ROUGH BRITAIN; Tour Bible Slams 'Decrepit' nation.(News)
Byline: RACHEL RICHARDSON
A HARD-HITTING travel guide has branded Welsh towns and cities "soulless" and "tatty".
The new book also condemns Britain's state-run schools and hospitals as "decrepit" and paints Britons as alarmist and obsessed with the weather.
The Rough Guide to Britain - published next month - is the latest in the respected and widely-read series which are sold all over the world.
And the handbook's description of some of Wales's towns and cities are uncompromisingly frank.
The capital's redevelopment is noted but Cardiff Bay, situated just south of the city centre, is called "soulless". Bethesda in the Ogwen Valley is dubbed "tatty" and Dolgellau is described as "dour".
Blaenau Ffestiniog can be "terrifically gloomy" according to the backpackers bible and it says Abersoch has a "distinctly haughty opinion of itself".
Other places are singled out for praise however. Snowdonia is described as "dramatic and alluring" while Caernarfon is called "spirited and lively".
Britons in general are given a roasting in the book for our obsession with the weather. It adds: "Considering the temperate nature of the British climate, it's amazing how much mileage the locals get out of it.
"A two-day cold snap is discussed as if it were the new onset of a new Ice Age, and a week in the upper 70s starts rumours of a heatwave."
The book also claims that "Brits are increasingly uncertain about their place in the new order" and that they have "dithered for decades about their post-war role".
Disabled visitors are likely to endure a rough ride too. The book describes British attitudes towards them as "begrudging and guilt ridden". …