How a supermarket entrance became the #1 attraction in Bude, Cornwall

Set back from the beautiful southwest coastline on the banks of the River Neet or Strat, Bude is a quintessential Cornish town. So how is it that a Sainsbury’s car park walkway has become top attraction?

‘Crowning jewel’, ‘must visit’ and ‘incredible’ are words often afforded to world wonders, such as the Taj Mahal or Egypt’s pyramids. This week, though, this high praise is being showered on a covered supermarket walkway in the town of Bude, Corwnall.

An anonymous user added the 230-foot plastic tunnel, which provides a covered route between the Sainsbury’s supermarket and its car park, to travel review site TripAdvisor earlier this month. Since then, it has amassed 170 tongue-in-cheek reviews by residents and tourists alike.

One user wrote: ‘This is without doubt the crowning jewel in Bude towns magnificent buildings, there is time to saunter through at a sedate pace and take in the magnificent views afforded by the perspex roof, on a good day you are able to view the beautiful beaches and the happy holiday makers’.

Another claimed to have trekked for three days all the way from Bideford along the South West Coast Path to visit it. But not everyone was impressed, and some users remained confused about how the plastic tunnel became the number one attraction in TripAdvisor’s ranking.

This isn’t the first time the popular review site has hit the headlines thanks to fake reviews. In 2017, Vice reporter Oobah Butler created an entirely fictional restaurant, which eventually ranked first in London for the top places to eat, and in 2015, hundreds took to the site to review The Grand Budapest Hotel – a fictitious place that features in Wes Anderson’s movie of the same name.

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