8 Things American Tourists Love About the UK

Royal Palace UK

There are plenty of reasons that visitors from all over the world travel to the UK each year – and it’s particularly a favourite destination for Americans. In fact, according to figures from Office for National Statistics, the US is one of the most valuable in-bound markets to UK tourism and saw around 3.81 million visits in 2016.


So why do Americans love to visit Britain? Here are eight things that people who travel across the Pond love about the UK:

1. The History

A lot of America’s history is tangled up with British history, so many Americans like to visit the UK and see how the two countries’ pasts intertwine. From learning about the government that once ruled over the American colonies, though to seeing how the World Wars affected the UK, the history of Great Britain can be fascinating for American tourists. Many Americans can also trace their family histories back to places in the UK, and they often like to travel to the UK to see the places their ancestors came from.

2. The Royal Family

The American founding fathers may have fought against a monarchy, but modern Americans are intrigued by the royal family and the associated traditions. A visit to Buckingham Palace is a must for most Americans visiting London for the first time, while other landmarks like Kensington Palace and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain are also popular attractions.

3. The Pubs

Americans love the idea of traditional British pubs – so much that many pubs in the US are modeled to look like them. But there’s nothing like visiting a real one and enjoying a pint and maybe a plate of fish and chips too.

4. The Literature

From Jane Austin to JK Rowling, Charles Dickens to JRR Tolkein, many Americans cite British authors among their favourites, and they love to learn more about their favourite writers, and the places the characters in their favourite books visited or lived – such as Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter.

5. The Language

There’s no doubt that travelling to a foreign country can be daunting if you don’t speak the language, but travelling to the UK removes that one bit of stress for American tourists. Sure, American English and British English have their differences – but for the most part, Americans and Brits can understand each other pretty well. Of course, Americans also tend to love British accents – and it doesn’t matter if the speaker is from South London, Wales, Liverpool, Glasgow or somewhere else.

6. The Music

The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, Billy Idol, Wham, Adele – the list of British musicians that have made it big in America can go on and on, and Americans often like to visit places associated with their favourite artists – such as Abbey Road, Garden Lodge and Tin Pan Alley.

7. The American things

When you’re far from home, it can be nice to get a taste of the familiar, and there’s plenty of opportunities for Americans to do that in the UK. American-style restaurants can be found in most cities and towns, and there are even monuments dotted around the country dedicated to famous American figures and events. Here are a few to consider checking out:

    • Abraham Lincoln statues – As far as statues of American presidents go, Lincoln is probably the most popular in the UK. There’s a statue of him overlooking Parliament Square in London, there’s a statue of him in a cemetery in Edinburgh, and he’s even standing on a plinth in Manchester.
    • 9/11 Memorial – A sculpture made from a World Trade Centre girder has been installed at the Olympic Park in London. Measuring 28 feet tall, it was gifted to the UK by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010, and was originally placed in Battersea Park, but was permanently moved to its current location in 2015.
    • Plymouth Harbour – Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts is famous as the place where the Pilgrims first set foot in America, and those visiting the UK often like to head to Plymouth Harbour to see the spot where the Mayflower originally set off on its voyage.

8. The Accommodation

There’s nothing like curling up in a cosy bed after a long day of sightseeing, and there’s plenty of great accommodation across the UK to suit the preferences of American tourists. For those visiting London, the Park Grand London Kensington hotel offers all the comforts of home, along with friendly service and a restaurant.