Six southern complaints about visiting the North

NORTHERN towns and villages do their utmost to make themselves hostile environments for cosmopolitan southerners. Here’s how:

Remote areas don’t have an Uber

You’re late for a wedding on a beautiful country farm, so you pull up Uber to book a ride for the six-mile trip from the B&B you’re staying in. After five nonplussed minutes trying to understand why the nearest driver is two hours away, you finally realise that it does not operate here. You berate your host for living in the ‘arse-end of the f**king sticks’, before apologising profusely and paying her £50 to drive you.

It’s three degrees colder past York

The city of York is the last bastion of civilisation before you reach the badlands of Tyneside and the huge, flat vistas of Northumberland, which to a southerner like you might as well be the freezing Arctic tundra. Even in a puffer jacket and the expensive snow boots you purchased for the trip you think the weather is bitter, despite the fact that the locals are wearing shorts.

There are no special country lanes for cyclists

You chose a Pennines cycling holiday because it gives you a chance to flaunt your pricey new bike, but the area doesn’t accommodate cyclists at all. You can’t see for hedgerows and are terrified by a local screaming round a bend in a Land Rover every 30 seconds. You’ve brought much-needed tourism to this rundown rural backwater, the least they could do is tarmac some of their fields to give you a special lane to ride in.

Pies aren’t as ubiquitous as promised

You thought you’d be dining on mutton pie, chips and a barm cake, whatever the f**k that is, when you visited Bradford, but what you’ve actually ended up with is the best curry you’ve ever eaten in your life. You didn’t come all this way for delicious food, you came for something weird that you could photograph and put on Instagram to make your southern mates laugh.

It’s not grim enough

Having never been beyond Birmingham before, you believed all the stories about the North being a soot-blackened hellhole, riven with poverty and children losing limbs in mills. So when you find vibrant metropolitan cities, beautiful scenery and a pint that costs less than a fiver, you feel short-changed. Where’s the poverty porn safari you were promised?

Everyone is too nice

Everyone is so friendly that you’re instantly suspicious. What do they want? Are they trying to manipulate you into buying something? The average southerner is used to being ignored or tutted at everywhere they go, and is freaked out by this sinister niceness. So much so that they piss off home as soon as possible. Well played, Northerners.

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The London Dungeon, and other 'family friendly' attractions to give your kids nightmares

WANT to make some memories with your children? These attractions will help, but unfortunately the memories will be completely traumatic.

The London Dungeon

For adults, this is a slightly tedious traipse past unconvincing scenes of the Great Fire of London and drama students covered in blood pretending to be Jack the Ripper. To your child, it’s a terrifyingly convincing nightmare that will haunt them for years to come. And it cost you £120.

The Pitt Rivers Museum

This will be an educational and entertaining day out, you think as you stroll through the door with your family. Ten minutes later the children are crying with fear after seeing a medieval torture device, a foetus in a jar and a selection of trepanned skulls, and begging to be taken home again.

Madame Tussauds

While you find the waxworks mildly amusing, your kid is confused and disturbed by the way they sort-of-but-not-quite look like celebrities. And after they’ve seen the diorama of someone being garroted in the Chamber of Horrors, they have nightmares and insist on sleeping in your bed for the next six months.

The Smiler, Alton Towers

Your partner thinks your child is a bit too young for The Smiler, but they’re tall enough, so what’s the problem? Three minutes and 14 loops later they return having pissed themselves, which was partly because of the ride, and partly because you thought it was a good idea to tell them about the time the rollercoaster crashed five seconds before it started.

Kelvedon Hatch nuclear bunker

For you this is mainly an entertaining trip down memory lane, as you laugh at all the 80s furnishings and equipment. But for your impressionable child the experience leads to a frightening realisation that the world is phenomenally unsafe and threatening, giving them an anxiety disorder which dogs them for the rest of their life. Nice one.