IT has become the go-to website for travellers, holidaymakers and tourists around the world with its 350 million monthly users lending substance to the view that ‘everyone’s a critic.’
This Christmas many families in Yorkshire will reference TripAdvisor before setting off for a grand day out at five-star locations such as the National Coal Museum near Wakefield, Bempton Cliffs and Beverley Minster.
Comments such as “stunning”, “beautiful” and “excellent” will have people running to Rievaulx Abbey and York’s Chocolate Story can expect a busy festive period having been labelled on TripAdvisor as “chocolate heaven” and “absolutely fabulous.”
Businesses have come to have a love-hate relationship with TripAdvisor and its warts-and-all reviews by customers who can often be brutally honest about their experiences.
Last year one Blackpool hotel was so incensed by bad reviews that it began ‘fining’ guests with a £100 credit card surcharge for every unfavourable comment on TripAdvisor, a policy that was reversed following the threat of legal action.
Those reviews were positively glowing compared to the one of an American hotel which began “There was poo in the kettle…” and the experience of a restaurant visitor who claimed “I found a cockroach floating in my gin and tonic.”
Fortunately few Yorkshire attractions have earned reviews on such a scathing scale and the overwhelming majority of critiques on the county’s attractions are positive.
Here are five of the top Yorkshire attractions according to TripAdvisor:
National Railway Museum, York www.nrm.org.uk/ - Ranked as the eighth best museum in the country, the National Railway Museum was this year awarded the prestigious ‘Travellers’ Choice’ status by TripAdvisor. You don’t have to be a rail enthusiast and what’s more, it’s free.
4.5 stars from 8.200 reviews
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Ripon http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden - Henry VIII may not approve but the ruins of Fountains Abbey and the landscaped gardens continue to attract visitors in their tens of thousands. “We were blown away,” said one reviewer. Another admitted to being “mesmerised.”
5 stars from 1,600 reviews
Meadowhall, Sheffield www.meadowhall.co.uk - 25 years after it first opened its doors, this temple to the retail industry with its 280 shops remains as popular as ever.
“Love it, love it, love it,” enthused one visitor from the Midlands; a reviewer from Hull awarded Meadowhall five stars for wheelchair access.
4.5 stars from 440 reviews
Best outdoor activity
Malham Cove and Gordale Scar www.malhamdale.com/cove.htm Even without its once-in-a-century waterfall, the stunning beauty spot remains one of the Yorkshire Dales’ most dazzling jewels. If you must have water, the nearby limestone ravine Gordale Scar has it in buckets.
5 stars from 500 reviews
Best amusement park
The Forbidden Corner, Middleham www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk - A unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers follies and surprises within a four-acre garden in the heart of the Dales, the Forbidden Corner is a folly of the highest order and it would be folly not to visit at least once.
4.5 stars from 1,800 reviews