Why a Sainsbury’s wind tunnel has been voted Bude’s top attraction
Perspex walkway tops online ranking of tourist sights in Cornwall town
A plastic tunnel outside a supermarket has become the number one tourist attraction in the picturesque north Cornwall town of Bude.
The seaside resort has “something for everyone”, says tourism board Visit Cornwall, with traditional sights including a 19th-century castle, a natural seawater swimming pool and a host of sandy beaches.
However, the guidebooks are apparently omitting its top attraction - that is, according to travel review giant TripAdvisor, which lists a plastic tunnel running alongside a Sainsbury’s supermarket as the must-see tourist destination in town.
The Perspex covered walkway was added to the site’s list of Bude attractions by an unknown prankster, along with a glowing description.
“Walk from the Sainsbury's car park to Crooklets Road completely undercover, protected from the elements whilst maintaining your view to the spectacular surroundings of Bude.
“Consisting of 36 metal arches and over 70m long, nowhere else in Bude can you walk this far undercover in a continuous straight line.”
Those eager to plan their visit to Sainsbury’s in Bude will be pleased to note that the shelter is “open to the public free of charge” and that “all ages are welcome”.
Since it first appeared on the site, the tunnel has attracted close to 200 tongue-in-cheek rave reviews, pushing it to the number one status on the list of attractions.
“Without doubt the crowning jewel in Bude town’s magnificent buildings,” reads a typical example, while other reviews compared the site to Pompeii, the Sistine Chapel, and a “modern Taj Mahal”.
However, not everyone was in on the joke.
“The Bude tunnel is an elongated plastic bus shelter… you wouldn’t recommend it for a day out,” says one reviewer, who nonetheless admits that it “does a serviceable job linking Sainsbury's car park to the store”.
At least one local business has lost no time in capitalising on the tunnel’s newfound fame. Holidaymakers looking for a souvenir of their visit can buy a Bude Tunnel postcard in the town’s Cafe Bellini, Bude and Beyond reports, with profits going to a local charity.