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Brand Newquay

Angie Sammons takes the new 50-minute flight to surf, sunsets and St Agnes

Written by . Published on July 9th 2013.

Brand Newquay


I'M not going to tell you which is my favourite campsite in Cornwall, for fairly obvious, selfish reasons. 

But if I do tell you it is on cliff tops, near a world famous lighthouse, and for a fortnight last August the solid rain was punctuated only by 50mph gales off the ocean, which saw me regularly up at 4am reinforcing guy ropes and feverishly hammering down the pegs of an eight man tent, you probably won't want to go there anyway. 

"It is character-building," I informed the rest of the inmates through sand-gritted teeth, as we sheltered in the awning, playing Jenga to the strains of the lighthouse's doleful fog horn. But quite whose character was being formed was hard to say.

Cornwall is many things to many people. Smugglers Top, Mrs Danvers, pixies, pirates, Rick Stein and ice cream. It's the excellent Eden Project. It's peckish seagulls who fly off with your designer pasty and, if you haven't got wings, it's a bugger to get to. 

Newquay To Liverpool
Groaning under the weight of saturated sleeping bags, the car phutted and tutted its way back to Liverpool last year, taking at least nine hours that allowed for vomit pull-ins, expensive trips to Little Chefs and several angry strops from the cooped up, bored and restless.  The kids had gone back by train.

Spiritually and physically, then, Cornwall is a world apart. Even the Romans thought it a faff too far and called a halt to their conquest of Britannia just short of Exeter. 

But, for many, the procedure just got a lot less stressy with the new easyJet service from Liverpool. Fifty minutes in the air, North West passengers can now splash down in the middle of the surfing action, at Newquay. 

Cornwall gets more than its fair share of terrible weather events, which is bad news for home contents insurance and for tourism. But when the sun peeps out, as it did last weekend, there are few places more glorious. 

Hendra Water ParkGone for hours: Hendra's indoor water park

Last year's luckless children, however, weren't convinced. Older and wiser, a different kind of experience would be needed to persuade them to return. Enter a five-star holiday park called Hendra,  minutes from Newquay's breathtaking beaches. And this time, Oasis, an on-site indoor aquapark complex with 200ft waterslides, would provide. 

If it rained, to use that elegant youthful vernacular, who would give one? 

Hendra is for people who like their rural getaways with some 21st century creature pazzazz: a blu-ray player and a plasma TV, iPod docks, microwaves and full sized cookers - an all-singing, all dancing home from home. 

Field upon field of well-appointed, spacious static units stand in uniform rows. Many are located way away from the “village” - a place of tempting outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a chippy, pizzeria, supermarket, a tavern with wi-fi, and club staging nightly cabarets, talent contests and kids' discos. Add to that a playground, a skateboarding park (every child in Cornwall travels by skateboard), archery, scuba diving lessons and a mini train, and it's hard to think of a reason to shift off-site when you have only that minute exhaled. 

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %28110%29Newquay beachBut go you absolutely must: by bus, stopping outside, or by car to Newquay, minutes away. Land at the breathtaking Fistral beach for the area's best fish and chips (£6.50), whose cod comes from he same company that supplies Rick Stein in nearby Padstow). 

That's if you like your battered fish with battered cliffs. Fistral Fish and Chips boasts an 80-seater veranda - just the place to appraise the body-boarders and scores of gulls and starlings who are staring right back at you. At this point it is wise to move your grub inside, remembering that Daphne du Maurier, who wrote Cornish classics Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, also wrote The Birds - clearly with ready inspiration. 

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2842%29Despite Cornwall sticking out, geographically, like the limb that England forgot, Newquay remains very much a British seaside town, with some of the excesses that go with it. On a hot afternoon the beach party starts early, not unlike our own, dear Waterloo beach, but with gorgeous salt-sprayed surfing dudes in the sea and no fakin' bakin dudettes sprawled on the rocks. 

No Cornish pasties for this lean lot, but for the rest it would be rude not to. Cue the “best pasty in Cornwall”, according to that world pasty authority, The Daily Telegraph. 

