A woman who planned a scenic family trip through a tunnel with hundreds of five-star reviews on TripAdvisor was left red-faced after she arrived only to discover it was just a plastic shelter in a Sainsbury’s car park.
Bude Tunnel, in Cornwall, shot to one of the highest-rated activities in the area after local jokers sarcastically bombarded it with reviews comparing it to the Taj Mahal and Great Wall of China.
The 70m (230ft) tunnel has seen glowing comments describing it as a “hidden gem” and “absolutely unmissable attraction”.
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One recent reviewer gushed: “Life-changing. I entered a boy and exited a man.
“It was a tubular experience that left me transformed and captured. The cylindrical shape has moulded me in ways that are hard to describe. Well worth the drive from Spain.”
But when mum Judy arrived for a family day out, it fell far short of what she was expecting.
She posted to TripAdvisor: “I mean really!!! DO NOT LOOK AT TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS for this Tunnel! I did to our detriment…
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“Planned an hour for our visit expecting a lovely scenic walk with the kid, husband and dog. Stress levels high trying to find the damn place.
“Reached Sainsbury’s and asked a trolley park attendant who told me totally disinterested, ‘Yes this is the Tunnel’. 30 seconds through said Perspex Tunnel to be met with the Sainsbury car park.
“That’s it!! Never have I been so embarrassed. Subsequently I have been banned from the Trip Planning Committee.”
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TripAdvisor was previously forced to ban reviews for the hugely-popular tunnel, after complaints of "an influx of review submissions" that "do not describe a first-hand experience".
A statement from the company explained at the time: "Bude Tunnel is clearly a very well-known place of interest and affection locally, as the many reviews on TripAdvisor demonstrate. In fact, local shops even sell postcards featuring the tunnel.
"That said, the recent media attention on Bude Tunnel caused an influx of spoof review submissions that did not meet our guidelines."
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