First Great Western reveals the overlooked landmarks on our doorsteps

    Minack Theatre, Cornwall

    Vicky Sartain

    Half of Brits think Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower is in Dubai while 32 per cent placed Cornwall’s Minack Theatre in Athens!

    Research by train operator First Great Western has today revealed the extent to which Brits don’t know the corners of their great nation, mistaking images of iconic landmarks for lakesides and landscapes in another country entirely.

    Shockingly, almost half of Brits thought Portsmouth’s soaring maritime themed Spinnaker Tower is in Dubai, a further 70 per cent didn’t know picturesque Apple Tree Bay is in Cornwall’s Isle of Scilly and one in ten Londoners thought Bristol’s historic wrought iron Clifton Suspension Bridge was in fact San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

    In a bid to get Brits discovering more of the treasures of the UK, First Great Western has launched a unique new Facebook app, The Inside Track. Working with locals across the UK – including celebrities such as Caroline Quentin, Daisy and Pearl Lowe, Harry Enfield and Alex James, as well as capturing recommendations from travelers, it offers the real insight to the must-do experiences and must-see places of the UK.

    The Facebook app on or will allow users to discover inside information about areas on the First Great Western network that only locals would usually be privy to. From a favorite woodland walk in The Cotswolds recommended by Alex James, to a tucked away Somerset boutique bursting with fashion gold frequented by Daisy Lowe, The Inside Track will allow every train traveler to arrive at their destination armed with knowledge to make their trip truly memorable, as well share their experiences to make others’ trips even better.

    The Inside Track (which will also be available from mobile devices) will feature content from members of the public, and will constantly be updated with new insights and recommendations, as well as offers and a monthly competition to win train tickets. As a fountain of knowledge it couldn’t come too soon, given that almost one in ten attributed images of the Isles of Scilly to East London’s Isle of Dogs!

    Philip Edgerton, Head of Marketing at First Great Western said, “We live in a fantastic country, but this research shows that many of us simply aren’t aware of the amazing places on our doorstep just waiting to be discovered. We’re passionate about all the UK has to offer, so wanted to help Brits share in it too by giving them the Inside Track. Traveling by rail is a fantastic way to see the country – and it saves money too: by booking online in advance with First Great Western, travellers can save 10 per cent on fares.”

    Misplaced Identity: the biggest British blunders

    Location and where they thought it was…

    Appletree Bay, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall The Maldives – 30%

    Christchurch College, Oxford France – 16%

    Harbour Beach, St Ives, Cornwall St Tropez, France – 25%

    Minack Theatre, Porthcurn, Cornwall Athens – 32%

    Radcliffe Camera statue, Oxford University, Oxford Italy – 18%

    Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Dubai – 48%

    Lake District, Wastwater Lake Geneva, Switzerland – 55%

    Tresco, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall The Cayman Islands – 46%


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