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A tour guide holds a Union Flag umbrella as she speaks to tourists outside Westminster Abbey in central London. - 

JEREMY HOBSON: Well the United Kingdom is the number one overseas destination for American travellers. But a new Lonely Planet guide says tourists might want to think twice about visiting. The guide says the U.K. is full of over-priced restaurants and boring tourist attractions.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports from London

STEPHEN BEARD: Over-crowded, over-rated and over-priced. That's the Lonely Planet Guide's unflattering assessment of much of Britain. The county of Surrey -- it says -- is dull and boring. Essex is full of aggressive working class youth. Dover is depressing. And don't go to Durham unless you only want to visit the Cathedral. The review is sure to be a blow to Britain's $25 billion a year tourist industry.

But lead author David Else makes no apology for candour.

DAVID ELSE: We don't take advertising. We're not in any kind of link with the local tourism promotions people. We travel incognito. We pay our own way. And that gives us the freedom to tell it as it is.

And, he says, that while expensive some parts Britain are still the most fascinating places in the world to explore.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.