What to do?

I have discovered that the propensity of the English to create kitsch attractions at every possible location is matched by only two things: their ability to queue patiently to get into them, and their willingness to fork out vast quantities of money to see them.

A good example is Land’s End – the Westernmost point of England, where we recently went to as part of our Cornish holiday. In most countries, these sort of landmarks are pointed out with a sign marking the spot. Perhaps a signpost showing distances to other significant points. You’d expect that at Land’s End, there’d be a sign showing the distance to John O’Groats. And there is. But there’s also a 4D movie theatre, an exhibition showing sharks and other large aquatic creatures (dramatically entitled Monsters of the Deep), a film showing an Air Sea Rescue, an exhibition of people who have made the trip from there to John O’Groats (called End to End), and a museum of an old farm that was at the site. There’s a combined ticket you can buy for £25 for a family, but single attractions start at £4 per adult. In case you’re wondering, a 4D movie is one that is 3D, but includes your other senses as well, such as wind and water, to enhance the experience.

Naturally, we didn’t go to any of these, preferring to take in the stunning scenery along the cliffs. Which had the added advantage of being almost deserted – there were only a handful of people on the path. But as we returned to our car (having paid £5 for the privilege of parking there), there were queues of families waiting to buy tickets to get into the queue to go into the various movie theatres.

So, which would you choose:


Land's End Kitsch

or this:

Land's End Beauty

I’m not sure what it is that makes me choose the latter, but it’s something I don’t seem to have in common with a notable proportion of the English race.


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1 Response to What to do?

  1. Brad Nixon says:

    You’re not entirely alone. Ol’ Matt Arnold wrote, “The cliffs of England stand, glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.” He didn’t write, “The 4D Experience of Cornwall stands, cheesy and vapid, next to the pricey car park.” But, then, maybe they hadn’t got refinements like that in Dover when he was writing. I’ll be they have them now!

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