LONDON, U.K. – 5 DECEMBER, 2008 – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Britain’s first motorway on 5 December 1958, TripAdvisor® today announced the UK’s top 10 road-side attractions, according to TripAdvisor editors and travellers.
Whilst few sights graced motorists travelling on Lancashire’s eight-mile Preston by-pass when it was opened by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, today’s network of roads across Britain offer views of sculptures, castles, fertility symbols and more.
1. Stonehenge (junction of A303 and A344/A360) – Estimated to date back to 3100 BC, this UNESCO World Heritage site in Wiltshire is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric sites.
2. The Angel of the North (A1) – Designed by internationally renowned sculptor Antony
Gormley, the sculpture sits on a panoramic hilltop site in Gateshead, where it can be clearly seen by more than 90,000 drivers a day.
3. Loch Ness (A82) – Over 20 miles long, a mile wide and 700 feet at its deepest, Loch Ness is the largest body of water in Scotland. Many believe the Loch is home to a world-famous monster, ‘Nessie’ – the first official sighting of whom was recorded in 565 AD.
4. Ben Nevis (A82) – Located at the western end of Scotland’s Grampian Mountains, the summit of Ben Nevis reaches an altitude of 4,408 feet – making this the highest mountain in Great Britain.
5. Clifton Suspension Bridge (A4) – Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge opened in 1864. Over 11,000 vehicles cross the bridge, which spans the River Avon, every day.
6. Harlech Castle (A496) – Built by Edward I in the late 13th Century, this spectacular cliff-top castle in North Wales is a World Heritage Site.
7. Wembley Stadium (A404) – Featuring 90,000 seats, the “new” Wembley Stadium, which opened in 2007, is the most expensive stadium ever built – costing an estimated £1 billion. The iconic arch, which reaches a height of 133m at its highest point, is visible across London.
8. Tintern Abbey (A466) – Founded in 1131, Tintern was the first Cistercian Abbey in Wales. In the late 18th Century, the ruined Abbey became a popular destination for artists and poets of the Romantic movement, including William Wordsworth.
9. The Cherhill White Horse (A4) – Cut in 1780, the second oldest of the Wiltshire horses can be seen from the A4 Calne to Marlborough road. The horse was resurfaced with 160 tonnes of fresh chalk in 2002.
10. Cerne Abbas Giant (A352) – Carved in solid lines from the chalk bedrock, the Dorset giant is said to depict the god Hercules. This is one of the largest hill figures in Britain, measuring in at 180 feet high.
“When many people think ‘road trips’, they may think of Route 66 or other well-known US highways – but Britain’s roads offer some phenomenal sights, from man-made art, to spots of incredible natural beauty,” said TripAdvisor spokesman, Luke Fredberg.
Notes to editors:
List compiled according to the TripAdvisor® Popularity Index – a measurement of overall traveller satisfaction.