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It’s a strange coincidence that I was going to write a post today about my very un-Newquay holiday near Newquay last week when into my inbox landed an email about a new video promoting a more positive image of the much-maligned seaside town. Fair enough – but ‘the British California’!? Come on, let’s not get carried away. Well, perhaps, but only through lack of other contenders.

Think of Newquay and we all think: surf, first, then projectile vomiting, stag dos and vile clubs. At night, it’s a war zone.

But the thing about NQY that no one can take away is that it is scenically pretty extraordinary. It’s just one belter of a beach after another – back to back all the way from Fistral Beach to Bedruthan Steps, via such joys as adventure playground Lusty Glaze, expansive Watergate Bay, Mawgan Porth…

More joyous still is Polly Joke, a pristine beach tucked west around the headland from Newquay proper. National Trust-protected, it is an unspoilt little enclave, with no vehicular access (always music to my ears), no facilities (ditto), no phone signal and (basically a full-scale opera to my ears) a small, simple campsite next to the beach.

For most of the holiday, Polly Joke campsite was paradise, somewhere you doze off to the throaty call of pheasants and the rumble of surf and wake up to the mellow cooing of wood pigeons. The few campers there seemed to talk in whispers.

And then, bam, on Saturday the world and his North Face gilet arrived (Cool Camping, I hold you responsible) and I woke up to Adele rendered in weak, battery-powered stereo.

Ah well, twas magic while it lasted. And Newquay, after a week of beaching (and still plenty more beaches to go), finally I ‘got’ you.

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