UK's top 10 attractions

Michael Manton / 10 July 2013

With so much to see and do in the UK, sometimes it's difficult to know where to start - why not add the following top 10 attractions from TripAdvisor's Travellers’ Choice Attractions Awards to your 'to do' list?

For the selection process, TripAdvisor went through millions of traveller reviews. The list they came up with is a result of both the quality and quantity of those reviews and are decided by those who matter most - travellers themselves.

1. Durham Cathedral

One of Europe’s architectural masterpieces, Durham’s splendid Norman Cathedral dates from the 11th century. Surrounding both the castle and cathedral is the peaceful Palace Green, whose various 15th and 17th-century buildings once housed hospitals, almshouses and residencies, most of which – like the castle itself – are now used by the university.

2. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura is as fascinating today as when it was first installed over a century ago. Like a giant revolving periscope, it captures a live moving picture of Edinburgh. As the panorama unfolds a guide tells the story of the city’s historic past. There are unsurpassed views from the rooftop terrace.

3. York Minster

York grew in importance under the Normans and the inspiring York Minster, which took 250 years to build, was completed during the reign of the Plantaganets. Today, it is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and the largest medieval structure in Britain.

4. Tower of London

Officially known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London was originally founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest. At least six ravens are kept at the tower at all times, as superstition holds that "If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it."

5. Edinburgh Castle

The dramatic 1,000-year-old castle stands on a rock in the centre of the city, overlooking the gardens of Princes Street. The ancient Honours of Scotland are on display in the Crown Room and nearby St Margaret’s Chapel, at the top of the Castle Rock, is the oldest building in the city, dating from Norman times.

6. Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh

For over 40 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia sailed over one million miles on nearly a thousand official visits for the British Royal Family. Now berthed in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith, The Royal Yacht Brittania is a fascinating visitor attraction.

7. Houses of Parliament

The centre of political life in the United Kingdom, the Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Westminster Hall is the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate, built over 900 years ago.

All UK residents can visit Parliament by contacting their MP.

8. Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle has been the chief residence of English and British sovereigns since the reign of Henry I in the 12th century. The royal standard flies when the Queen is in residence and with 1,000 rooms, Windsor remains is the world’s largest inhabited castle.

9. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Standing in a superb location overlooking the River Derwent, this palatial stately home is the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The present 17th-century Chatsworth House occupies the site of an earlier Tudor manor, where Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned.

10. The Shambles, York

There are also many attractive shops at the cobbled Shambles, one of the best-preserved medieval streets in Europe. The Shambles was formerly known as ‘Fleshammels’, the street of the butchers. Still to be seen are shelves in front of the shop windows and hooks above which were used for displaying meat.

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