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %28108%29Best for pastiesIt's one of the many superlatives that Morris's has won: BBC, Sky and The Daily Mail have all bequeathed similar accolades. What started as a butchers shop has become a full on bakery business after an old lady in nearby St Columb allegedly started making pasties for the shop, which set the world on fire. The results are exceptional, which prove that a policy of “steadfastly refusing to purchase intensively reared animals or any that have been fed on GM foodstuffs” pays off. 

Yet for those needing to really pulverise the urban cobwebs away for the sake of their sanity, Newquay, perhaps, isn't the place to remain. 

Instead venture west on a 20 minute drive to the beautiful, unsullied fishing village of St Agnes. There familiar people from home, like Lesley Kazan, one-time musette of Liverpool band The Picasso Sisters, and our old Eric's mucker, Ken Testi, can be found running a trio of detached holiday cottages, set back in a fairy glen, next to a stream that impatiently cascades down to Trevaunance Cove and the sea.

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2839%29Rural retreat: Atlantic House, St Agnes

A pebble-throw away sits the grand and completely idyllic Atlantic House. Formerly a four-star, award winning, boutique B&B, it can now be booked as a single self-catering base for you and your nine best friends, all year round. 

With its five opulent, ensuite double bedrooms and professional kitchen (if you're really pushing the boat out they'll get a chef in to cook for you) we had the run of the place for one sleep: its stone terrace looking down on a single acre of gardens by day, and up at a thousand twinkling galaxies by night. 

For here at Atlantic House there is no light pollution: the velvet, rural black is broken only by the dawn crow calling to its mate. 

Time resumes only when you hit the mighty rolling waves of Atlantic, a short stroll through the oak, ash and beech trees. 

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2832%29
However, you have to get past the warmth of the Peterville Arms first, a place where, less than five minutes after your first pint of microbrewed grog has arrived, everybody knows your name. 

The call of the sea may still tempt you, yet you must clear another obstacle: the Driftwood Spars Inn. With its live music and beach view terrace, this has every salty sea-dog trapping. Expect Johnny Depp to jump out and throw a sack over your head and haul you in, should you attempt to walk on by.

The excellent No 4 Peterville bistro, in the centre of the village, features an imaginative fine dining menu at realistic prices. 

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“We at No.4 don’t believe in pretentious twaddle, as far as we’re concerned foam belongs in the bath tub, not on a plate.” It will also address all your Full English (£7.50) and eggs Benedict (£6.95) needs on a Sunday morning with faultless aplomb. 

There is little to contemplate other than where you might have mislaid your passport for the flight back in two hours time. 

And, as it has done for centuries, the bell of St Agnes church quietly chimes. 

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2889%29

Tweets by twangeee


The detail

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2824%29
* easyJet flies from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Newquay and back three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with fares starting from £22.50 one way. Liverpool Confidential picked up the tab for our two extra passengers. See here 

* Three-day car hire from Europcar at Newquay Airport starts from £76. See here

* Between July 26-August 23, (the main school summer holidays), a three night break at Hendra Holiday Park ranges from £309-£635 (two-bed six-berth caravan), and £455-£669 for a three-bed eight-berth caravan, depending on the caravan type. 

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2837%29
Five to seven day stays incur the published weekly tariff from £615-£895. 

A week fora family of four in your own tent/caravan/motorhome starts at £296 (with electrcity) in high season.

The prices above are based on the current offers for the summer peak period which can be found here

* Chy Treza, Chy Kenza and Chy Nessa holiday cottages (right). Each sleeps five people and each has its own outdoor terrace and barbecue area. 
They are owned by Argantel Holiday Cottages, St Agnes, Cornwall. Rates: £295-£650 pw (low to high season). Three nights (low season only) from £250. Visit here to book.

Liverpool To Newquay Easyjet %2829%29 - Copy
* Atlantic House, St Agnes, Cornwall, sleeps up to 10 people, year round. £950 to £2950 pw (low to high season). See here

Morris Pasties, Tides Reach, Gannel Road, Newquay:

No 4 Peterville Restaurant, (right) St Agnes, Cornwall. 

* Fistral Fish & Chips, Fistral Bay, Newquay, Cornwall. 01637 879444

* 101 Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Cornwall might come in handy, here 

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AnonymousJuly 11th 2013.

Interesting idea, the flight. I might

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