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(According to Reddit) What's the worst holiday destination in the UK?

Once more, we asked the internet about their worst holiday experiences in the UK? What are the grimmest destinations? And why was it Blackpool?

Est read time: 8m 29s

Photo by Didem Kokbil on Unsplash

Following on from our ‘worst ever teacher gifts’ blog, we hopped back onto the internet, this time searching for the worst holiday destinations in the UK! 

We were shocked by the responses we received. It seems a lot of people were looking for a place to vent, and we’re not complaining, we received some hilarious responses! 

So without further ado, here are our top 10 worst holiday destinations, as voted by the people of Reddit!

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1. Blackpool 

Photo by Didem Kokbil on Unsplash

Blackpool is one of the UK’s most popular seaside holiday destinations, and it has frequently been associated with one of the grimmest. There were a host of angry Redditors with something to say about the seaside capital of the North… 

“Visiting Blackpool makes my 2-bed house in an old mining area feel like Hollywood boulevard.”

2. “Went to the black pool when I was 9 had a good time but when men are trying to sell you cigarettes at 9year old near the pleasure Beach you start to realise its not really a nice place”

3. “Blackpool, out of season.

Grandad took the family as a final trip before he popped his clogs, as he had fond memories of going there as a youngster. He paid for a week's trip.

We stayed in a damp hotel that looked like a castle made of pebble dash that seemed to be God's waiting room for the 100 or so pensioners that were also staying there. 

On day 1 the weather was bleak and the trams were broken. The smackheads were everywhere. A monkey bit me at the zoo and swiped Grandad's double-decker from his inside coat pocket. Someone had written on the sand on the beach in 20-foot letters "f*ck off poofs". 

On day 2 someone tried to rob Grandad by grabbing the bag off the back of his wheelchair, knocking him onto the pavement. To cheer us up we got a chip supper. It made everyone sick.  

On day 3 we went to look at the tower. It was closed and the only place open was the arcade. Grandad had a tantrum in the middle of a road when his wheelchair got stuck in a rut and declared ‘I hate this bloody sh*t heap place.’ This was a man who spelt out words like 'damn' to prevent offence.

We left the same afternoon.”

2. Scarborough 

Photo by Stephen Ingham on Unsplash

Scarborough, Scarvegas and whatever else it’s been known as is the largest seaside town on the northern coast. It’s also, as we’ve now found out, responsible for a few unsavoury memories amongst the people of the UK. Let’s delve a little deeper and see what Reddit had to say about Scarbados… 

1. “Folk from Scarborough are a different breed, I distinctly remember being there in the winter, the beach was coated in snow, and a guy with family wandered down to the beach, kicked a patch of snow off, laid his towel down on the sand and the lot of them sat down and got their books out, took their jackets off and sunbathed, mental.”

3. Any Pontins/Butlins

The overbearing giants of British seaside culture, and with good reason. Designed to rival the package holiday for working-class families; between them currently owning 9 resorts across the UK. Unfortunately, they have developed a sour reputation over the years despite having been a mainstay for families throughout the ’50s and ’60s, there might be a few reasons why…

1. “Skegness. Height of summer 2006. We went to Butlins which as a 10-year-old, should have been glorious. But I mean it was in Skegness... And the sewerage system in Butlins was broken so for the entire week holiday everywhere smelled like shit. Summed up that holiday perfectly.”

“Easy. Butlins in Minehead in the early nineties. Was like a low-security prison. Was horrible. Utterly grim.”

3. “Pontins in Prestatyn. The one they shot the On The Buses film in. The film made it look grim but they must have tarted it up because the reality was worse. The chalet was utterly dire. Cold, dank, full of spiders, some of them the size of my hand. My mum sent me and my sister to the "cinema" one afternoon. It was just a room with some cheap plastic office seats and a bedsheet they projected a film onto. We thought it would be something contemporary but no, Mary Poppins, which we both hated. In addition, we were soaked to the bone by the interminable rain. 

When we came out, at least the rain had stopped. Unfortunately, what replaced it was the biggest hailstorm of my life. The hailstones were the most intense pain I'd suffered in my five years on this planet, and my four-year-old sister didn't fare any better. The record for intense pain didn't last long because the next day I broke my arm so badly, it looked like my hand was hanging off. I don't know where the nearest hospital was but we went to Bangor, an hour away by car. When we got there, the nurse asked "Are you sure it's broken?" so I showed her and that's the only time I've ever seen a nurse turn white and look like she would faint.

Two days later, my sister and I got a tropical disease and she stopped breathing. My dad had to hold her upside down and shake her and, thankfully, she came round. Back at Bangor hospital, they put us in isolation with all the windows open and virtually no clothes despite it being arctic. We both missed out on the rest of the holiday, but my mum and dad contracted food poisoning and, with only one bathroom in the chalet, my dad made a run for the toilet block and didn't make it. He sh*t himself in public then walked, in shame, to the toilet block, the urge no longer pressing. Unfortunately, it became pressing again and he sh*t himself in public for a second time, minutes later. When we finally got home, the house had been burgled, and cockroaches had also moved in."

