The end of the round table

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings


Perplexed © Dan Sperrin

All the enemies of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and the other virtuous knights of the round table have won. The Camelot Theme Park near Chorley in Lancashire is to close with the owners claiming that the bad summer, the Olympics, the jubilee and for all I know, Morgan le Fay herself have contributed to its demise.
Do we believe this is what caused its closure?
Many other attractions have weathered the strange mix of events that may have distracted potential visitors from going to Camelot but they have survived. The owners say that there had been declining numbers for a number of years. If they had been, what had the company done to try and attract more visitors? The BBC quoted the local MP, Lindsay Hoyle, as saying that that it needed new investment to revitalise it suggesting that there had been little in the way of work to stem falling attendances.
Given that the story of King Arthur is a popular one, one that has intrigued people for hundreds of years it seems odd that it didn’t attract more visitors. And since BBC’s Merlin has pulled in good ratings on both BBC1 and CBBC where it is repeated you would have thought that any theme park that was being stimulated by a TV series would do well. But that obviously isn’t the case.
You can usually judge by how a company is doing by how well maintained its website is. There hasn’t been an update to the news section of it for three months when they announced a competition to win free passes for 2013!
The 150 staff that will be laid off probably has thoughts on why Camelot failed. Maybe one of the private companies like the one behind the success of the Jorvik Centre in York might step in and turn it around. Or maybe the owners- a construction company – really wanted the site for something else connected with their main business and that the events of the summer are just an excuse to achieve their plans.
Or am I being cynical?

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