimes it seems we know far more about other destinations than our own and a new survey from Rentalcars.com tends to confirm that.


It found that less than half of the population have visited Wiltshire’s prehistoric monument, with one in twenty even claiming to have never heard of it. But 52% had visited the Eiffel Tower. Just 23 per cent have visited Dorset’s Chesil Beach, more than a third have been to Disneyland, in France. One in 10 say they’ve never even heard of Cheddar Gorge, with just 42 per cent taking a trip to the Somerset beauty spot. Other top sights many Brits haven’t seen before include the Roman Baths, Blackpool Tower and the Angel of the North.


But are these results such a surprise? That we haven’t heard of such iconic attractions such as Stonehenge may be surprising but surely not that we haven’t visited them.


Blackpool Tower

Have you visited Blackpool Tower? I haven’t,

And there must be attractions that don’t appeal to everybody. Stonehenge and Blackpool Tower could be two of them in which case no amount of clever marketing by the local tourist board would persuade some to travel there. Better they should visit something they want to see than be pressured to see something that doesn’t really interest them.


I lived close to London for years yet there are places I have never visited. It is just too big and sprawling to see everything. I even know people who haven’t been south of the river!


Now I live hundreds of miles away I have seen some places that I have never visited before but that is because I don’t make it to the capital that often so I make the most of it when I get there. But I have been to places in Sydney, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, Venice, Richmond in Virginia, Norfolk Beach and New York City that many locals haven’t visited. I can direct people in Chicago and Venice telling them what public transport to catch yet I can still get confused driving in Leeds and Cardiff. I’ve seen seals give birth and ospreys returning from Africa. I’ve eaten street food in Beijing and had my vote solicited in two US presidential elections despite not being American. I’ve seen a passageway in a Cairo pyramid that isn’t usually open to tourists and wandered in the rich red landscapes of the Sahara desert in the very south of Tunisia.


We all are attracted by different things and so we should be otherwise tourist attractions will sink under the weight of visitors.


And that’s as it should be. It just also seems to be that many of us are less interested in things on our own doorstop.

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