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Town Centres - Ones to Avoid!

I have recently started a new job that involves a fair bit of travelling around the country. I have visited town centres that, in the past, I would have only ever 'by-passed'.

Here I am tonight in my hotel room in Crawley after just popping into town to get some cash. Only ever been in the area before when flying out of Gatwick. I have to say, it is the most soulless, ugly, unappealling hole of a place, really dire! It's up there with the Brentwood's and Great Yarmouth's of the country as places to avoid unless you really have to visit.

So, it begs the question, where have you been (town centre only) that you would never go back to unless you had no choice?

PS: Apologies to any Crawley folk who have since moved on. All I can say is no wonder you did!!
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Comments

  • Bracknell
  • edited June 2014
    I struggle to think of any town centres that are worth visiting really. Most of them seem to be an endless sprawl of identikit shops, charity shops, chuggers, beggars and pavement pizzas with few, if any, redeeming features.
  • Scarborough
    Gillingham
    Dartford
  • edited June 2014
    Oooh good thread - used to travel all over the UK for work.

    Crawley is a bad one, no doubt. My three worst towns/areas however are:

    1) Huyton in Liverpool - I was working on the site of a demolished school but the fence was still up around the perimeter - we locked the gates behind us for protection! 50% of the houses on the neighbouring council estate were empty with the windows boarded up. They actually had signs on the boarding saying all the houses contents had been removed - I've seen that on the backs of vans before but not on houses!

    2) Barry, South Wales - I was there out of the holiday season so it was dead, I can't imagine packing it with people on cheap seaside holidays would improve it, what a shit hole.

    3) Runcorn - It's basically a smaller Milton Keynes so no soul, it's near Liverpool so full of displaced scousers and it's main 'attraction' is a chemical works and a hazardous waste landfill.

    Honourable mentions for Scunthorpe which is 50% abandoned steel works and for the time the Admin at work booked me into a hotel in the middle of Nottingham's red light district - there were signs everywhere warning of the consequences of kerb-crawling and all I heard all night long was police sirens. Best of it was that the admin girl was from bloody Nottingham!
  • Newport
    Redhill
    Mitcham
    Croydon
  • HULL. A toilet of a town
  • Croydon said:

    Newport
    Redhill
    Mitcham
    Croydon



  • Boston, Lincs.
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  • Croydon said:

    Newport
    Redhill
    Mitcham
    Croydon



    Lived there for a year, it's a dump

  • Sittingbourne high street is a depressing place to be.
  • I like Scarborough and Hull is improving each year - from a very low starting point admittedly.
    Having been away for a decade or so I am constantly surprised by how much better towns are than they were in the late 80's. Identikit shops ruin even the lovliest town.
    But...
    Kidderminster is simply grotesque, every turn reminds you of the lost carpet industry and 60's 'planning' at its worst.
    Aldershot
    Slough
    Luton

    Utterly depressing toilets the lot of em
  • Ashford
  • Croydon said:

    Newport
    Redhill
    Mitcham
    Croydon

    I was going to say mitcham.

    Working on a site there and the town centre makes Dartford look half decent.
  • Sheffield
  • I have recently started a new job that involves a fair bit of travelling around the country. I have visited town centres that, in the past, I would have only ever 'by-passed'.

    Here I am tonight in my hotel room in Crawley after just popping into town to get some cash. Only ever been in the area before when flying out of Gatwick. I have to say, it is the most soulless, ugly, unappealling hole of a place, really dire! It's up there with the Brentwood's and Great Yarmouth's of the country as places to avoid unless you really have to visit.

    So, it begs the question, where have you been (town centre only) that you would never go back to unless you had no choice?

    PS: Apologies to any Crawley folk who have since moved on. All I can say is no wonder you did!!

    Haha brilliant. Lived next to (not in) Crawley my whole life. You nailed it. A hive of scum and villainy! Pretty much nothing I can say to defend it. Anywhere I would recommend to go would be outside of it. Copthorne, Charlwood, Horsham... All nice enough. But Crawley and Redhill are comedy levels of shittiness.
  • West Bromwich
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  • To be honest it would be easier to list town centres that arent complete shit holes. Chatham must get a special mention though. Used to live down that way and saw it decline massively over the years. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
  • So, what does all this say about our "green & pleasant land" ?

  • Kidderminster is simply grotesque, every turn reminds you of the lost carpet industry and 60's 'planning' at its worst.

    Ahh, my home town - I really should have mentioned it myself but it felt a bit disloyal.

    It used to be ok, and I mean ok, not good just ok and it did me no harm growing up there but now the Carpet factories are virtually all gone, the British Sugar plant has long closed and even good local businesses like Lawrence's are going under, there's nowhere for people to work and nothing (other than pubs) for people to do. There are some nice old buildings in Kiddy that date from the days it was a wealthy Victorian industrial town, but they are sadly blotted out on the skyline by the 60s concrete monstrosities - particularly the multi story lump of crumbling mildew stained concrete that is Crown House.

    The council have tried to regenerate the area a bit but it's all distinctly mediocre and focused on new housing (who the hell wants to move to Kiddy?) and the Weavers Warf shopping development which has just helped the chain stores drive the few remaining independents out of business and moved M&S off the highstreet. With Wooly's gone too there are now two large stores and a multitude of small ones that sit empty on the high street. The only thriving industries are charity shops, payday loans and bookies.

    Kiddy used to have a Waitrose but it closed and was replaced with a B&M - tells you all you need to know about the way the town's social demographic has shifted and I know its far from unique in modern Britain. Still, the economy is in recovery don't you know.

  • Grays
    Tilbury
    Eltham
  • East Grinsted
    Merthyr
    Aldershot
    Clacton
  • Crawley is utterly grim, no doubt - but it pales into insignificance when compared with Redhill. Absolute shithole of a place - topped off nicely by the stench of the landfill just up the road. Reigate is 2 miles up the road - but when I lived there it was like living on a different planet.
  • Ilford, Thamesmead, Peckham, Croydon, Gravesend.
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