Up until a couple of years ago, I’d never really thought of the UK as a particularly interesting tourist destination. ‘Yea we’ve got some cool stuff in this country I guess’ is what I thought, but couldn’t understand what was so special about it all. Especially as the weather is usually pretty pants most of the year.
Well today, I visited Windsor Castle, and I have to say it was quite a spectacular venue. And the awesomeness of it all opened my eyes a little bit to what foreigners find so interesting about the UK and why they are so keen to visit.
Windsor Castle is literally 40 minutes drive from where I live, and I honestly can’t believe I’ve never visited it before. Maybe it’s because it’s so close that I’ve just never really bothered. Same with London – there is SO much amazing stuff in London, but for me it’s only 50 minutes away on a train – close enough for a day trip for shopping, but far enough away to not consider it a ‘tourist’ destination (even though it’s always rammed with tourists whenever I visit!!).
I think living in this country, we get distracted by everything that we consider to be wrong with it, rather than appreciating everything that we’ve got here – all the history, the tradition, the pomp and ceremony and so on.
For a small island country, let’s be honest, us Brits are pretty awesome. We’ve got the most well known Royal family in the world, we’ve produced some of the greatest people known to man (think Shakespeare and Churchill as two examples) and we’re one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Not bad really.
Pretty much everything that tourists come to the UK to visit are things that are stereotypically British – everyone wants a picture next to a red telephone box for example (seems weird to a Brit because it’s just a telephone box, we barely use them these days), but to foreigners, that’s just one of the small things that they consider oh so very British! Fair enough.
But, as Brits, if we took the time to visit and appreciate all the same kinds of things that the tourists love, we’d be reminded why this country is so great and why foreigners are so fascinated. Perhaps it would reignite peoples pride in this great nation.
So I absolutely would urge anyone who doesn’t see the point in visiting ‘tourist’ places ‘because we live here, why do I need to visit it?!’, to just go and see everything! Be a tourist in your own country, visit all the same things that the tourists do and you will absolutely see 1.) why foreigners love visiting Britain, and 2.) why Britain is really so great.
Whether it be London, Edinburgh, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, or ANY other place in the UK, seeing it all through a tourists eyes will inspire you and perhaps even make you proud to be British again! That’s how I felt after visiting Windsor Castle today.
We are SO good at combining history, tradition, and the modern world and we as Brits should be celebrating all of that.