Irish prison site named Europe's top tourist attraction

Spike Island in Cork Harbour, Ireland has been named Europe's leading tourist attraction at the World Travel Awards 2017.

SEE ALSO: Titanic Belfast named world's best tourist attraction at Tourism Oscars

SEE ALSO: Guinness Storehouse named Europe's best tourist attraction

The 104-acre island, which was a monastic settlement in the 7th century, a fort in the 18th century and a prison in the 19th century, beat famous sites including Rome's Colosseum, La Sagrada Familia in Spain and Buckingham Palace at the prestigious travel awards.

Cork's County Mayor told the Evening Echo: "This award is recognition of the incredible dedication by a great number of people who foresaw the potential of Spike Island."

On its Facebook page, Fortress Spike Island wrote: "IT'S OFFICIAL! Spike Island Cork has WON at the WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2017, and been crowned EUROPE'S leading tourist attraction 2017!

"We beat off the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower and more to win the highest award a tourist site can win. We also became the first ever site outside of the capitals to win this award.

"We are very proud to make it an unprecedented THREE IN A ROW for Ireland, following in the footsteps of the excellent Titanic Belfast and Guinness Storehouse.

"An enormous thank you to Cork County Council, Fáilte Ireland, those in Cobh with the vision to fight for Spike, our visitors, and most importantly to our incredible staff and tour guides, whose passion and hard work have made this a deserved award. This is owned by each and every one of you.
Our eternal thanks, and onwards and up for Spike Island Cork!"

London's most popular tourist attractions
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London's most popular tourist attractions

The British Museum was founded in 1753 and was the first national public museum in the world. The museum is home to a host of interesting exhibits from countries all over the world, including the iconic Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Sculptures among many others. For more information, visit  

The National Gallery is one of London’s most famous sites, and can be found on the iconic Trafalgar Square. The gallery is home to a collection of paintings from the 13th to 19th centuries as well as spectacular one-off exhibitions. For more information on what you can expect to see at the acclaimed gallery, visit
The V&A is home to over 2000 years of art and design and is one of the best known and most popular attractions in the capital. The museum can be found right in the heart of London and holds many varied collections, including architecture, fashion, sculpture, photograph and much more. Visit for more information. 
This historic tower can be found on the northern bank of the River Thames and was founded in 1066, as part of the Norman Conquest. Although monarchs no longer live in the palace, the crown jewels are housed here and therefore the tower remains a significant part of London and the royal family. The tower remains one of the most popular and iconic tourist attractions in the capital. Visit for more information. 

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