According to a study from Cities Talking concerning how well we know our own country, the average Brit can only name two landmarks in their own town, with a shocking 28% unable to name even one.
The ‘UK Citi-Illiteracy Report’ from the mobile tour guide app reveals that Brits struggle even when it comes to England’s historic and celebrated capital city – London, where the average person can only name four landmarks in the capital. 86% of Brits have no idea where Jewel House is – home to the historic crown jewels. Over a quarter (26%) don’t know which city Nelson’s Column is in, and other famous London landmarks also escape their minds: 22% do not know that St Paul’s Cathedral is in London, and 1 in 6 (16%) do not know where Tower Bridge is. Despite Westminster Abbey being the site of William and Kate’s Royal Wedding, with over 72 million live YouTube views, 14% do not know which city the historic abbey is in. Nearly a quarter of Brits also believe Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to be based in London.
The study, which polled 2,000 Brits across the country, also looked further afield from London, exploring other UK cities. Worryingly, 13% believe that the City of Oxbridge is a real place. Our limited knowledge of Oxford and Cambridge is further explored as almost two fifths of Brits (39%) are unable to name even one landmark in Cambridge, and 38% cannot name a landmark in Oxford. It therefore comes as no surprise that 66% are unable to pinpoint one of Oxford’s most famous landmarks, the Bodleian Library.
The survey reveals that Big Ben is the most well-known landmark across the cities tested, with 91% of Brits knowing that it is in London. After London, New York is the best known city as Brits know an average of 2.6 landmarks in the metropolis, followed by their own hometown (2.1 landmarks), Rome (2.1 landmarks) and Venice (1.6 landmarks). Bottom of the list is Madrid, as 60% are unable to name a single landmark in the Spanish capital. In addition, 69% are unable to name one landmark in Budapest, 39% in Amsterdam, 36% Berlin, and 62% in Istanbul.