With four miles of safe sandy beach, a backdrop of mountains, stunning views of Snowdonia, miles of interesting cliff walks and an extensive system of sand dunes, you’d think Borth would be the perfect British holiday destination, no?
If two miles of tacky shops and arcades, overpriced caravan sites, pitiful tourist attractions (e.g. the Animalarium), concrete sea walls that hide the beach and a main road so narrow that it takes half an hour to travel a mile, then book your holiday now.
Start off at Borth station, having arrived by Chav Express Train from Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Telford, etc. The station building was recently partitioned to make a bedsit that is already crumbling down. Past the hotels (the Grand Hotel is distinctly not) and you are only 200 yards from the sea! A great view to be had, if only there weren’t two lanes of parked cars and a huge concrete wall in the way. Turn left for Borth itself or right for the Chav caravan sites in Ynyslas.
Borth’s cafes are renowned for their skilful fusion of native Welsh cuisine with diverse Brummie influences. Every meal is served with chips. Key locations include the “It’s A Gift!” shop and neighbouring arcade for hordes of lardy-arsed young females with big hoopy earrings and underdeveloped 16-year old boys who look about 12. The top end of the beach is worth going to see, if only to watch chav parents desperate for a good time struggling to put up a windbreak against the howling gales.
You can then wander through Borth’s back streets towards Upper Borth. The street by Spar is particularly notable. In many seaside towns the lack of overall planning to houses on a hill adds charm and delight – think of Padstow, Clovelly, even Aberystwyth – where houses and gardens tumble over each other. In Borth, the mixture of chalets and flats looks more like a Brazilian shanty town.
I’m biased, I used to go to Borth to visit a retired relative in the 80s and 90s. Recent visits have showed the unthinkable has happened, it’s got even worse.