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Windsor Castle, England
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Britain’s most-visited tourist attractions have been revealed

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)’s new report shows which UK attractions welcomed the most visitors in 2023

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

If you’ve ever spent ages queuing in South Ken’s Museum District or squeezing through a sea of people along the South Bank, it’ll come as no surprise that London attractions are some of the most visited in the UK

And if you don’t believe us, just take a look at the numbers. Tourist spots in the capital absolutely dominate this year’s ranking of the country’s most visited attractions, put together by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA). 

In 2021 and 2022 the Crown Estate in Windsor took the top spot, but for 2023, a different London landmark swooped into first place. With over 5.8 million visitors, the British Museum was the UK's most popular attraction. That’s a 42 percent increase on its footfall from the previous year. You can read more about the British Museum’s triumph here

The Natural History Museum came second with 5.7m people walking through its halls, while the Crown Estate dropped to third and saw a 3 percent decline in visitor numbers. Still, it was the only attraction outside of the Big Smoke in the top ten. 

After the Crown Estate, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh emerged as the most visited site for the rest of the UK, with 2.2m tourists walking through its doors. Two other Edinburgh landmarks also came high up on the list — Edinburgh Castle saw 1.9m visitors and the National Gallery Scotland welcomed 1.8m. 

The UK's most popular tourist attractions, according to the ALVA

  1. The British Museum
  2. Natural History Museum
  3. The Crown Estate
  4. Tate Modern
  5. Southbank Centre
  6. Victoria and Albert Museum 
  7. The National Gallery
  8. Science Museum
  9. Tower of London
  10. Somerset House

The UK's most popular tourist attractions outside of London

  1. The Crown Estate, Windsor
  2. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  3. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  4. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
  5. Windsor Castle, Windsor
  6. RHS Garden Wisley, Woking
  7. Stonehenge, Salisbury
  8. Kelingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
  9. Riverside Museum, Glasgow
  10. Roman Baths and Pump Room, Bath 

Of course, there are other measurements of success when it comes to tourist attractions — like which rakes in the most cash or which has the most world-wide recognition, such as this London attraction that was named one of the best cultural spots on the planet. And if you want to know which ones to avoid, take a look at these lists of the attractions which are most overcrowded, most disappointing and most overpriced

Did you see that this 200-year-old attraction in England is being forced to close?

Plus: Britain’s worst railway stations for delays have been revealed

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