The British Museum in London is the U.K.’s number one tourist destination, according to new figures issued by the collators of such data, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA). The AVLA aims to represent the views of the U.K.’s main visitor attractions to Government, the broader tourism industry, business, media and the public.
The British Museum is dedicated to human history and culture, hosting some 8 million exhibits. The museum, which was established in 1753, is located in north London. The museum once hosted the British Library, although this is now to be found in a purpose built building a mile or so away. One of the items of interest in the British Museum is the world’s most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a range of mummified pharaohs and illuminated sarcophaguses.
Other world-famous objects include the Rosetta Stone and the sometimes controversial Parthenon sculptures.
The top ten U.K. tourist attractions for 2014, as reported by the BBC, were:
- The British Museum – 6,695,213 visitors
- The National Gallery – 6,416,724 visitors
- Southbank Centre – 6,255,799 visitors
- Tate Modern – 5,785,427 visitors
- Natural History Museum – 5,388,295 visitors
- Science Museum – 3,356,072 visitors
- V&A, South Kensington – 3,180,450 visitors
- Tower of London – 3,075,950 visitors
- Somerset House – 2,463,201 visitors
- The Library of Birmingham – 2,414,860 visitors
Of the above list, only the Birmingham museum in 10th place, is outside of London. The majority of the attractions on the list are free to enter (including the British Museum.)
The attraction that gained the most ground last year was the Tower of London, boosted by First World War centenary commemorations, including the sea of poppies in the moat. The exhibit was called “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” where the moat at the Tower of London filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies.
Overall museums and galleries across the U.K. saw an increase of more than 6 percent on visitor numbers compared with the previous year, indicating that the U.K. remains a popular place for tourism.