Pubs and restaurants had their busiest ‘Monday of the year’

Britain’s pubs and restaurants had ‘the busiest Monday of the year’ as more than 73,000 outlets took up the Government’s half-price Eat Out to Help Out scheme on food and soft drinks.

Spending at eateries was up by a sixth on the same day the week before, as tens of thousands of people went out to enjoy the discount on food and soft drinks which is running from Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August.

Some restaurants in London said they would extend the 50 per cent discount offer through into next month, without the subsidy from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, in the hope of catching more returning workers.

But fears remained that some employers had advised staff not to return to the offices until 2021, and the British Beer and Pub Association warned that more than one-third of pubs cannot break even one month after reopening.

However, among the pubs enjoying a boost was The Owl in Loughton, Essex, which tweeted: ‘Busiest Monday this year so far, excellent scheme and really shown it works. Thanks for the support, Rishi Sunak and team.’

Andrew Macleod, of Emilia’s Crafted Pasta in London, said guest numbers had doubled on last week, while John Molnar, of The Cod’s Scallops in Nottingham, said eat-in sales exceeded takeaway for the first time since March. 

Diners sit outside at restaurants on James Street in Central London yesterday as they take advantage of Eat Out to Help Out

Diners enjoy a meal on James Street in London's Marylebone area yesterday as they make the most of a lunchtime discount

Diners enjoy a meal on James Street in London’s Marylebone area yesterday as they make the most of a lunchtime discount

People enjoy a half-price meal at restaurants on James Street in London's Marylebone yesterday afternoon

People enjoy a half-price meal at restaurants on James Street in London’s Marylebone yesterday afternoon

People queue up to enter a McDonald's restaurant on Queen Street in Cardiff yesterday which is offering the discount

People queue up to enter a McDonald’s restaurant on Queen Street in Cardiff yesterday which is offering the discount

An HM Revenue & Customs spokesman said on its Facebook page: ‘By midnight August 2, 73,089 restaurants have now signed up to the Eat Out To Help Out scheme. Sign up and register your restaurant, pub or café now.’ 

But the British Beer and Pub Association, which represents brewers and pubs, warned this week that more than one-third of pubs in the UK cannot break even one month after reopening.

Q&A: When is Eat Out to Help Out on and do I need a voucher?

When is it available?

It runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from August 3 to 31.

What is it?

A 50 per cent discount when you eat in up to a maximum saving of £10 per diner. The business reclaims the value of the saving from government.

What establishments can take part?

Restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs; work and school canteens; food halls.

What are the restrictions?

No discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges.

Do I need a voucher?

No. The discount will be automatically applied by the participating outlet. The saving can be used alongside other offers and discounts.

How do I find participating outlets?

Treasury has set up a postcode finder that will list outlets offering a scheme within a two mile radius – here

What about chain restaurants?

Ninety businesses have registered to take part in the scheme, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC; burger chains such as GBK, Five Guys, Honest Burgers; coffee shops such as Costa, Starbucks, Pret a Manger, Caffe Nero; pub chains such as Wetherspoon, Fullers, Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers; restaurant chains such as Wagamama, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, TGI Fridays, Côte Brasserie, Franco Manca.

 

The finding, from a survey of the group’s members, came exactly a month after pubs in England reopened on July 4 after lockdown.

About a quarter of pubs also said they didn’t feel their business was sustainable beyond the end of March 2021 under present conditions, despite the launch of Mr Sunak’s scheme on Monday.

When lockdown measures were announced on March 23, most retailers were forced to close unless they sold essential goods such as food. 

The national shutdown prompted many stuck indoors to turn to online shopping, with internet retailers such as Amazon reporting a boom in sales. 

The launch on Monday triggered a rush for some of London’s best-known eateries, although the area around Covent Garden was still largely devoid of its usual hordes of office workers, tourists and theatre-goers.

