Lonely Planet Writer

Why a plastic supermarket tunnel has become this English town's highest rated attraction

Cornwall has a wealth of striking attractions from the The Eden Project to St Michael’s Mount and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. But a plastic tunnel outside a supermarket in the seaside town of Bude has become one of the top-rated Cornish tourist attractions.

A plastic tunnel outside a supermarket in Bude has become the town’s top-rated tourist attraction. Image by Google Maps

The 70-metre perspex covered walkway outside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Bude has been described as a “significant piece of modern vernacular architecture” in one of the many tongue-in-cheek reviews.

It was first rated in September 2017 on TripAdvisor, alongside a glowing description and has since racked up more than 170 comments, becoming the site’s top attraction in the Cornish town, leapfrogging Red Elk Archery and The Castle Bude to first place.

“Walk from the Sainsbury’s car park to Crooklets Road completely undercover, protected from the elements whilst maintaining your view to the spectacular surroundings of Bude. Consisting of 36 metal arches and over 70m long, nowhere else in Bude can you walk this far undercover in a continuous straight line,” one review read.

The tunnel has received glowing reviews. Image by Google Maps

While another person submitted a review saying: “Haven’t been to Bude this year and this is one of the things I miss most. The tunnel is a godsend when it is raining (as it often is) can get congested with trolleys and visitors but I guess that is the price of success.”

Another person mentioned that he: “Had butterflies earlier than the primary time seeing it. Lived as much as its fame although…. was quiet once I went so had time to admire the wonderful construction. Extremely really useful, will go once more.”

But it appears not everyone was in on the joke, with one person commenting: “Nothing to see, just a tunnel that runs down the side of Sainsbury’s. waste of time, not really a tourist [attraction].”

The Guardian reports that a website called The Beyond Bude has been capitalising on the joke, selling postcards of the perspex tunnel which read: “Nowhere else in Bude can you walk this far undercover in a straight line,” with profits going to a local charity.