It's not so grim up north, honest

January 17, 2003

Travellers who have marvelled at the pyramids, gasped at the Grand Canyon and raved about the Great Barrier Reef should add S****horpe, Skegness and North Berwick to their must-see list, according to Sussex University geographers.

The three towns have made it on to a list of places to see before you die, which was compiled by the department in response to the BBC's Holiday programme list of the same name. The department canvassed the views of its staff and students.

S****horpe, a north Lincolnshire town with a proud industrial heritage, boasts one of Europe's largest steelworks, and offers parks, gardens, Brumby Hall and picturesque surrounding countryside.

Skegness, also in Lincolnshire, advertises itself as being "on the drier side of England" which after recent flooding across the country may not impress visitors that much. But its main claim to fame is as one of the UK's most popular holiday resorts.

North Berwick, in East Lothian, Scotland, markets itself as the Biarritz of the North, although that was in late-Victorian times when wealthy people went there to take the bracing sea air and enjoy a round of golf. It also has volcanic geology, albeit of the long-extinct variety.

In the UK, the three are up against more obviously awe-inspiring places including Skye, Snowdonia and the Giant's Causeway.

Their overseas competitors on the must-see locations list include sights such as the pyramids and jaw-dropping exotica that range from Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, to Macchu Picchu, Peru, and Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), Australia.

Simon Rycroft, a lecturer in human geography at Sussex, said: "We would do well to remember that our exotic choices are, for somebody, pretty mundane."

Dr Rycroft implied, but did not say, that the opposite was also true.

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