Ilkeston NatWest Hole: TripAdvisor halts spoof reviews

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Natwest Hole
Image caption,
One spoof review described it as "fast becoming a national treasure"

TripAdvisor has suspended reviews for a hole in a wall outside a bank after online jokers turned it into an unlikely tourist attraction.

Spoof glowing write-ups of the circular architecture, at NatWest in Ilkeston, led to it being ranked as the fourth best attraction in the Derbyshire town.

Media coverage over the weekend prompted dozens more joke comments.

The travel website said it had stopped publishing new reviews as they "do not describe a first-hand experience".

Image source, TripAdvisor
Image caption,
TripAdvisor explained why it stopped reviews

Tongue-in-cheek comments for the "NatWest hole" first started appearing in December 2018.

By awarding the wall top marks, users were able to propel it above well-known locations in and around Ilkeston, including Bennerley Viaduct.

Among 40 new comments added this weekend, one said: "Made my sixth visit to this attraction last week, always worth the nine-hour drive, every time has felt like the first."

Another said: "Quite how the workers of the 90s managed to construct such a work of this magnitude is beyond imagination.

"Just think, all they had back in those days were angle grinders, cement, wheelbarrows and a team of, at the most, 100 workers. Simply amazing!"

Image caption,
NatWest says the hole is there to stop people hiding behind the wall, next to a cash machine

However, TripAdvisor has added a message to the page warning reviews have been temporarily suspended due to a "recent event".

A spokeswoman said: "The recent media attention caused an influx of review submissions that did not meet our guidelines - our guidelines state that a review must describe a first-hand experience - so we took the decision to temporarily suspend hosting new reviews on its TripAdvisor listing page, and posted a notice on the site to inform travellers of this."

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