Edinburgh’s Royal Mile has been singled out as Britain’s biggest tourist trap (Image: GETTY)
Britain’s biggest tourist traps have been named – and Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is top of the list, with vistors variously branding it “underwhelming” and “crowded and dirty”.
The famous attraction is included in a worldwide survey undertaken by vacation rentals and property management company Casago, using TripAdvisor reviews to judge how many times people use the phrase “tourist trap”.
The Royal Mile is the name given to a network of streets in the Scottish capital’s Old Town, with Edinburgh Castle at one end and Holyrood, home of the Scottish Parliament, at the other.
In total, reviews contained 502 uses of the words “tourist trap” vastly more than anywhere else in the UK.
One review from April, 2023 was simply entitled “tourist trap”.
Covent Garden also came in for criticism (Image: GETTY)
The reviewer said: “Except for the castle, the Royal Mile was mostly shops and restaurants offering the same overpriced souvenirs and food.
“It was crowded and dirty. Edinburgh was much better outside of this area.
“Would not recommend devoting much time there.”
Another complained: “The royal mile is an underwhelming tourist trap. All the stores sell the same thing, over and over wool, cashmere and shortbread… same products, no character.
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“Overrated and it’s too bad because Edinburgh is a great city.”
However, not everyone was left unimpressed: some visitors described the area as “beautiful” and “historic”, with one visitor adding: “Fantastic Architecture, clean and well kept.
“Lots of bars, cafes and places to eat – maybe a few too many tartan and gift shops all selling the same things, but worth a walk from the castle down to the parliament buildings.”
Heading south, in second place, with 334 mentions of the fateful words, comes the London Eye, with negative reviews focusing on concerns about overcrowding and cost.
The London Eye was second on the list (Image: GETTY)
One visitor wrote: “So many people were in each pod that sometimes it was hard to enjoy the view as some patrons dominated windows and didn’t move.“
Another said: “Felt like herded cattle! They crammed about 30-40 people in our pod so you couldn’t move.”
In third place was Covent Garden, also in London, described as a tourist trap by 156 people, with Land’s End (140), York’s Shambles (120), The Needles in Totland (97), Stonehenge (96), The Cavern Club in Liverpool (96), The Witchery by The Castle in Edinburgh (95) and in tenth place Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum in Bath (89).
The survey also pinpointed Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, with a total of 1,049 mentions of the phrase, as the world’s worst tourist trap.