UK

Britain 'overpriced' for tourists, says new guide

Gunners fire a 21-gun salute to mark the Queen's 85th birthday at Edinburgh Castle in April 2011
Image caption Out-gunning the others: Edinburgh is described as "one of the world's most fascinating cities"

Britain is not a good choice for tourists on a tight budget, according to the Lonely Planet company.

Its new Great Britain guide says many restaurants, hotels and attractions in England, Scotland and Wales are "overpriced or lacking in quality".

While Britain's weak currency might be good for some overseas visitors, "Brits' wallets are struggling to take the strain," author David Else said.

The guide describes Manchester as "special", and Surrey as "dull".

While the book said Britain was still one of the most fascinating places in the world to explore, the overall conclusion was that "Britain ain't cheap".

Mr Else said: "Our authors searched the length and breadth of the country, on a mission to find the best value restaurants, accommodation and attractions.

"While they found some fantastic places, there were many which were overpriced or lacking in quality.

"Unfortunately at a time when everyone is in desperate need of a great value summer getaway some of Britain's tourism industry just doesn't deliver."

Ironically, he added, the UK had become a "great value destination" for international visitors over the past few years.

The guide said London had excellent restaurants with many free attractions for children, while Edinburgh was "one of the world's most fascinating cities" and Manchester was "truly special".

But the Kent port town of Dover was described as "down in the dumps", while Surrey was "made up of uninspiring towns and dull, sprawling suburbs".

The guide also found that despite its good restaurants London also offered overpriced food.

"You're often better spending £5 on a top-notch curry in Birmingham or a homemade steak-and-ale pie in a country pub in Devon than forking out £30 in a restaurant for a 'modern European' concoction that tastes like it came from a can," it said.

The guide considered many attractions, including "trashy" Blackpool and Birmingham's Cadbury World, which it said was the "next best thing to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory".

Alton Towers in Staffordshire was seen as good value but it was "a wonder that people still join lengthy queues to visit pricey Madame Tussauds", the waxworks museum in London.

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