Tripadvisor reviewers leave parody Cummings comments on Barnard Castle page
25 May 2020, 21:56
A Tripadvisor page for Barnard Castle has been flooded with parody reviews after Dominic Cummings told a press conference he broke lockdown rules to drive there to test his eyesight.
"Drove out here from my parents' property. Struggled to get here due to blurry eyesight. Couldn't see beyond the end of my own ego beforehand or since," one reviewer said, giving the town five stars.
Another added: "Having all shops shutting down. I missed my eyesight test. So my daughter suggested that spec savers are advising everybody to go to Barnard Castle.
"If you get there safe and don’t hear people blowing there horn as you go past then be assured your eyesight is fine."
The parody posts were made as Mr Cummings came under increasing pressure to resign from his role as a senior adviser to Boris Johnson, having been accused of flouting lockdown rules to make a 260-mile trip from London to Durham last month.
During this trip, which he said was because of a "very bad atmosphere" at home and to get adequate childcare for his son when his wife grew ill, Mr Cummings was spotted at Barnard Castle, 27 miles away from Durham.
He told the press conference on Monday that he drove to the market town to test his eyesight before driving the 5-hour trip back to London - a comment that has captured the theme of many of the spoof online responses.
"Like many others I have been restricted to the family estate with a few acres of private woodland to wander around during lockdown," one reviewer wrote, adding: "Barnard castle was a great place to stretch my legs and romp around with the family.
"Oddly quiet apart from the odd cough - the scenery wasn't as good as it could have been, but I think my eyes were playing up. Probably allergies."
Someone else quipped: "I find a drive to Barnard castle is a really good way to test your eyesight, I only had 2 other people in the car so I kept it safe."
Barnard Castle itself is a 12th Century heritage site founded by Bernard de Balliol, and was later looked after by Richard III.
It sits on a high point above the River Tees, and is situated next to a market town that goes by the same name.
Richard III's boar emblem is said to still be visible in the inner ward of the castle.