Kent transport

Bragging Brits admit Instagram rivalry drives them to copy friends’ trips

A third of Brits admit that rivalry on Instagram drives them to copy what their friends share when planning perfect days – and nearly half won’t even let the price of a place deter them. A study found that more than 20 million Britons confessed to being inspired to visit attractions for day trips and vacations after seeing photos on Instagram and other social platforms.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults by UK train operator Grand Central explores what is the biggest influence on planning a trip with friends and family and their own ‘Insta-friendly’ recommendations. Although the UK is full of beautiful countryside and coastlines, it was London’s Tower Bridge that took the crown as the UK’s most Instagram-worthy day trip spot.

The iconic landmark garnered 3.2 million Facebook check-ins and 2.5 million Instagram posts which included the #TowerBridge hashtag. London took second and third place with the Natural History Museum with 1.9 million Facebook check-ins and 713,000 Instagram posts.

This is closely followed by The Shard which has 1.3 million posts on Facebook and 828,000 posts on Instagram. Outside the capital, the infamous Stonehenge in Wiltshire and the historic Brighton Palace Pier have both had 1.2million check-ins.

Although they may not have entered the top 20, places such as the historic Waterstones building in Bradford (1.1k Facebook check-ins), Steely Pier in Hartlepool (1.9k), Castle Eden Dene in Durham (1.6k), and Cow and Calf rocks in Ilkley, West Yorkshire (2.1k), have also proven to be Instagram worthy.

While social media plays a key role in deciding where people would most like to go, price remains a key factor – although just over half (53%) said they would let this influence their decision on where to go.

Britons are happy to spend an average of £31.71 per person on entry fees to attractions and places of interest, but the majority (54%) would rather pay £25 or less per person for the cost of ‘hall.

More than a quarter (27%) said free places to visit are a big draw when planning day trips to the UK, an aspect likely to be considered more in the months to come due to the rising cost of living.

Other factors that impact which attractions the country visits include how easy it is to get to by car or public transport (43%), the number of positive reviews it has online (41%), recommendations from family or friends (35%) and whether free parking is available (34%).

For one in ten (10%), lesser-known places are particularly appealing, as they seek to avoid crowds and capture the best shots.

Places already explored by many UK adults included London’s Kings Cross Station (56%), the Natural History Museum (48%), the historic York Minster (39%), Brighton Pier (38% ), Stonehenge and Lake Ullswater in Cumbria (both 30%).

Despite being named one of the seven natural wonders of the UK in 2021, only 5% of people surveyed have visited the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. But a quarter revealed they would like to visit this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site at some point.

Other places that were recommended but relatively few people took a trip so far included the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire (9%), the Falkirk Kelpies (10%), the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield and the Minack Theater in Porthcurno (both 11%).

Nick Clarke, Head of Commercial Arriva UK Trains, said: “Understandably, with the rising cost of living, many UK consumers will be keen to cut costs where they can, particularly on days of absence. Fortunately, we have a few ways to save money when traveling by train.

“For children under five years old traveling on Grand Central and wider National Rail routes, train tickets are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian, while children aged 5 15 can travel at half price.

“If you’re looking to cut costs with older children, then if you have a Friends and Family Rail Card, which costs £30 for the year, you can save 1/3 on rail fares for up to four adults and 60% on most train fares for children, which offers the advantage of flexibility as two adults can be named on one card.

“Finally, if you prefer to research your days away from social media, we have plenty of inspiration for outings and attractions along some of our main routes – many of which are also free.”

For more information, click here.

TOP 20 INSTA-WORTHY PLACES TO VISIT*

1 Tower Bridge (London)

2 Natural History Museum (London)

3 The Shard (London)

4 Stonehenge (Wiltshire)

5 Brighton Palace Pier (Brighton)

6 Chatsworth House and Gardens, Bakewell (Derbyshire)

7 Bournemouth Beach (Hampshire)

8 King’s Cross Station (London)

9 York Minster (York)

10 Brecon Beacons summit view (Wales)

11 Giant’s Causeway (Northern Ireland)

12 The Roman Baths (Bath, Somerset)

13 Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat (Scotland)

14 Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall

15 Cheddar Gorge (Somerset)

16 Clifton Suspension Bridge (Bristol)

17 Ruins of Whitby Abbey (North Yorkshire)

18 Calton Hill (Edinburgh)

19 St George’s Cove, Padstow, Cornwall

20 Dreamland, Margate, Kent

*Ranked using a combination of social media records and ‘tagged’ data, and a survey of 2,000 UK adults to see which places people have recommended, have visited or plan to visit visit in the coming year.