Overcrowded, overpriced and overrated: welcome to Britain
Lonely Planet's latest verdict may burst the royal wedding tourism bubble
With the world's attention undoubtedly caught by the royal wedding, the nation's hoteliers, restaurateurs and tourist attraction operators will barely have time to take the bunting down before next year's Diamond Jubilee, and then the small matter of the 2012 Olympics Games.
Most might be hoping that the millions of tourists expected to arrive will not pick up the latest edition of longstanding travel bible Lonely Planet's guide to Great Britain, lest they take one look, turn around and head off again. "Britain ain't cheap," it warns in its opening pages. "Public transport, admission fees, restaurants and hotel rooms all tend to be expensive compared with their equivalents in many other European countries."
Stoke is picked out as "a sprawl of industrial townships tied together by flyovers and bypasses", while leafier Surrey is "made up of uninspiring towns and dull, sprawling suburbs".
"We're not a tourist board," said the book's co-ordinating author, David Else. "We're not trying to promote any place, we're telling it how it is."
Many more places simply haven't made the cut at all. "We only have limited time and space," said Else. A glance at the index reveals Brae, in the Shetland Islands, but no Bradford.
The verdict on Leicester is diplomatic: "Alive with the sights, sounds and flavours of the subcontinent, creating a strange juxtaposition with the Victorian factories and eyesore concrete architecture." And the book praises London as "one of the world's great cities, if not the greatest" – provided you are happy to "fork out £30 in a restaurant for a 'modern European' concoction that tastes like it came from a can".
"Unfortunately at a time when everyone is in desperate need of a great value summer getaway some of Britain's tourism industry just doesn't deliver," said Else.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway attacked on Notting Hill street by man 'shouting about the holocaust'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- < Previous
- Next >
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...
£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...
£25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...