NatWest hole
Image caption One japester described the hole, in Bath Street, as “an adventure not to be missed”

Internet jokers have turned a circular hole in a wall outside a bank into a tourist attraction.

Since December 2018, wags have been posting glowing reviews on TripAdvisor for the hole at NatWest in Ilkeston.

“NatWest hole” is now ranked fourth out of 16 attractions in the Derbyshire town based on user reviews.

One reviewer on TripAdvisor offered the spoof advice: “Can get very busy and you can queue for hours, but it’s worth the wait.”

Image copyright TripAdvisor
Image caption The attention has seen the modest hole rise up the rankings

Another wag wrote: “The city of Agra has the Taj Mahal, Paris has the Eiffel Tower and Sydney has its Opera House.

“But they all pale in comparison to the impact on the soul of first laying eyes on Ilkeston’s Hole in the Wall.”

Paul Miller, chairman of the Ilkeston and District History Society, said he was “gobsmacked” at the hole’s high ranking.

Image copyright World Monuments Fund
Image caption Bennerly Viaduct has a lower ranking on TripAdvisor than the NatWest hole

“It doesn’t really say a lot about the area if it’s number four,” he said.

“It’s beat Bennerley Viaduct.

“I think it looks like a 1970s idea of something to look different. It doesn’t really beat the pyramids though does it?”

A NatWest spokeswoman clarified the hole was introduced during a mid-1990s refurbishment as a safety feature so people using the cash machine could see if anyone was lurking behind the wall.

It is not the first time tongue-in-cheek reviews have propelled an unlikely attraction up the TripAdvisor rankings. In 2018, a plastic tunnel outside a Bude supermarket became the highest ranked place to visit in the Cornish resort – although TripAdvisor bosses later suspended reviews for the see-through walkway.

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