• Places to go

Britain’s weirdest local nicknames

By Jonathan Elder

Published on 1 min read

A collection of road signs

Ordnance Survey has recently rolled out the ‘Vernacular Mapping Tool‘, which is a collection of non-official nicknames for locations around the coast. The serious goal is to make it easier for emergency services to locate a place when a caller identifies it with a local name that does not appear on the map.

It also provides a treasure-trove of the weird, wonderful and occasionally rude, so we thought we’d pick out a few of our favourite of the weirdest local nicknames.

  • The Ropey (Arbroath Harbour)
  • Pig’s Paradise (Scarba island, Scotland)
  • The Twelve Apostles (Catacol village. The name comes from a distinctive row of houses)
  • Wibbly Wobbley Bridge (Millennium Bridge, London. When it first opened it wobbled a lot. It was closed for two years to add damping)
  • Soapy Cove (Probably from a former soap stone quarry, so no good for laundry)
  • Stinky Bay (Pentire, Cornwall)
  • Bridge to Nowhere (East Lothian)
A bridge standing in water
The bridge to nowhere at high tide (Image © Richard Sutcliffe)
  • Sausage Island (an island near Ynys–Las, Wales)
  • Yellow Dog with No Teeth Bridge (Hampshire)
  • Glitter Ball (Blackpool)
  • The Comedy Carpet (Blackpool)
  • Bloody Bay (Northumberland)
  • Crazy Mary’s Hole (Suffolk. It’s apparently haunted by the ghost of Crazy Mary)
  • The Dalek (Bridgewater Place skyscraper, Leeds)
  • Sober Island (Outer Hebrides)
  • The Eye of the Butt (Outer Hebrides)
"Eye of the Butt" Cave, Shiant Isles
“Eye of the Butt” Cave, Shiant Isles © Tony Kinghorn
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By Jonathan Elder

Jonathan helps run the OS Shop and GetOutside, and in his free time can be found walking, playing computer games or, in the winter, falling off mountains with a plank of wood strapped to his feet.


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