Sunday 11 September 2011

Holiday Hell for the Hoggarts

Simon Hoggart in the Guardian loves the French village where he and his family go on holiday: "There is no café and no shop, and no tourist bus has ever debouched scores of people here."

Hoggart continues: [A correspondent] and family found themselves on a wide and otherwise deserted beach on the Isles of Scilly. To their astonishment a couple arrived and for some reason selected a spot right next to them. [The writer] whispered to his son to pick a fight with his sister, which he did, causing much noise and tumult, followed by the departure of the couple. "This event has passed into family legend," he says.

To the middle-class Upwards, a deserted beach is "deserted but for us".

A friend writes: I was once at a party where there were two travel snobs, both of whom were boasting about their holidays in Mongolia, and one was showing off about having drunk yak's milk and the other said tartly "I think you'll find it was mare's milk."

Nowadays there’s a swish children’s boutique, and shops to sell you good olives and Scandinavian ceramics, muddled up with old-school purveyors of Swanage rock, plastic fairies and tat… it seems that half of southern Britain is coming to join us. So buying ginger beer and a vegetable pasty from the local post office we escape the madding crowd… While not exactly downmarket, Swanage is not the place to find boutique hotels… we stop a while at Corfe Castle. This is tourist-trap Britain, where... you can eat your body weight in locally sourced cake. The antique charm of the place still shines through… Swanage has few airs or graces; it’s more cheerful than chic. It hasn’t been “discovered” by the 4X4 brigade, like, say, Bridport…. John Bungey in The Times on Swanage, July 2011, describes his holiday destination almost solely in class terms. This is just what broadsheet readers expect. (Go to Swanage, it's lovely.)

More holiday hell here, here, here and here. And here.

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