But the steep discounts whetted the appetite of the area’s remaining regulars at a nearby branch of By Chloe, a vegan restaurant chain. Its sales increased by 20 per cent on the first day of the scheme compared with a week earlier.

Despite the signs of the initial success of the scheme, the lure of cheap lunches and dinners will not be a silver bullet for the country’s struggling hospitality industry.

Many people in Britain remain worried about the risk of infection in shared spaces, hampering efforts by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to get the economy going again and to get workers back in their offices.

‘Coming to London feels like you’ve walked into a scene from 28 Days Later,’ Stephen Entwhistle said, referring to the 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film as he waited in By Chloe for his lunch.

The 35-year-old advertising worker said the scheme gave him a chance to lend a hand to Britain’s economy. ‘I will probably go out a lot more now, rather than trying to decide what to cook every day,’ Mr Entwhistle said.

Data from booking firm Opentable showed a 10 per cent jump in the number of diners at reopened restaurants in Britain on Monday compared with the same day in 2019, the first rise since March.

At the start of last week, the number of diners had been down more than 40 per cent.

Mr Sunak announced the scheme last month as part of a latest wave of emergency measures to shore up the economy which contracted by a quarter in the March-April period. 

The £500million scheme offers 50 per cent off the bill for eat-in food and drink – up to £10 per person and excluding alcohol – on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.

Restaurants on James Street in London were busy with lunchtime eaters taking advantage of the discount yesterday

Restaurants on James Street in London were busy with lunchtime eaters taking advantage of the discount yesterday

Restaurants in James Street, W1 swell with lunchtime eaters taking advantage of the Eat out to help out government scheme.

Restaurants in James Street, W1 swell with lunchtime eaters taking advantage of the Eat out to help out government scheme.

Diners enjoy a half-price meal at a restaurant on James Street in London's Marylebone yesterday afternoon

Diners enjoy a half-price meal at a restaurant on James Street in London’s Marylebone yesterday afternoon

Diners go out for a ramen lunch on James Street in London yesterday as they enjoy the Eat Out to Help Out discount

Diners go out for a ramen lunch on James Street in London yesterday as they enjoy the Eat Out to Help Out discount

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured at a Wagamama branch on July 8, has launched the scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured at a Wagamama branch on July 8, has launched the scheme

The Government hopes the unprecedented subsidy, along with cuts to value-added tax for the hospitality sector, will help to reduce job losses at restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs which employ 1.8 million people.

How you could get a further £5 off your meal out with an Amex card

American Express is giving customers £5 cashback for spending £10 or more in small shops, which can can be used in conjunction with the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme.

It means you could buy a meal costing £20, get £10 off at the restaurant through the Government discount, then a further £5 cashback via Amex – meaning you pay just £5 for the meal.

A couple using two different Amex cards could split the bill, so they could both get £5 cashback as long as they each spend at least £10 on their card. 

Under the scheme, you can qualify for the £5 cashback up to ten times – meaning up to £50 is available to each customer. You can use the offer only once at each retailer. The cashback is being funded by Amex, not the store.

Amex has signed up thousands of small businesses across the UK for the deal, including family-run butchers, clothes shops and hair salons in addition to pubs and restaurants. It says it wants to help small firms struggling to survive the pandemic. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, an industry group, welcomed the support but said around a third of Britain’s bars and restaurants are at risk of permanent closure.

‘At the moment it’s taking a little while to unwind,’ she said. The Government’s emergency support, which also includes a massive job retention programme and rules preventing eviction by landlords until September, was helping to slow job losses.

‘But they will start to come through,’ Ms Nichols said.

She said she was pressing Mr Sunak for more support in his autumn budget, including measures to help bring down the burden of rents and debt taken on during the crisis.

Scot Turner, vice president of operations at QOOT Co., which runs the By Chloe vegan food chain, said his firm would extend the 50 per cent discount offer through September, without the government subsidy, in the hope of catching more returning workers.

But he added it was extremely worrying that some employers had advised staff not to return to the offices until 2021.

