Ben Nevis and deep fried Mars bars on bucket list

FORGET the Grand Canyon or Disneyland – for those on a budget, or simply feeling patriotic, here’s the Great British bucket list.
Number 33: Seeing the Hogmanay fireball swingers illuminate the streets of Stonehaven, carrying on the tradition of welcoming the new year. Picture: GettyNumber 33: Seeing the Hogmanay fireball swingers illuminate the streets of Stonehaven, carrying on the tradition of welcoming the new year. Picture: Getty
Number 33: Seeing the Hogmanay fireball swingers illuminate the streets of Stonehaven, carrying on the tradition of welcoming the new year. Picture: Getty

As an antidote to spending thousands of pounds travelling the world in pursuit of lofty ambitions, this is a purely homegrown “50 things to do before you die” list as chosen by a poll of 1,000 British adults.

Among the highlights are a number of Scottish experiences including eating a deep-fried Mars Bars, watching Stonehaven’s annual New Year fireball celebration and eating haggis in Scotland on Burns Night.

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Elsewhere, the list suggests seeing Tower Bridge being raised, watching the sun come up over Stonehenge on midsummer’s day or witnessing the Oxford and Cambridge boat race.

But topping it all is the simple, affordable but truly British pleasure of tucking into fish and chips while sitting on a pier in a seaside resort.

The list, from a survey conducted by the search engine Ask Jeeves, ranges from the cultural to culinary and includes sporting events and sightseeing attractions.

For those who cannot afford to swim with dolphins or climb Kilimanjaro, it recommends seeing whales off the coast of Wales and climbing Ben Nevis.

And where in the world offers the kind of musical experiences available in Blighty, from the Glastonbury festival to the Proms to morris dancing?

The sporting wishlist includes holding the FA Cup, seeing a Briton play at Wimbledon, or lining the streets to cheer on runners in the London marathon.

Alternatively, for something different but still very British, why not take in the unique atmosphere of a world darts championships, which are held annually in the UK.

For foodies, it suggests dining at a prestigious Gordon Ramsay restaurant to eating haggis on Burns Night or simply trying a deep-fried Mars Bar.

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Uniquely British pursuits also include seeing a panto to having a pint in the Rover’s Return – the pub in Coronation Street – as part of a guided tour of the soap’s TV set.

Other tours to try out include a Jack the Ripper walk around East London, the famous Wainwright walks in the Lake District, or being guided round London’s historic pubs.

A spokesman for Ask Jeeves said: “It may take some time to do all 50 but at least you will not have to pay thousands to travel the world to do so.

“Most of these bucket lists include the kind of ambitions that look wonderful on paper but are out of reach for millions of us.

“Instead, we thought it would be good to look closer to home to find the kind of experiences that Britons think everyone should try at least once in their lives.”

The Great British Bucket List - 50 UK-based things to do before you die:

1. Eat fish and chips on a seaside pier

2. See whales off Wales

3. Go to a night at the proms at the Albert Hal

4. Visit the Giant’s Causeway, N.Ireland

5. Have a picnic at an open air concert

6. Go up in the London Eye

7. Travel Scotland’s West Coast by rail

8. Watch a Shakespeare play in Stratford-upon-Avon

9. Dine in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant

10. Go to a British Grand Prix

11. See inside the Houses of Parliament

12. Get the Ffestiniog railway up Snowdon

13. Go to Glastonbury pop festival

14. Hold the FA Cup in your hands

15. Take in the view from the top of the Shard

16. Be at Stonehenge on longest day of the year

17. See the trooping of the colour

18. Go to a cricket test match

19. Visit ‘The Prisoner’ village Portmeirion, Wales

20. Have tea at Betty’s tearooms, Harrogate

21. See a traditional Xmas panto

22. Watch a British player at Wimbledon

23. Do a ‘Wainwright’ walk in the Lake District

24. Drive round Brand’s Hatch

25. Visit a whisky distillery

26. Go to a six nations rugby match

27. Go on a Jack the Ripper guided walk in London’s East End

28. Have a pint in the Rover’s Return

29. See Lake Windermere by boat

30. Go on a historic London pub tour

31. Experience the Notting Hill Carnival

32. Try a deep fried Mars Bar

33. See Stonehaven, Scotland, fireball ceremony on New Year’s Eve

34. Sail round the Isle of Wight

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35. Attend Grand National, Guineas and Gold Cup horse races

36. Go to a World Darts Final

37. Take a selfie at both John O’Groats and Land’s End

38. Take a ferry across the Mersey

39. Climb Ben Nevis

40. See Tower Bridge raised

41. Visit Borough food market, London

42. Eat Haggis on Burns Night, in Scotland

43. See Morris Dancers at a country pub

44. See Oxford Street Christmas Lights

45. Be at a recording of X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent

46. See Blackpool Illuminations

47. Watch a boxset of Only Fools and Horses

48. Witness Oxford/Cambridge boat race

49. Attend first day of Harrods sale

50. Watch London Marathon live