The internet is flooded with opinions, good, bad and ugly.
Received opinion in the age of fake reviews is that we should disregard the best and worst 10 per cent of reviews on Google and Tripadvisor, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun reading the worst ones.
Someone will always find fault, and often they are unencumbered by reason or logic.
Mount Everest is too high and too pointy. The Grand Canyon is just a hole in the ground. Stonehenge is looking old. No tourist attraction can withstand the critiques of the completely unreasonable and the North East hasn’t escaped unscathed.
Here is a selection of some of our favourites.
One suggestion was: “Could be better combined with Penshaw Park and build a cable car ride.”
We have yet to speak with the National Trust, who own the monument. But it seems unlikely that there is a widespread clamour for such an innovation.
Another disgruntled visitor said: “I have lived within the shadow of this for 38 years and I finally got around to visiting. Have to say I was disappointed.”
We wonder what someone who had been gazing at Penshaw Monument for almost four decades was expecting when they finally got round to visiting, but it seems views of the surrounding area wasn’t it.
Other reviewers presenting one star out of five held the monument responsible for their own physical shortcomings. Many seemed to fail to notice that it sits atop a hill.
One wrote: “Trek up is tiring and you can’t be bothered to explore once up” and “It’s a long way up after you have just stuffed your face.”
Perhaps the most unjustifiably annoyed reviewer was the one who posted: “It’s a long walk up for very little gain. The story of the worm is much better than the visit.”
Expectations dashed there; let down by the conspicuous absence of a gigantic, child-eating serpent.
They’ve had almost two millennia to jazz up the wall and according to the critics, Emperor Hadrian showed no imagination. All he was interested in was defending his empire, displaying a shameless disregard for the marketing opportunities.
Disgruntlement includes: “It's an old bit of wall”, “It’s just a small wall, like others in England”, “It’s a wall and a house. BORING!” and “Disappointing. We expected more.”
Another insatiable history buff fumed: “I stayed on the bus, talking to the driver and learning far more than I could have traipsing around.”
A Romanian visitor gave it one star and declared: “Foarte multă ploaie: ghinion” which translates as “Lots of rain.”
But first prize for point missing must surely go to the visitor from Virginia who opined: “It has gone to ruin.”
The Angel of the North
Anthony Gormley’s most famous work has divided opinion as a piece of art since it was completed in the 1990s. But whether we like a particular objet d’art or not, there is only so much we can reasonably expect from it. Or so we thought.
One reviewer wrote: “Very, very boring. All there is to do there is to see a angel. There is nothing for your kids to do there. There is no park. All it is, is a small hill with the angel at the top.”
Another huffed: “It’s just a bit of metal in the shape of an angel.”
A reviewer from Aberdeen wanted to show off about their holiday to Brazil in their review, and highlighted the scant resemblance Gateshead has to Rio de Janeiro.
He said: “I was simply expecting more, but perhaps I'm jaded having visited sites such as Christ the Redeemer in Rio. It’s just small, rusty and a bit boring. In honesty, drive past it on the motorway. It’s not worth stopping.” That settles that one then.
The Metro Centre is heaven or hell, depending on your outlook.
But we can all agree that not only is “huge building containing lots of shops” an accurate description of the Metro Centre, it’s also the whole point.
So you might assume that anyone even contemplating a visit, perhaps for the first time, would have some inclination of what to expect. Possibly.
Despite being clearly billed as Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre for many years a one-star reviewer did not seem to know what to expect and after a visit wrote: “Boring. I don’t like shopping.”
Another was unpleasantly surprised that a 2,000,000 square foot shopping mall turned out to be: “Far too big.”
Even the North East’s greatest landmark isn’t guaranteed sanctuary on TripAdvisor. The free-to-enter cathedral is berated for asking for visitor donations.
One scandalised reviewer reported: ”You are requested to fund this dark, miserable, depressing building.
“The majority of signs are a guilt trip about the cost of running the Cathedral. £60,000 a week apparently! If this figure is 10% true then they should close it immediately and stop wasting so much money.”
Another gave the shocking revelation that young children are not especially interested in Gothic architecture, or the tombs of 11th century bishops.
He said: “Not for young kids. Absolute bore,” he was also left unimpressed after paying a fiver to ascend the magnificent central tower which he found to be “just a walk up some stone stairs.”
You have been warned.