‘My fear, in central London, is whether there’s enough being done to drag people back into town,’ he said.

The degree of caution that consumers feel is also a big unanswered question for the Bank of England which will announce its latest outlook for the economy tomorrow.

The uncertainties underscore the scale of the challenge ahead even for restaurants that have been swamped with booking requests such as the Hawksmoor chain of steakhouses, which is offering an extra £10 off between Monday and Wednesday in August, on top of the government’s subsidy.

When it announced 5,500 seats on its website with its Eat Out to Help Out offer, they were all gone within six hours.

‘So far, the re-openings have gone better than we hoped,’ said Huw Gott, one of Hawksmoor’s founders, above the growing hubbub from a dining room. ‘But who knows what September and October will bring?’ 

Which chains and restaurant groups are registered for the Eat Out To Help Out scheme?

Atalian Servest

Atlas Hotels

Bakers + Baristas

Bannatyne Health Club

Bar + Grills

Bill’s

Black Sheep Coffee

Blue Diamond

Boparan Restaurant Group

Brains

Brewdog

Burger King

Buzz Bingo

CH&CO

Caffè Nero

Center Parcs

Coffee#1

Company of Cooks

The Cornish Bakery

Costa Coffee

Crussh

Côte Brasserie

D&D London

David Lloyd Clubs

Deep Blue Fish & Chips

Dobbies Garden Centres

Euro Garages

Everyman

Five Guys

Franco Manca 

Fullers

G1

GAIL’s Bakeries

Giggling Squid

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Greene King

Grosvenor Casinos

Hall & Woodhouse

Haven

Hollywood Bowl

Honest Burgers

Hydes

JD Wetherspoon

JW Lees

Joe & The Juice

Joseph Holt 

Jurys Inn

KFC

Kew Green Hotels

Leon Restaurants

MacDonald Hotels

Marston’s

McDonald’s 

McMullen

Mecca

Mitchells & Butlers

Morrisons – Cafe and Barista Bar

New World Trading Company

Park Holidays

Patisserie Valerie 

Pho 

Pizza Express 

Pizza Hut

Pret A Manger 

Prezzo

Punch

Revolution Bars Group

Raj Douth

Raj Gate

Roadchef

Selfridges & Co

Shepherd Neame Ltd

Spice Garden

St Austell Brewery

Starbucks

TGI Fridays

Team Sport

Tenpin

The Ivy Collection

The National Trust

Tony Macaroni

Tortilla

Turtle Bay

Vacherin

Village Hotels

Viva Italia

Wagamama

Wasabi

Wildwood

YO Sushi

Youngs

Feeding pigeons bread could be making them more aggressive and dominant

Fattening up pigeons by feeding them bread in the park could make them more aggressive because heavier birds are the most dominant, study finds

  • Researchers studied a flock of 17 homing pigeons with 8 males and 9 females
  • When ‘adding weight’ to some of the pigeons they became more aggressive 
  • When the weights were removed from the pigeons they ‘stepped back’ into line 

Giving pigeons in the park bread could be making them more aggressive, according to a new study that found heavier birds were the most dominant.

A team from the University of London examined dominance in pigeon society and looked at which had better access to resources such as food and mates. 

They found that heavy birds dominated in pigeon groups and if a light bird was ‘fattened up’ it would be quickly climb the ranks and become dominant.   

‘It’s possible the added mass made them feel in better physiological condition, and more willing, therefore, to pick a fight,’ according to the research team. 

Giving pigeons in the park bread could be making them more aggressive, according to a new study that found heavier birds were the most dominant

Many animals live and travel in groups, giving them enhanced vigilance and predator detection – but individual personality characteristics can lead to conflict. 

This leads to some individuals within a group coming out as dominance and this has been seen throughout the animal kingdom, the team explained. 

There are benefits to this ‘dominance hierarchy’ within a group – the team say it reduced the severity and incidence of physical conflicts with other groups. 

By reducing the time devoted to these encounters, time can be invested in other important behaviours such as maintenance, vigilance and foraging. 

