In the small coastal town of Bude, Britain, an unlikely star has emerged. A local grocery store’s “tunnel”—a clear, covered walkway from the Sainsbury’s supermarket’s parking lot to its door—has become the town’s top-rated tourist attraction on TripAdvisor, with 173 overwhelmingly excellent ratings that liken it to the Taj Mahal. The BBC reports that it has brought attention to the small town (population 9,222 as of a 2011 census), whose tourism board seems unamused by the quirky attraction.
“I hope that the Bude Tunnel being rated as the number one attraction in Bude does not become detrimental to the ‘real’ things to do and visit in our town,” Mark Hibbard of the Bude Area Tourism Board told the BBC.
Excuse me, Mr. Mark Hibbard, but what is not “real” about finding wonderment in a clear, fiberglass-ish tunnel that protects shoppers from the elements? Anyone whose scrambled from their vehicle to a store’s front door in a downpour could certainly appreciate such a feat of engineering.
The reviews illuminate other valid reasons to love the Bude Tunnel.
“Visited today and immediately got a warm feeling, I felt that I had been to this magical place before. I cannot recommend highly enough and I cannot wait to visit this magical dome again but the next time I will take my husband. I honestly feel it should be named the Bude Tunnel of love,” reads a recent review titled “Wow, What A Place.”
The most popular tags used in its reviews are: modern architecture, life-changing, and magnificent structure. (Take that, Louvre.)
Here’s another gem:
How many tourist stops can boast this type of appeal, functioning as a kind of transformative birth canal into a whole new life? And did we mention it’s completely free to visit this modern wonder of the world? Cheers to you, Bude Tunnel. We hope to be blessed enough to visit someday.