John O’Groats Post Office

September 15

Looks cute and cottagey doesn’t it? Conjures up cobbled village streets, quaint pubs, nodding roses, fragrant heaths and such doesn’t it?! Well, I’ve just read up about the town of John O’Groats (pop. 300) on the extreme north east tip of Scotland and cute it is not. Lonely planet called it a “seedy tourist trap” and Urban Realm magazine gave it a Carbunkle Award for ‘Scotland’s Most Dismal Town’. This is why I prefer armchair travel.


It is interesting to reflect on how individual travelers perpetuate cultural stereotypes by framing pics that fit a mold. Hopefully the ‘major redevelopment work’ happening in John O’Groats now will rescue it.

Before and after




Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Close-ups, Europe, Rural life

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