Kew Gardens beats the Tower of London and the London Eye as the city's top attraction

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has waited more than 250 years for this moment (Source: Getty)

Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Big Ben - these might be the first London landmarks tourists want to visit, but expectations were smashed this year as The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew won the top spot as London's best attraction for 2016.

More than 23,000 public votes were cast and a panel of industry experts weighed in on top attractions around the world at the 2016 Worldwide Attraction Awards, hosted by AttractionTix.co.uk.

The Royal Botanic Gardens beat huge London attractions including the London Eye, the Shard and the Tower of London to sit alongside other category winners like the Empire State Building and Universal Studios Hollywood.

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A record-breaking number of visitors spent a day out at Kew Gardens this year. The final count is not out yet, but it is set to topple 2015's 1.6m. Daytime admissions for the summer months in 2016 were up 30 per cent on the same period in 2015.

The gardens are currently all dressed up for Christmas at Kew, which has sold a record number of tickets for the occasion.

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Sandra Botterell, director of marketing and commercial enterprises at the Royal Botanic Gardens said:

This award is testament to Kew’s determination to offer the ultimate visitor experience, encouraging people to connect with the beauty of nature, as we bring to life Kew’s world-class science and shine a light on the crucial issues facing the planet today.

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