I mean, of course it bloody well did.
You’ve got to admire the wanderlusting folks over at Lonely Planet: they don’t lack for ambition. Their most recent challenge was to consider the entire multitude of experiences one can have in the UK – from scoffing a Cornish pasty in Penzance, to camping on the Isle of Skye – and distil this down to the 500 best for their Ultimate UK Travelist. Thankfully, that’s what they’ve done, and even more thankfully, London puts in quite a few appearances…
Though London couldn’t quite snag the top spot – taken by the cultural phenomenon that is the Edinburgh Fringe – we can be rightfully proud of our #2 spot, courtesy of the British Museum. Praising it as “the envy of the world”, the Lonely Planet tribe were impressed by the 7 million objects inside, even as they acknowledge the fact that a lot of them were acquired through the underhand tactics of the British Empire.
Less controversially, we’ll also be partially claiming the #6 experience – ‘Make a British weekend of it with a Sunday pub roast’ – since our fair city boasts a cracking array of Sunday roasts. Entirely London’s, meanwhile, is #7, as Tate Modern scooped a spot in the top ten. Unsurprising, given that it’s officially the UK’s most-visited (and therefore best, natch) attraction.
A look through the top 50 reads as a what’s what of the best London attractions, which of course we’re going to list in their entirety. Making an appearance are – deep breath – St Paul’s Cathedral (#13), Borough Market (#16), the South Bank (#20), The Globe (#23), Kew Gardens (#25), Tower of London (#27), Theatreland (#34), Harry Potter Studio Tour – yes Watford is technically part of London – (#36), Soho and Covent Garden, curiously combined into one entity (#38), Hampstead Heath (#42), and the Natural History Museum (#46).
We’re a bit spoilt here, aren’t we? What with all our excellent museums, brilliant parks, delicious markets, and breathtaking places – and that’s before you even consider all the free stuff there is to do in London! Mind you, the rest of the UK doesn’t exactly suffer, with a lot of our favourite day trips and other amazing UK cities cracking the 500.
It’s enough travel inspiration to keep you busy for the next decade, in all honestly. Although if I might let my bias lead me for a moment, maybe start with the London ones? 😉
You can see the full list by buying the Ultimate UK Travelist here.
Also published on Medium.