Five London sights feature in top 20 of Lonely Planet’s 500 most unmissable experiences

Five London sights and experiences feature in the top 20 of a new ranked list of the 500 most memorable, beautiful, surprising and compelling experiences to be had across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, released by leading travel media company, Lonely Planet, today (Tuesday 13 August).

The UK’s four constituent countries and countless small islands comprise a powerhouse of history, culture and intrigue. Now for the first time, Lonely Planet’s community of travel experts have chosen the best sights and experiences and ranked them in order of their brilliance in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist.

London’s highest entry is the British Museum – described as “the envy of the world”  which races into the list at number two. This is followed by the Tate Modern at number seven; Christopher Wren’s “still monumental” St Paul’s Cathedral at number 13; “London’s foodie epicentre” Borough Market at number 16 and the South Bank at number 20.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes the top spot in the list, staking its claim because “the Fringe floods the city with art and nowhere beats it for spectacle or scale… There is theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, opera, music and spoken word, and whatever the time of day, an acrobat, trapeze artist, contortionist or tried-and-tested bagpiping busker will be pleased to entertain you… Simply step through the looking glass and prepare to be dazzled by the greatest show of arts and culture on Earth.”

In total, 70 London entries feature in the list, from stalking with highwaymen on Hampstead Heath at 42, to getting lost in one man’s hoard at Sir John Soane’s Museum at 74, daydreaming in neon at God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow at 114 and saluting the missing sailor at the Hot Cross Bun Ceremony at 465.

Laura Citron, Chief Executive of London & Partners, which runs Visit London, the city’s official visitor guide, said: “It’s really exciting to see that so many of London’s fantastic attractions have made it to the Lonely Planet’s ultimate UK travel hitlist. From the West End to the City of London and from Greenwich to the South Bank, our capital has so much to offer visitors from all over the world, and it’s great to see other, lesser-known spots on the list, that we know people will love, such as Dennis Severs’ House, Tooting Market and Frank’s Café. We look forward to welcoming newly-inspired visitors to our capital and showing them around!”

To create Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, the Lonely Planet team compiled every highlight from the Lonely Planet guidebooks to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Every sight, attraction and experience that had caught their writers’ attention over the years were included. Everyone in Lonely Planet’s London office, plus 20 leading figures in the country’s travel sector, were then asked to reveal their favourite spots and experiences before the voting began. Everybody in Lonely Planet’s UK community was asked to vote for their top 20 experiences. With hundreds of votes cast, Lonely Planet ended up with a score for each of the 500 experiences in the book.

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