Dubious accolade for picturesque village

By Sarah ChambersTHE compilers of a list of the country's “crap towns” have hit upon an unlikely target in their latest publication.The picturesque holiday village of Thorpeness, near Aldeburgh, may not be many people's idea of an unpleasant place to visit, but it ranks 44th in their latest national list - and is the only spot in Suffolk to make it to the top 50.

By Sarah Chambers

THE compilers of a list of the country's “crap towns” have hit upon an unlikely target in their latest publication.

The picturesque holiday village of Thorpeness, near Aldeburgh, may not be many people's idea of an unpleasant place to visit, but it ranks 44th in their latest national list - and is the only spot in Suffolk to make it to the top 50.

The dubious accolade has stunned people familiar with the popular tourist spot, which boasts a Meare for rowers, beautiful, rugged beaches and a peaceful centre that attracts visitors throughout the year.


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Designed as a holiday village before the First World War, the mock-Tudor design of its many holiday cottages gives the village a quaint, “time-warp” quality that many find relaxing and soothing.

But the Crap Towns book described Thorpeness as “more of a golf club than a town”.

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It added: “Sure the mock Tudor mansions are attractive, but no amount of twee flower arranging will hide the darkness of the inhabitants' souls”.

Tim Rowan-Robinson, chairman and managing director of the Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club, described the ranking as “a ridiculous piece of publicity”.

He added: “I would say frankly it's a very strong recommendation to Thorpeness if the people who put that list together think it's a crap town.”

Bernard and Linda Gwyther, from Birch, near Colchester, who have been visiting the village for the past five years, also leapt to its defence.

“As far as we are concerned it's certainly top of our list. I don't see how anyone could say it was awful. Obviously it's quiet and it's peaceful,” said Mr Gwyther.

His wife added: “It's quite refreshing to come somewhere like this. We live in Colchester. We have lots of places around us, but we prefer to come here. I think actually a lot of people come here to go back in time.”

Dennis and Doreen Baile, from Holton, near Halesworth, described the Crap Towns verdict as “unbelievable”.

Mr Baile said: “I can't understand people saying that. We often come here - there are so many wonderful walks.”

His wife added: “It's lovely here - what more could you want? I think it's people who come on a wet day and haven't looked around properly or maybe it's somebody who wants all the razzmatazz and funfairs and what-have-you. There's nothing I don't like about it.”

sarah.chambers@eadt.co.uk

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