THE Vale of Glamorgan has a lot going for it: culture, history, a glorious coastline, and lots of countryside.

On the whole, visitors are impressed.

But a cursory scroll on TripAdvisor uncovers the people you just cannot please.

Here are the scathing – and glowing – reviews of some of the Vale’s attractions.

Barry Island and Barry Island Pleasure Park

Obviously, forgetting the fact that gulls naturally inhabit a coastline surrounded by sea, hence the name “seagull”, Jadus86, in July this year, wrote of Barry Island:

Worth a visit

"Clean, Friendly and something for all ages. Only problem as with all beaches are those pesky seagulls!!!"

Hayley C had food in mind and her vitriol was directed at a crepe.

"Terrible crepe," she posted, ordering dessert lovers not to buy, “Tasted like plastic and was orange."

But, it wasn’t all gloom.

"It also has a Greggs,” wrote a pastry fan who added, "Lovely faggots and peas under the shelter."

But a scathing food critique was made by another who may have seen too many cookery shows.

"Am most disappointed by my visit at Barry's Island today," they wrote.

"I drove all the way from the tiny Isle of Wight even went on a hover cart to get here only to find that there is no cockle van!! you have indeed ruined my whole summer experience as now I have to make do with the bog standard Asda cockles!!"

Blimey, we didn’t even know that Barry Asda sells cockles. Devastated.

Dan G wrote a funfair review in February while it was technically winter and the concessionaires were resting or at seasonal fairs elsewhere.

"Gone downhill very fast", he posted.

"The pleasure park is not even half the size it used to be. Most of it is just car parks. Looks more like a scrap yard than a pleasure park."

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john d wrote a review in August 2019 and a trip down memory lane ended with seagulls getting a bad rap.

"People say you should not try to recapture old memories," he lamented.

"My recollection of Barry Island was a vibrant buzzing place.

“I was disappointed when I visited today.....all I saw were lots of overweight families, all eating either in the many food outlets or eating on the street.

"The magic had gone.

"It looked scruffy and lots of places needed updating.

"Lots of choice of affordable places to eat.....pie and chips for less than £3.00.

"Some families enjoying the big sandy beach.

"Lots of seagulls waiting their opportunity to steal someone’s lunch.

Will not be back."

It's those pesky seagulls again.

Whitmore Bay, overall, was well received.

"Great beach, clean and fairly spacious," wrote one.

"Only gripe is getting down there with a pram, there's just too many obstacles but once your down there it is nice.

"When the tide goes out later in the day, there are a lot of stones which will kill your feet.

You just can’t get the sand these days.

Cosmeston Lakes and Country Park

Notwithstanding, the UK being in lockdown in May this year, one user posted "Cosmeston Lakes dilapidated/rundown"

She wrote: "It used to be lovely to walk around the two lakes now the spots around the wildlife lake where I used to be able to sit and overlook the lake are over grown so now you sit and look at four foot high brambles and in one spot the bench has been removed altogether.

"The boardwalks are now closed off with metal fences because they are too unstable to walk on any longer.

"The wardens seem to do nothing to maintain the place as piles of rubbish and bottles lie along the lake shores.

"Great shame ten years ago it was lovely to walk around."

Waperth disagreed.

"What a lovely gem," the review said.

"Found this country park by accident and what a gem it turned out to be.

"Plenty of parking near the lovely lakes, great scenery, and cost free!

"Many water birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.

Great for families. Will visit again, when in the area

Dyffryn House and Gardens

The National Trust property wasn’t to one woman’s pleasing when she objected to plants being allowed to grow while the UK was in the throes of lockdown and the attraction closed.

"Great potential but disappointing, went the review in July 2020.

"The house is stunning, the gardens however not so.

"I understand covid has affected things, but doesn't look like a gardener has been near the plants for months!

"Overgrown, weeds everywhere rose garden gone over in July!

"Great potential lovely lay out but paying to see gardens not maintained, perhaps should remain closed until a few gardeners have bought it up to standard I expect when paying good money."

Porthkerry Country Park

Barry’s area of natural beauty got some eclectic reviews with its proximity to Wales’ airport being of added interest in the fact that Cardiff Airport is not actually in Cardiff – much to an Aberdare reviewer’s dismay.

And yes, where has that sand gone on a pebble beach?

"Beautiful park," he said.

"Haven't been for ages and as we were visiting our son and daughter in law who live nearby we decided to head there with the dogs, boiling hot day temp around 30 degrees, we headed down through the fabulous woods alongside the streams of clear water that the dogs loved and onto the pebble "beach" lol, tide was in so no sand but that didn't stop the dogs.

"The park was absolutely packed and I mean packed we were amazed at what people had brought with them.

"One thing surprised us, the golf putting had gone, completely gone and overgrown which was really great for the dogs to run and play.

"For me, an added fabulous bonus were the aircraft flying overhead at treetop level coming to land at Rhoose airport.

"I refuse to call it Cardiff airport as it is about 20 miles away and is in Rhoose lol.

"Well worth a visit, loads of car parks, some I think are metered, not sure as we parked on the outskirts and walked in via a lovely shaded venue.

But a Barry lass decided to champion the area of outstanding natural beauty.

"This country park is a hidden gem in the town of Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan," she wrote.

"It is wonderfully tranquil and a fab place to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while.

"There is ample parking and a really nice café where you can also get wonderful ice cream.

"The park is surrounded by woods and there are beautiful paths which you can use to wend your way around.

"The park is well used especially in the summer, but any time of year is just perfect.

"Well worth a visit."

Penarth Pier

Penarth Pier, one of the Vale’s most photographed constructions fell short – literally.

The Grade II-listed Southend Pier at 7,080 feet is the longest in the world, but expectations run high and Penarth’s representative was outed as a measly 650 feet.

What were those pier-builders thinking when designing an object which needed to jut out into the Bristol Channel and not interfere with passing shipping vessels?

Paul L Gloucester, UK wrote "Short pier but amazing views."

"Had a wander across this pier before walking along the Wales Coast path back to Cardiff this morning.

"Whilst this is a short pier, the views across the Severn Estuary were amazing all the way along the North Somerset coastline."

Part of your trip to Penarth, wrote another.

"Don't expect much here although at the end of the pier you can see east almost to Cardiff Bay.

"The end of the pier is blocked by a boat docking station.

"Otherwise unremarkable."

adeh was more complimentary.

"Nice stroll along the pier, the review," read.

"What a lovely way to end a stroll along the promenade and to take a walk along the pier.

It was really lovely to see so many people using the pier - the fishermen at the end of the pier, people having a stroll, enjoying a meal in the cafe, or chips from the takeaway and, of course, an ice cream."

While the Vale boasts stunning attractions, the consensus appears to be – it’s all about the cafes, the food and of course ice-cream.

What reviews would you give the Vale’s tourist attractions?