Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Forget Beaches and Lakes: London Is Britain's Top Holiday Destination

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Forget Beaches and Lakes: London Is Britain's Top Holiday Destination

Article excerpt

Byline: Katharine Barney City Hall Reporter

LONDON has beaten the Lake District and Cornwall to be crowned as the UK's top "staycation" holiday destination.

More than a fifth of British families will be spending a week sightseeing in the capital this year, according to a new survey. Key attractions include museums, historical sites such as the Tower of London and sightseeing bus tours.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: "London is a fantastic city to visit at any time of year.

"As well as museums, galleries and iconic attractions that are among the greatest in the world, we've unrivalled theatre and world class performance.

"We've some of the hippest bars and clubs and a multitude of places to eat out, whether you want Michelinstarred fine dining or delicious ethnic food from around the world.

"But London is also a great value destination. Not only are most of our museums and galleries free, there are glorious parks and open spaces, free outdoor theatre and live performance, and a variety of family friendly festivals."

The Lake District was the second most popular destination for a week's break and Brighton was the third. British holidaymakers in London today said they had come to absorb the city's history and culture, while others wanted to catch a show or enjoy a night out in the West End. Bristol mother Donna Smith, 32, said she was loving her three-day trip with husband Mike, 24, and children Joshua, six, and threeyear-old Emily. She added: "The sea side is an old-fashioned holiday. I think people expect more from holidays now. They don't necessarily want jellied eels, they want a nice dining experience."

Matthew Allsopp, 27, travelled from Nottingham with 20-year-old American friend Sarah Reichman.

The electrical engineer said: "I have got sick of the seaside. It's only the second time I've been here and there's so much to do, so much culture."

Telesales executive Nigel Dakin, 41, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, was visiting with wife, Toni, 40, and daughters Aimee, nine, and Courtney, four.

He said: "Cost was one of the things we considered. …

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