Friday, September 10, 2010

John O'Groats a carbuncle? - How very dare they!

I am spitting nails this morning at the travesty of justice that is the 2010 Carbuncle Award. I can't believe that John O'Groats has been awarded the title of the most dismal place in Scotland.

I already expressed my horror at its inclusion on the shortlist, along with the beautiful highland capital of Inverness.

Ok, it doesn't have a boutique hotel, or a Starbucks, or a whomping big theme park, but does it really matter that much?

There is potential for improvement, but surely to goodness all you need there is a pair of binoculars to see the wildlife - birds and seals and otters - and your imagination. It can be very atmospheric there as the mists roll in and surround you. On a good day, though, you can see for miles, the sea is gorgeous, the coastline incredible. Is that not enough?

I'm not sure I like the presumption in this award that unless somewhere is developed to the nth degree, it's ugly. What is actually ugly is the dumbing down of people's expectations about what constitutes beauty.

Like I said, it could be improved, but worst and most dismal place in Scotland? That's ridiculous.


Charles Dundas said...

Caron, I love to agree with you, but I fear you are guilty of double standards here. Inverness is on the list because it HAS been developed to the nth degree, carelessly and unimaginatively and is in danger of becoming a clone of Glenrothes or Irvine. Loyalty is all well and good, but you cannot say that what has happened to Inverness in terms of urban sprawl over the last 20 years has been aesthetically positive.
Also, John O'Groats is dismal. If it was unspoiled coastline then it would be lovely, but it is currently a dilapidated and deserted hotel and car park. Not an attraction that I would recommend to anyone!

Caron said...

Inverness a clone of Glenrothes or Irvine? Do they have a beautiful cathedral and a fast flowing river with lovely shady island walks? Do they have a pretty castle with a super tapas bar across the road?

Do they have amazing views over to the Black Isle and beyond?

Much as I'm fond of Glenrothes after all the time we spent there a couple of years ago, none of the roads into it lift my spirits in quite the same way as that first view of the Kessock Bridge on the A9.

And as for John O'Groats, if you're looking out to sea, you can't see the hotel:-). I agree it needs improving, but not to the extent that it's the most dismal place in Scotland.

Charles Dundas said...

I see that you are sticking to your (wrong) guns. Never mind. I will send you the pages from UrbanRealm where the shortlisting committee visit each of the sites. Read these and tell me that something hasn't gone wrong with town planning in each of these places within the last 20 years or so.


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