Previous studies have linked linear hierarchies – that is an order of dominance – to parameters such as body mass and size.

The order is stable or unstable and varies over time and the researchers from London found that in pigeons size really does matter.

The bigger the bird the more aggressive they are likely to be and the most aggressive birds tend to become the most dominant within a group.

To determine this was the case the team studied 17 homing pigeons held at the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, Hertfordshire – eight males and nine females.

They were all six years old and had been held since they were a year old – they were given regular access to food and awater and no other birds were added to the group.

Birds were studied at three points in their annual cycle over three years and after 19 months the nine birds at the bottom of the pecking order were made heavier.

The team added artificial weights to the backs of the birds – who were used to having artificial objects applied to their bodies. 

Before the extra weights were added the dominance hierarchy among the birds was stable, but this changed dramatically at the next measuring session.

Those with ‘extra mass’ became noticeably more dominant and became more aggressive – increasing their rank in the group.

It was the male birds that became the most aggressive when they ‘got bigger’ with one becoming up to 750 per cent more aggressive, according to researchers.

The experiment actually led to an overall increase in the aggressiveness of the flock and in the number of aggressive encounters. 

They found that heavy birds dominated in pigeon groups and if a light bird was 'fattened up' it would be quickly climb the ranks and become dominant

They found that heavy birds dominated in pigeon groups and if a light bird was ‘fattened up’ it would be quickly climb the ranks and become dominant

When the ‘extra weights’ were removed from the birds the original hierarchy – from before the experiment – returned and the previously weighted birds stepped back into line – suggesting no carry-over or memory of the effects.

‘There is no clear pattern yet determined as to why body mass is such a strong determinant of dominance in some species but not others,’ the authors explained.

‘It is possible that body mass is a significantly correlated with dominance in species where secondary-sexual ornamentations are less pronounced, and as a result, signalling is less clear. 

‘In such cases, body mass may become more of an important indicator of fitness.’ 

The study shows that aggressive traits can be modified and increased by ‘feeding up’ birds – so pigeons who compete for breadcrumbs in cities could be more aggressive as a result of humans leaving food out for them. 

The findings have been published in the journal Biology Letters

Putin’s man in London says ‘mud-slinging’ means our relationship with Moscow is ‘close to frozen’

Vladimir Putin’s man in London has warned relations between Westminster and Moscow are ‘close to being frozen’ – with Russia in ‘no hurry’ to ease tensions.

In his first major newspaper interview since his appointment last year, Mr Putin’s ambassador Andrei Kelin denied claims that his nation had interfered in British politics.

Brushing off accusations that the Kremlin has waged a campaign of hacking and meddling, Mr Kelin said: ‘I feel that Britain exaggerates, very much, its place in Russian thinking.’

He denied Moscow had leaked sensitive documents by hacking Liam Fox’s emails, or attempted to steal British coronavirus vaccine research. He also denied that Russia had interfered in the Brexit referendum, and dismissed claims it fired a ‘space weapon’ last month.

Boris baron: Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the London Evening Standard newspaper and son of a former KGB agent, with pop star Rita Ora at The Theatre Royal in London in 2018

Russia’s political interference in Britain was described as ‘the new normal’ in a report by Westminster’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) last month, which warned that the Government had ‘badly underestimated’ the Kremlin.

Mr Kelin accused the UK of throwing ‘a lot of mud… in our direction’, saying of the relationship between London and Moscow: ‘I wouldn’t say this is at zero, but it is close to being frozen.’

In 2018, then prime minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats after the nerve agent Novichok was used in an attempt to murder former spy Sergei Skripal. Mr Kelin said he hoped to improve his country’s relationship with Britain following the poisonings in Salisbury, but admitted this was not going ‘smoothly’.

Following the string of allegations levelled at his country, Mr Kelin said: ‘This type of attitude does not provoke much of an appetite for improving dialogue or relations in Moscow. We are patient and we are not in a hurry.’

