A staggering one in five British adults don’t know which countries make up the UK, according to new research.
Geographic gaffes committed by Britons included believing iconic AUSTRALIAN landmark Ayer’s Rock was located in England, while five per cent thought Stonehenge was a foreign site.
And while those surveyed showed a good knowledge of foreign cities, their knowledge of their home country was less than impressive.
More than fifty per cent of baffled Brits thought that Mt Everest – located in South Asia – was actually the UK’s tallest mountain.
In the survey of 2,000 people, 20.6% admitted they did not know how many countries are actually in the UK.
Some of the hilarious howlers included more than a third of the nation saying they believed the Home Counties circle Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow.
And more than half of British adults – 58.6% – confessed they thought Mount Everest, Ben Nevis and Snowdon are actually in England.
Ten per cent of those polled have no idea that the huge Angel of the North is even in the UK, let alone in the north-east of England.
And almost a quarter of Brits think Australia’s iconic Ayers Rock is actually in Britain, while one in 20 confessed they had absolutely no clue that Stonehenge is also based here in Britain.
Astonishingly, one in five Brits confessed they don’t know where in the UK Britain’s legendary seaside resort, Blackpool, is located. And the majority, 53%, have no clue where Balmoral Castle is based.
Almost a third of the nation, 32.3%, don’t know that Canterbury, home to the world famous Canterbury Cathedral, is based in the county of Kent.
Many experts believe that advances in technology and the easy availability of online search engines which provide instant answers to any question anywhere, any time, means that people now don’t need to store geographical information like they did in the last century.
The recession also means that British householders are tending to travel less – often now on just one holiday a year – which means UK trips are often abandoned in favour of Caribbean beaches or Alpine ski resorts and, thus, first –hand geographical knowledge of their home nation is immediately hindered.
Karen Gee, managing director of tour operator Journeys of Distinction, said: “We were astounded that while Britons clearly have an enviable and broad general knowledge of famous cities abroad – New York, Paris, Rome and many others – they seem to display a lack of geographical awareness when it comes to their own nation.
“It’s such a shame because the UK has so many national treasures for people to experience, right here on their doorstep.”