So far on Holiday Park Guru I've only attempted to do comparisons for a handful of locations (Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Wales and the Isle of Wight).
My longer term plan is to spread my caravan shaped wings a bit and explore places such as the Lake District, Northumberland, Norfolk and Yorkshire to help people pick the best holiday parks, based on price, location and facilities.
But which of the holiday locations that we've covered so far has the most to offer for tourists? To attempt a vaguely fair comparison I decided to look at how many attractions each county has, in relation to its size. Wales is obviously larger than the Isle of Wight but you aren't likely to drive from Rhyl to Swansea for a day trip. A high concentration of attractions is more important than a high number spread over a huge area.
So, the fairest way I could think to do this was to look at the number of attractions listed on TripAdvisor. I'm sure there are flaws in this, as you do get rogue shops and other non-attractions appearing on TripAdvisor as an attraction. However, I'm hoping it will even out across all the locations.
First up is Devon, which has (according to TripAdvisor) 825 attractions. I'm not inclined to sift through them all to work out which are legitimate as I was hoping to get to bed in six hours time. Devon is 2590 square miles, which there is an attraction for every 3.1 square miles.
Honestly, I've no idea if that's good or bad before we look at the rest so let's plough on with a comparison to local rivals Cornwall.
Well, according to TripAdvisor you'll find 659 things to do in Cornwall across a land mass of 1376 square miles, which means there is an attraction for every two square miles in Cornwall - significantly more than Devon.
OK, how about Dorset? TripAdvisor reckons there are 437 things to do in Dorset and the county is 1024 square miles, so that puts it somewhere between Devon and Cornwall with an attraction for every 2.3 square miles.
Let's see how Wales compares, which I admit is a whole different kettle of fish to a single English county...
As you might expect, the wheels fall off this flimsy comparison at this point as TripAdvisor doesn't bunch all of Wales into one. Instead it gives the number of attractions per county.
Nevermind, I will move on and pretend this was just an English comparison.
Finally, my beloved Isle of Wight. *He nervously changes tabs*
According to TripAdvisor (as I keep repeating) there are 184 attractions on the Isle of Wight, with a land mass of 146 square miles. So, there is an attraction for every 0.8 square miles.
OK, so I admit the Isle of Wight is small and I was kind of hoping that the result would go this way (as it was my hunch) but that's a pretty sensational victory. I'm certainly biased, but I encourage you to do the comparison yourself and see if you can find an English county with more attractions per square mile than the Isle of Wight.
Sure, you can start arguing about the size of attractions etc...but let me have my moment.
Holiday Park Guru Blog
Occasional thoughts on holidays in England, Wales and Scotland