He did, however, welcome Boris Johnson’s peerage for Russian-born billionaire Evgeny Lebedev, saying: ‘It might be a good thing… even the House of Lords and British parliament need to have a variety of views, alternative opinions.’

The peerage for Mr Lebedev, the owner of the London Evening Standard newspaper and son of a former KGB agent, was announced days after the publication of the ISC report which said Russia had wooed Establishment figures – including members of the House of Lords.

Denials: Diplomat Andrei Kelin ahead of presenting his credentials to the Queen in February this year. He has accused the UK of throwing ¿a lot of mud... in our direction¿

Denials: Diplomat Andrei Kelin ahead of presenting his credentials to the Queen in February this year. He has accused the UK of throwing ‘a lot of mud… in our direction’

Mr Kelin played down the claims, saying: ‘I feel that Britain exaggerates, very much, its place in Russian thinking. The scope and place of Great Britain in Russian politics is not that big. We have other problems of much larger magnitude.’

Mr Kelin also dismissed the ISC’s claims that Russian oligarchs used London as a ‘laundromat’ for dirty money. ‘Oligarchs mean rich people that can influence the president,’ he said. ‘The last one [oligarch] was about 20 years ago… those wealthy people living here [in Britain], the bulk of these people simply escaped Russia because they were being pursued for tax evasion, fraud and other criminal activities.

‘All of them have left the country just to escape prosecution. If British authorities will decide to provide us information about these people or decide to be positive on our demands for extradition, we will only greet this, salute this.’

The ISC’s report was followed by further claims of meddling, with Russia accused of stealing trade documents by breaking into former Cabinet minister Liam Fox’s emails.

Insiders said the hack ‘bore the hallmarks of a state-backed operation’ – but Mr Kelin said: ‘I have no idea about the incident. These accusations are invented, if not to say false. These are senseless accusations which we do not understand.’

A handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police showing Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov on CCTV on Fisherton Road, Salisbury, in March 2018

A handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police showing Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov on CCTV on Fisherton Road, Salisbury, in March 2018

Mr Kelin also denied Russia had attempted to steal coronavirus research. He claimed his own countrymen were closer to finding a breakthrough than the British, and hoped to produce a vaccine by October.

Furthermore, Mr Kelin claimed that Russia was itself under siege from cyber attacks – including 500,000 on a single day in June emanating from the UK.

His comments follow the publication of the ISC report, which accused ministers of failing to investigate whether Moscow had meddled in the Brexit referendum. Asked whether his country had indeed done so, Mr Kelin said: ‘No, because politically, we are not interested. For us, there is no sense to choose any side.’

The ambassador also played down reports that Russia had threatened peace in space by launching a missile-like projectile last month – an operation which prompted condemnation from Westminster and Washington.

Asked if Russia needs to mend its ways, Mr Kelin said: ‘We cannot change.’ 

Of a potential thaw in relations with Britain, he said: ‘We do exist on the same continent and sooner or later of course we will have to come back to normalise our relationship. It is unavoidable.’

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: The last of the Aspreys leaves London after 240 years 

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: The last of the Aspreys leaves London after 240 years

They are the family to whom generations of the Royal Family — as well as princelings from overseas — have turned whenever augmenting their jewellery collections.

But now, I can disclose, the unthinkable has happened: the Aspreys have vanished from London‘s West End.

William Asprey, the seventh generation of the family to rule the roost, has taken the distressing decision to place his company into administration, even though it boasts a Royal Warrant from the Queen and, just four years ago, recorded an annual profit of £26 million.

William Asprey, the seventh generation of the family to rule the roost, has taken the distressing decision to place his company into administration. Asprey pictured with his wife Lucy above 

That stupendous result appeared to vindicate Asprey’s boldness in striking out on his own in 1999, when he established William & Son just four years after his father, John Asprey, sold the eponymous family business (founded by a forebear in 1781) to Prince Jefri of Brunei for £243.5 million.

