Monday, 18 August 2008

Where Not To Go In London

This weekend a friend gave me a set of four pamphlets about London which she had saved for me from a British newspaper. My regular readers will know that I generally try to write positive posts on this blog and I am not really one to name and shame. Therefore, I won’t name the newspaper or the leaflets but I feel compelled to write something about them.

These leaflets are very much aimed at tourists and visitors to London with tips on sightseeing, places to visit, restaurants, landmarks and lesser known places of interest. Now, on the whole this set of London guides are quite helpful and insightful and would probably be of interest to Londoners as well as holiday makers. However, I am totally flumoxed by the 4th guide in the series which is dedicated to lesser known places and things in London.

It is great to discover hidden gems in a city and places that others don’t know about - but anyone who subscribes to this particular broadsheet will now know these secrets so I guess they won’t be secret any longer! What bothered me most though was the inclusion of places that no longer exist. This was not an accident. The researchers didn’t muck up. They purposely compiled a section entitled “Gone Forever”. What on earth is the purpose of sending people to places that are not there? Most were not even of significant historical value! There is also a section on derelict buildings which, again, is pretty pointless when they are all boarded up and out of action!

I admit I was actually annoyed by what, to my mind, was a waste of glossy paper. As if to add insult to injury there was finally a page about Private Members Clubs which I would probably not be eligible to join, am unable to afford and I definitely won’t need their phone numbers which were so helpfully provided! My blood is still boiling as I write!

My reaction may seem extreme but there is so much to see and do in London without blurring the attraction of the city with these worthless ideas. Why confuse potential visitors with information about buildings that are long gone or that you cannot visit because they are unsafe or you are not a member of the exclusive club? It puts a negative spin on London when the city has so much to offer – we want to know about what we can see, not what we can’t!

So after several months of rediscovering London for myself, I would advise you to ignore stupid leaflets that send you on a wild goose chase and follow some of the links on this site for a successful trip to London!

Here endeth the lesson!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also collected these and, though not as outraged as you appear to be, I have to agree the fourth was a waste of paper.
I very much enjoy your blog: Keep up the good work Miss Sparkly!
Kind regards
John Mitchum