Tourists from across the world have ranked Durham Cathedral as the UK’s best landmark.
The building, which towers over the city of Durham, took the top spot in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards beating the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament.
It was also placed 20th in the list of favourite European landmarks making it a double celebration for the cathedral.
Ruth Robson, head of marketing and events, welcomed the news which comes as another boost to the site that will next week be welcoming the long-awaited return of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Ms Robson said: “We are delighted that it is hailed as the UK’s number one landmark building in the inaugural TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Attractions awards.
“We do follow what visitors say on TripAdvisor and appreciate comments good or bad as we strive to be a place of welcome to all who come.
“Durham Cathedral is held with affection by many people, both in the North East of England and worldwide.
“It is a very special place and whatever prompts a visit, people always appreciate the spirituality and sense of place that the cathedral emulates. It is a grand example of Norman architecture whilst being a warm and inviting building.”
Coming behind Durham Cathedral was Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, followed by York Minster, the Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle.
Angus Struthers, from TripAdvisor, said: “These awards honour the world’s best attractions as decided by those who matter most – travellers themselves. With schools about to break for the summer holidays in a matter of weeks, these Travellers’ Choice Attractions winners are sure to be on the to do list.”
The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice winners are based on millions of reviews and opinions from travellers around the world which gives added meaning knowing it was voted for by tourists.
It’s a timely accolade for the cathedral as next Monday will mark a historic moment when the famous Lindisfarne Gospels, written in honour of St Cuthbert, will be on display in Durham for three months.
Representatives from organisations across the city have worked tirelessly for years to co-ordinate the return of the Anglo-Saxon manuscript, which will be on loan from the British Library.
It’s not the first time the Gospels, made on Holy Island in the 8th Century, have come back to the North East – they attracted huge queues in Newcastle when they were loaned in 1996 and 2001.
This time they will be displayed beside Durham Cathedral – last resting place of St Cuthbert, to whom it was dedicated – from July 1 to September 30, 2013. A programme of events linked to the Gospels are organised throughout the period.
For the complete list of 2013 Travellers’ Choice Attractions winners, sponsored by The Post Office, go to www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravellersChoice-Attractions . For more details on events surrounding the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels, go to www.lindisfarnegospels.com