ONE of the most widely recognised prehistoric monument in Europe, Stonehenge, is the most visited attraction in the South West, according to a new study.

The world heritage site on Salisbury Plain hosted 1,555,868 visitors from the UK and overseas last year.

It comes after official visitor data, TripAdvisor review scores, and thousands of Instagram hashtags were analysed to uncover a list of "must-see" attractions in the South West and throughout the UK.

Four of the top seven attractions in the South West received an impressive 4.5 average review score on TripAdvisor, while the remaining three scored a 4-star rating.

And despite achieving an average of 4.29 out of a possible five stars, the South West scored the lowest in the list of regions that featured.

The region was also the second most Instagrammable region in the UK with over 1.1 million (1,139,577) hashtags from the top three most hashtagged attractions with Stonehenge contributing 691,785 hashtags to this success.

The most Instagrammable attractions in the South West were Stonehenge, Longleat near Warminster, the Eden Project at St Austell in Cornwall, the Roman Baths and Pump Room in Bath, and Bristol Zoo Gardens.

The research also found that UK attractions are becoming more popular, with overall visits to attractions rising by an average of 1.69 per cent against the previous year.

London-based attractions secured all 10 of the most popular attractions in the UK by visits. Eighty of the top 100 were based in England and almost half of these (37) were located within London.