4. Cleethorpes/Grimsby

Photo by Sean Setterfield on Unsplash

A Lincolnshire port town that was in part made infamous by Hollywood prankster Sacha Baron Cohen. Grimsby really lives up to its name and was recently voted the most dangerous place to live in Lincolnshire. It’s also, it now transpires, not a fantastic place for a holiday, and we now have evidence as to why…

1. “I’ve worked all over England, Grimsby is by far, the worst place. Streets of boarded-up houses with no copper sprayed on the hoardings... The thieves are polite though, The house we were in was broken in, I leapt up and said ‘HELLO?’ ‘Sorry mate, wrong house’ was the response…”

2. “Grimsby, it's in the name. Should have been a sign.”

“Came here to say this - Grim by name, grim by nature”    

5. Rhyl 

Photo by ben frost on Unsplash

Rhyl is a long-popular seaside resort in Wales. Recently voted amongst the worst places to live in the country, Rhyl has had a spiralling reputation since the ’80s which is in part due to the crime, unemployment and “general air of apathy”, and this was certainly confirmed when we posed the question to Reddit; here are some of the best responses! 

1. “Rhyl was pretty grim. Needles on the beach galore!” 

2. “not a holiday, just a day trip but omfg. Rhyll is an abomination of a place.”

3. “Rhyl. Just a day out.

Ended up walking out on the beach. Bad mistake. Ended up surrounded by slime which very much looked like sewage for a full 360 like 'how do we get ourselves in these situations?'.

On the plus side, there was a time machine on the prom back to the late eighties where the menu was stolen from a soft play.”

6. Skegness

Photo by Jonny Rothwell on Unsplash

Affectionately referred to as ‘Skeggy’ or ‘Smegness’, the second-worst place to holiday in Lincolnshire was actually home to the first-ever Butlins resort in 1936! Remaining its most popular destination ever since; cross-referencing to the max, however, we’re choosing to focus specifically on stories from Skeggy itself, and not the Butlins counterpart! So, without further ado…

“You'll look at Scarborough in a completely different light once you have been to sh*tholes like Cleethorpes and Skeggy”

2. “Skeggy. We used to go often as a child and had a grandparent who lived there. The only saving grace was that it had a decent Woolworths to spend your grandparent money in. The best bit was the chippy near Sutton on the way back home.”

3. “Skegness was our occasional family holiday.

A grim wasteland that made our later holidays to Morecambe seem good by comparison.”

7. Southport

A fun fact about Southport, It’s home to the UK’s only Lawnmower museum, and if that’s not enough to get you excited then I’m not certain what will. It seems that Reddit is crawling with Lawnmower less-than enthusiast’s, so much so that they frequently cited the Merseyside town as one of the worst in the UK for a holiday! Here are some of the best responses. 

1. “Used the Pontins as a cheap place to kip while we had a couple of nights out in Southport twenty years ago before the internet started to name and shame it. It was grim, plastic mattresses, poorly made-up beds, minging kitchen and kitchenware. Sand at the bottom of the pool for some reason.”

2. “I went to a Primary school friend's birthday party in Southport in the mid 90's and two hours of that was enough to put me off the place for life.”

8. Barry Island 

Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

Sorry, Gavin and Stacey fans… The backdrop to the hit BBC program is not just responsible for giving the world James Corden. It’s also a bustling tourist location in the vale of Glamorgan complete with sandy beaches, amusement parks and bad memories, that is, according to Reddit… 

1. “Barry island. My mum won a holiday at the Butlins there in 1986. Even as a 9-year old I realised how much of a dog hole it was, I suspect it’s only got worse since.”

2. “it’s riddled with chavs, stinks of green, a lot of the area is scruffy, food places that probably shouldn’t have passed a food hygiene check, the fairground is regularly in the local news because someone has tried to snatch a child, or sexually harass teen girls there. Then they have the cheek to charge £10 for parking, which is probably to pay the wages of the jobsworth parking attendant, who tells you exactly where and how to park. I went in May with the kids, my siblings and dad. We had a good time as we don’t get together often. But it is still Barry Island.”

I would also like to add, on a personal note, I lost a hat once at Barry island when visiting with my Dad… 

9. Torquay

Photo by Sam Clarke on Unsplash

A place so distinctly grim it appeared as a caricature of itself in the sitcom 'Fawlty Towers’. This was a fictional creation of course, but for those who have had the pleasure of visiting Torquay on the South coast, it doesn’t really leave much to be desired, however, David Bowie once performed there for £1.50 per person, which has to stand for something? I’ll let you be the judge…

I’ll just leave this here…

10. Slough

If nothing else, Slough wins the prize for the most boring name in England, to be honest, it doesn’t particularly improve from there anyway. In fairness to Slough, this was the place that gave us Thunderbirds, Mars Bars and Snooker. But, if Reddit is anything to go by, it did not give us restful holidays and friendly residents, more to follow… 

1. “Stopped in Slough when going to Legoland, it's like living in a black and white film”

In Conclusion

The people have spoken! We posed a question to the internet and this is what they delivered. I don’t necessarily agree, and in the interest of neutrality, wish to keep my backside firmly rested on the fence. After all, I've never even been to Blackpool… 

A few honourable mentions for the likes of Jay Wick. But, if you’re organising a group holiday this summer, I would suggest heading towards Bath, Whitby, Dungeness and a few of the more desirable tourist destinations the UK has to offer.

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