Around four million Americans visit the UK every year with visions of sipping tea and bumping into the Queen.
When they arrive, many are disappointed with what they find and aren’t afraid to voice their opinions.
Many feel let down by our famous landmarks and tourist attractions, which often fail to meet their high expectations.
So we decided to take a look at the TripAdvisor reviews left by American tourists to see what our friends across the Atlantic think of our national treasures.
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Big Ben – “It’s just a clock”
Big Ben, completed in 1859, is undoubtedly one of the most famous clocks in the world. The tower is 96 meters high and the climb from bottom to top is a total of 334 steps.
But for some Americans, “it’s just a clock.”
As Nathan Smith Jr, from Los Angeles, wrote on TripAdvisor: “Unfortunately, when it comes to the UK, most Americans and non-Britons think of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
“It’s just a steeple.”
Meanwhile, more recent visitors were disappointed to find they had traveled halfway around the world just to see scaffolding.
For four years, the tower was covered in scaffolding and Big Ben’s chimes were silenced to allow much-needed restoration work to be carried out.
Trish, from New York, not seeing the funny side, said: “I know it will always need repairs, but it’s disappointing to travel from America just to see a clock surrounded by scaffolding.”
Alvie, from Atlanta, said: ‘Big Ben has been closed for maintenance for about a year, and I thought it should be posted at the airport or something to let us know titled Americans!’
This comment makes you wonder if, if there had been a sign, Alvie would have gone home immediately after arriving at Heathrow.
Tower of London – “The Beefeaters are going to mock and laugh at the Americans”
The Tower of London contains 1,000 years of history, leaving many Americans in awe.
But some are disappointed by the crown jewels on display.
A tourist was absolutely disgusted to find out that it was not just a collection of pretty necklaces.
Lauri from Mississippi captioned her review “Crown Jewels, not jewellery.”
She said: “This uneducated American thought jewelry meant pearls and rubies, Albert’s Queen Victoria diamond necklace, not trays, spoons and scepters.
“I was a little disappointed but the tour of the tower was INCREDIBLE.”
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Another problem encountered by some Americans at the Tower of London was the “rude” Beefeaters, who are known to have a little fun at their expense.
One tourist didn’t see the fun side of it at all, though he insisted he wasn’t thin-skinned.
He said: “The Tower of London was great, but a Beefeater seemed rather un-American.
“I was scared to speak because I felt weird but I was also embarrassed because he kept talking and hitting Americans and I just thought it was awful.
“I know he was trying to be funny and I’m not thin but I’m proud of who I am and I’m certainly proud of my nation.”
Meanwhile, Chicago’s Rene was clearly offended, captioning her review “They don’t like Americans.”
She simply wrote, “Be Prepared: The Beefeaters will be mocking and mocking Americans the whole tour.”
A spokesperson for the Historic Royal Palaces, which run the Tower of London, reassured MyLondon that American teasing is all in good spirits.
They said: “Over the centuries, the Tower of London has been home to everyone from Founding Fathers to First Ladies.
“Some, like Henry Laurens – a prominent figure in the American Revolution imprisoned on suspicion of high treason – received a harsher reception than others.
“On that occasion, guards on duty played teasingly Yankee Doodle tune outside his cell, as today this ironic approach from our friends across the pond lives on in the visits organized by our Yeoman Warders.”
London Eye – “A group of Americans thought they had spotted the Eiffel Tower”
The London Eye, or as it is now known, has left many tourists disappointed over the years. A common theme of reviews of the is that it doesn’t spin fast enough.
Whether tourists hoped it would be a thrill ride or were bored at the end, many shared their opinions online.
Malibu’s Avia said, “Eye thought it would be wonderful…I was disappointed.
“Everyone who goes to London sees the Ferris wheel in the sky! It sits on the bank of the River Thames and is a very popular tourist attraction.
“After a very long wait you are placed in a capsule with about 20-25 other people and you take a very slow ride once. It takes 25-30 turns with the only great view from when you reach the top .”
Another reviewer repeatedly called it “the eye of London”, while another called it “the i of London”.
However, it seems that a few Brits themselves found American tourists amusing.
A TripAdvisor reviewer from Bristol said the group of Americans in his party were convinced they had spotted the Eiffel Tower.
Tower Bridge – “It didn’t change my life”
Tower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world, where you can climb the towers for panoramic views of London from the high level walkways.
What could tourists complain about?
Courtney, from the United States, said she was furious that the bridge had not changed her life.
She said: “This bridge is cool, but it’s not worth paying to walk across the Tower of London to see it. It’s just a bridge and it hasn’t changed my life.”
Another very blunt and fairly edgy review of Ross in Atlanta said, “Oh look, it’s a bridge. It’s striped blue. It’s famous. I see no other reason to go there.”
Yonas, from California, said: “Nothing special about it to be honest…Not my cup of tea, boy. Next time I won’t waste my time trying to get through it.”
At the end of the day, it’s just a bridge.
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