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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 15:19 GMT
'Hernia bay' is given rough ride
Herne Bay sign
The guide said Herne Bay was a "relic from a bygone age."
A town in Kent has been called "hernia bay" in a new tourist guide that condemns a selection of towns and cities in England.

The Rough Guide to England said Herne Bay was known as hernia bay and that Coventry had "unsightly buildings."

Other towns to be criticised in the guide were Wolverhampton, Folkestone, Southend, Portsmouth and Dover.

But the guide also praised some northern towns, such as Liverpool, for improving their attractions.

Bland tower blocks from the nadir of British architectural endeavour now give the city an ugly profile
The guide's view of Porstmouth
The guide's editor, Cliff Wilkinson, said: "It is England's contradictions that make it such a fascinating destination to visit.

"On one hand you have vibrant culture, innovative architecture and idyllic countryside, while on the other hand there are swathes of suburbia and post-industrial wastelands that defy polite description."

The VisitBritain organisation said that it was happy the guide had been generally positive about a number of areas.

A spokeswoman said: "We are generally happy with the guide.

"You have to realise that tourists will not want to go to every single town in a country."

The guide said:

  • Dover - the town centre and seafront "just don't have what it takes to induce travellers."

  • Folkestone - "The good times have passed it by".

  • Portsmouth - "Bland tower blocks from the nadir of British architectural endeavour now give the city an ugly profile".

  • Wolverhampton - "Doesn't win any beauty contests".

  • Herne Bay - "Something of a relic from a bygone age".

    But the guide also praised some towns and cities:

  • Newcastle Upon Tyne - "Has a greater breadth of attractions than many of its rivals".

  • Winchester - "A tranquil, handsome market town".

  • Liverpool - "Things are looking up at last".

  • Oxford - "Should be high on everyone's itinerary".

  • Brighton - "Has a faintly bohemian vitality".

    Derby suffers identity crisis
    17 Feb 04  |  Derbyshire

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