NEWS Last modified on April 2, 2014

The Beatles first tour to US voted UK's greatest departure

The Beatles depart for the US in 1964 The Beatles depart for the US in 1964

Heathrow says the public’s choice of the most iconic departure from the UK over the last century by aircraft, train, boat or car is The Beatle’s first tour of the US in 1964.

The band left on Pan Am Flight 101 from Heathrow to JFK International Airport, when 3,000 fans were present to see them off, along with 5,000 fans and 200 journalists and photographers greeting them on their arrival state-side, which gained 49% of the vote.

Coming second in list of trips by leaders in fashion, film and business, was Bob Geldof’s departure to Ethiopia, in Africa.

His visit in 1985 led to the creation of Live Aid, which took just 10 weeks to put together, and got 40% of the vote.

Following the Boomtown Rats’ frontman, is David Attenborough who began the journey to film his Life wildlife documentary series in 1979, and was voted by 38% of people.

Also making an appearance in fourth place is Princess Diana for her travels to call for an international ban on landmines during her visit to Luanda in 1997, and also got 38%.

Historian, Dominic Sandbrook, says: “I think the public’s choices also reflect our historic strengths in everything from philanthropy and popular culture to science and technology. It’s a valuable reminder that we’re at our best when we face outwards, as a nation of international ambitions and global horizons.”

Others entries in the short-list ranged from Richard Branson to The Rolling Stones from Vivienne Westwood to Vera Lynn.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s development director, commented, “For 70 years, Heathrow has witnessed amazing departures and welcomed an array of British talent back home.

“The many iconic journeys in business, technology and science that feature heavily in the top 100 all demonstrate how important it is to have a world-class hub directly connecting the UK to future international success.”

Heathrow polled 2,000 people through independent polling agency Markettiers 4DC on March 4 this year.

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