Within a decade, Asprey, 54, and his team of craftsmen created what the company described as ‘the finest jewellery and timepieces’, as well as a treasury of silver and glassware, while its gunsmiths made coveted trophy shotguns.

But since 2017 William & Son’s fortunes have turned south and racked up total losses of £21 million.

The company’s collapse dismays Naim Attallah, a longstanding friend and former chief executive of Asprey in its days under family ownership.

‘It makes you want to cry,’ Attallah tells me. ‘The people who work for William were working for me. Everybody’s feeling desperate. The economy is shrinking, so people with high overheads are now taking decisions they never thought they would have to take. It’s very depressing.’ The administrators, RSM Restructuring Advisory, declined to comment, while William Asprey could not be reached.

Perhaps he is already plotting a comeback. Nothing better reflected his ambition than his decision to call the firm William & Son — even though his son, Tom, was just a toddler — as he envisaged the company being passed down the generations for ‘another 200 years I hope’.

Tripadvisor reveals world’s best experiences for 2020

A Dubai desert barbecue and camel ride trip has been named by Tripadvisor as its No1 experience, with a pizza and gelato cooking class in a Tuscan farmhouse in second place.

They have both been honoured in the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Experiences awards, with the Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles in London claiming the top spot in the UK ranking and the Chicago Architecture River Cruise snaring the same accolade in the U.S.

The top-ranked Dubai experience, which costs from £46 ($59), is a half-day tour where guests can take part in sandboarding and dune bashing. The day is rounded off with dinner and a live performance, with previous guests describing the experience as a ‘fab day out’ and ‘the best tour ever’.

A Dubai desert barbecue and camel ride trip has been named by Tripadvisor as its No1 experience in the world 

The Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles in London claims the top spot in the Tripadvisor UK ranking of the best travel experiences

The Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles in London claims the top spot in the Tripadvisor UK ranking of the best travel experiences

The rest of the top five experiences in the world ranking comprises an Amsterdam canal cruise in a luxury open boat (third), the Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour (fourth) and the Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip from Dublin, which includes a visit to Giant’s Causeway (fifth).

The top-ranked UK experience sees muggles taken to the real-life London locations that inspired Harry Potter film sets such as Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron, and the Ministry of Magic. One reviewer rated the £18 ($23) tour as ‘fantastic’ while another said it was ‘highly entertaining’.

Scottish experiences claim three out of the top five spots in the UK ranking with the Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh in second place, the Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends in third and the Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour coming fourth. In fifth spot is the Oxford University Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide.

TRIPADVISOR’S BEST TRAVEL EXPERIENCES 2020 

The world

1. Premium Red Dunes & Camel Safari with BBQ at Al Khayma Camp – Dubai from £46

2. Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class in Tuscan Farmhouse – Florence from £64

3. Luxury Small-Group Canal Cruise in Open-Air Boat – Amsterdam from £16

4. Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour – from £9

5. Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip Including Giant’s Causeway from Dublin – from £60

 The UK

1. Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles in London – from £18

2. Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh – from £48

3. Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends – from £13

4. Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour – from £35

5. Oxford University Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide – from £18

Source: Tripadvisor 

A pizza and gelato cooking class in a Tuscan farmhouse claims second place in the worldwide ranking

A pizza and gelato cooking class in a Tuscan farmhouse claims second place in the worldwide ranking

The third best travel experience in the world has been named as an Amsterdam canal cruise in a luxury open boat

The third best travel experience in the world has been named as an Amsterdam canal cruise in a luxury open boat

Tripadvisor says the second-best experience in the UK is the Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

Tripadvisor says the second-best experience in the UK is the Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends is third in the UK experiences ranking

The Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends is third in the UK experiences ranking 

Meanwhile, in the U.S, the top-ranked Chicago cruise sees guests taken by boat along the Chicago River while learning about the city’s most famous buildings, including the Willis Tower and the Wrigley Building. Prices for the tour start from £28 ($36), with one reviewer writing ‘I cannot say enough about how amazing this was’ while another called it an ‘awesome experience’.

