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Nov 2017

Cornwall Coat of Arms

Hasn't here been to before? No, that one was in Wales, silly, and has a space in it, much like this place in November. It's a different story in summer, however, when a fair few of the four million+ annual visitors pitch up at this well-known Cornish resort and the population swells fivefold.

Three types of tourist here, the traditional, the trendy and the troublemakers although there is some overlap and it's not quite known where this pair fit in[1].

The traditional types can be found down on the beach during the day or in the old-skool ' musements[2] having been turfed out of their portmanteau-named guesthouses.

They've failed the test here, however, since the key is to not give the whole name away. 'Lindevor' is much more preferable but Trev put his foot down on receiving star billing, probably.

[1] Troublemakers, definitely. It can kick right off when the cappuccinos are served too hot... 'Haven't you ever been to Firenze?'
[2] Funnily enough, this is on Fore Street and every town and village in the South West has one. It's a Cornish language thing and would be called, much more unimaginatively, High Street where you live.

  Central Inn (Central Square)

Returning back to a bench with a patio heater from the, still far too busy in November, bar, a big lad in a rugby top holds the door... 'We're from Devon, we're nice.' he says. An indication there, perhaps, of some deep-rooted South West rivalry but it's too cold for his companion and they're both heading inside.

We're from the North, this is still summer for us! I reply, keeping it light...
'Not for him and he's from the south.' he says back, pointing to his pal...
Yeah, you big southern softie!...
'Oi didn't say I was sarft!' snarls his sidekick.

That very nearly ended up being lumped in with the troublemakers but hey, stereotypes are simply being reinforced here and you started it!

The trendy types, on the other hand, fall into two other types, the well-heeled and the well-oiled. By well-oiled what's really meant is well-waxed and that'll be the boards, surf, of course.

These prone-to-the-ocean, young hipsters are more than catered for and while they're waiting for the tide to turn, they can all be found getting 'inky' where they swap Pokémon™ cards or show off their Rubik's Cube™s or whatever it is them young 'uns are doing, these days, eh?

As for the well-heeled, well, they're staying in one of the two posh, old hotels that sit on an Atlantic headland, a little way west of town, and both are called accordingly.

This lot venture into town in an ironic fashion where the chippies have to deal with requests for sweet potato fries and the mistaking of mushy peas for  guacamole, probably.

  Headland Hotel Cottages

Not too fancy it turns out price-wise, see also the  Atlantic Hotel, but this Grade II listed and very late Victorian effort certainly looks the part.

They can also put you up in a self-catering cottage in what's a small housing estate, really, and no, you can't get through that way to get to the lookout point on Towan Head.

As for the troublemakers, well, where do you start? How about in 2009 when residents marched in protest for action against alcohol-fuelled disorder here in the wild South West.

Large groups of teenagers celebrating the end of their exams were partly responsible but new alcohol restriction orders and frisking the frisky, underage O-Level sitters at the train station seems to have curtailed this ritual, summer invasion.

That's not to say that Newquay is no stranger to stag and hen parties, it's still the UK capital and the pubs are the size of aircraft hangars.

It's largely all lads and in a further effort to promote Newquay as more family-friendly, a local partnership scheme has introduced one drastic new regulation... banning the wearing of  mankinis in public!

  Señor Dick's (East Street)

Sí señor, it can be seen what you've done there and what's that you ask? Of course we did! Never having been to a  Carry On themed restaurant before, the corny fillings are fairly familiar but the service and value were decent.

Funnily enough, the waitress only had one tooth... 'Hello, my name eez Juanita.' © The same team of Carry On scriptwriters that came up with the name for the restaurant.

  Tom Thumb (27A East Street)

No bouncers but no mankinis, neither, in this small, 'speak-easy' style bar. They're big on their cocktails and the beer is of the crafty variety so all this wouldn't look out of place in that London. There are also a couple of locals who will fill you in on what it's really like in summer.

It's been heard there's a beach around here somewhere and there is, of course, although you'll have to drop down for that.

High tides can account for most of it so for something more permanent, head a little way west to Fistral, Newquay's best beach, they say.

The surfers are still out in their force threes and  Rick Stein has even recently invaded replacing the youths who, back in the noughties, ritually tried to set it on fire.

  The Island (Towan Island)

Luxury lodgings on top of a rock where access is via a private, suspension bridge.

It's handy for the town's beach, which they advertise as only 80 foot away but is, however, straight down.

Fistral looks south to Pentire, a suburb that's on a peninsula, of sorts, but despite the bright lights, the Mull of Pentire provides not much more than modern-looking accommodation for those trendy types and alternative access to the beach.

Another way here is along the cliffs on an old friend the South West Coast Path where you'll find the Huer's Hut, an old lookout point from which men would shout at the sight of sardines.

They still do it here but they're called bouncers now and the sardines are crammed inside gargantuan watering holes and the shouts are... 'YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE WEARING A MANKINI!'

  South West Coast Path

If you're walking England's longest National Trail anticlockwise from Minehead, you're about 190 miles in with just the 440-or-so to go to Dorset. If you're coming from Dorset then well done but it's still about 190 miles to Minehead.