tower bridge at night

Brits admit Instagram rivalries lead them to copy their friends’ days out

A third of Brits admit Instagram rivalry inspires them to copy what friends share when planning picture-perfect days out – and almost half won’t even let a venue’s price put them off.

A study has revealed that more than 20 million Brits confessed they were inspired to visit attractions for day trips and holidays after seeing photos on Instagram and other social platforms.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults by UK train operator Grand Central explores what the biggest influence is on planning excursion with friends and family and their own ‘Insta-friendly’ recommendations.

Despite the UK boasting lots of beautiful countryside and coastal scenery, it was London’s Tower Bridge that claimed the crown for the UK’s most Instagram-worthy day trip location.

The iconic landmark raked in 3.2million Facebook check-ins and 2.5million Instagram posts that included the hashtag #TowerBridge.

London claimed second and third place with the Natural History Museum clocking 1.9million Facebook check-ins and 713,000 Instagram posts.

This is closely followed by The Shard that boasts 1.3million Facebook and 828,000 Instagram posts.

Looking outside of the capital, the infamous Stonehenge in Wiltshire and the historic Brighton Palace Pier both clocked up 1.2million check-ins.

While they may didn’t make it into 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 the Cow and Calf rocks in Ilkley, West Yorkshire (2.1k), also proved themselves to be Insta-worthy.

While social media plays a key role in where people would most like to go, price is still a key factor – though only slightly more than half (53%) said they would allow this to influence their decision on where to go.

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

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

Other factors that impact the attractions the nation visits include whether it can easily be reached 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%), places that are lesser known are particularly appealing, as they seek to avoid the crowds and capture the best snaps.

Locations already explored by many UK adults included London Kings Cross Station (56%), 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 UK’s Seven Natural Wonders in 2021, just 5% of those quizzed have visited the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

But a quarter revealed they would love to visit this beautiful UNESCO world heritage site at some point soon.

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

Nick Clarke, Head of Commercial Arriva UK Trains, said: “Understandably, with the cost of living rising, many British consumers will be eager to cut costs where they can, especially when it comes to days out. 

“Luckily we have a few ways to save cash when travelling by rail.

“For children under the age of five travelling along Grand Central and the wider National Rail routes, train fares are free when accompanied by a parent or carer, while children aged between 5-15 can travel for 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 a 1/3 off rail fares for up to four adults and 60% off kids on most rail fares.

“This offers the benefit of flexibility as two adults can be named on one card.  

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

For more information 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 & Gardens, Bakewell  (Derbyshire)

7 Bournemouth Beach (Hampshire)

8 London Kings Cross Station (London)

9 York Minster (York)

10 View from the summit Brecon Beacons (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 Whitby Abbey Ruins (North Yorkshire)

18 Calton Hill (Edinburgh)

19 St George’s Cove, Padstow  (Cornwall)

20 Dreamland, Margate (Kent)

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

Featured image credit: wbmuc2000 via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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