The rest of the top five U.S Tripadvisor experiences list comprises the Skip-Line Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour (second), the New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour (third), Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Tour (fourth) and the Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour (fifth).

There were also gongs for amusement parks and water parks.

TRIPADVISOR’S BEST U.S TRAVEL EXPERIENCES 2020

1. Chicago Architecture River Cruise – from $36

2. Skip-Line Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour – from $52

3. New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour – from $93

4. Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour – from $35

5. Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour, Las Vegas – from $433

6. Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Beaches and More – from $93

7. DC At Dusk Night Tour – from $60

8. Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour, Seattle – from $30

9. New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat Tour – from $57

10. Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago – from $27

Source: Tripadvisor  

The top-ranked travel experience in the U.S is the Chicago Architecture River Cruise, where guests learn about the city's most famous buildings

The top-ranked travel experience in the U.S is the Chicago Architecture River Cruise, where guests learn about the city’s most famous buildings

Second in the U.S ranking is the Skip-Line Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour

Second in the U.S ranking is the Skip-Line Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour

The New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour is third in the U.S ranking

The New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour is third in the U.S ranking 

Scooping the title for best amusement park is Florida’s Magic Kingdom, with historical theme park Puy du Fou, in western France, in second place.

Top spot on the UK amusement park podium is occupied by Paultons Park in Romsey, home of Peppa Pig World, with The Milky Way Adventure Park in Clovelly, Devon, the runner-up.

Siam Park in Tenerife wins the title of the best water park in the world and the best in Europe.

Speaking about the awards – which are determined using an algorithm that analyses a business’s reviews, opinions and popularity with travellers over the past year – Ben Drew, president of Viator, the platform that powers Tripadvisor’s bookable experiences, said: ‘Viator’s global partnership with Tripadvisor ensures that more of the incredible experiences bookable on our site are also available to the world.

TRIPADVISOR’S BEST AMUSEMENT AND WATER PARKS 2020 

 Best amusement parks in the world

1. Magic Kingdom Park – Orlando, Florida

2. Puy du Fou – Les Epesses, France

3. Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Orlando, Florida

4. Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Orlando, Florida

5. Universal Studios Florida

Best amusement parks in the UK

1. Paultons Park – Romsey

2. The Milky Way Adventure Park – Clovelly, Devon

3. Adventure Island – Southend-on-Sea

4. Sundown Adventureland – Retford, Nottinghamshire

5. Blackpool Pleasure Beach 

 Best water parks in the world

1. Siam Park – Tenerife

2. Waterbom Bali – Kuta, Indonesia

3. Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark – Dubai

4. Aqua Dome – Tralee, Ireland

5. Aquapark Istralandia – Novigrad, Croatia

Best water parks in Europe

1. Siam Park – Tenerife

2. Aqua Dome – Tralee, Ireland

3. Aquapark Istralandia – Novigrad, Croatia

4. Aqualand Corfu Water Park – Greece

5. Water Park – Rhodes, Greece  

Source: Tripadvisor 

Scooping the title for best amusement park in the world is Florida's Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Scooping the title for best amusement park in the world is Florida’s Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World 

Top spot on the UK amusement park podium is occupied by Paultons Park in Romsey, home of Peppa Pig World

Top spot on the UK amusement park podium is occupied by Paultons Park in Romsey, home of Peppa Pig World

Siam Park in Tenerife wins the title of best water park in the world and the best in Europe

Siam Park in Tenerife wins the title of best water park in the world and the best in Europe

‘No one simply travels to a destination to stay in their hotel room and calls it memorable.

‘Viator and Tripadvisor give more travellers the opportunity to experience the richness that a destination can offer, making memories that will last a lifetime – whether you’re sandboarding in the Arabian desert, or making pizza in a Tuscan farmhouse.

‘This year’s winners illustrate travellers’ appreciation for experiences that are truly unforgettable, and that they’ll remember and talk about for years to come.’