Sitting drinking coffee at 11.00am on a Monday morning overlooking the famous surfing location on Fistral Beach, my mind drifted back to childhood holiday visits to the North Cornwall coast.

In those days and showing my age, it required immense planning.The Motorway came to an abrupt halt in the middle of Devon and you then have a choice of two single carriageway roads to take you into Cornwall.

The final part of the journey would take as long as the drive to Devon, the A30 littered with overheating cars, families sitting eating their pre packed picnics on the verge, the smell of the sea close yet so far away.Arriving exhausted having set out in the very early hours of the morning, you would be already planning for the journey back.

On a couple of occasions we would stay at a bed and breakfast on a farm and would often see planes taking off and landing at what was then called RAF St Mawgan.

Those runways are now the gateway to Cornwall, Newquay Airport, as it is now known linked to Manchester by Daily flights courtesy of Logan Air, a flight time of just over an hour while a taxi or bus ride into Newquay will take you just twenty minutes

You may have seen its name mentioned in the news recently as the base for what was ultimately Britain’s failure to launch a satellite into space.

The space mission may have failed but the airport is looking to serve 450,000 customers this year. almost double those of last year.

But enough of the airport-Our destination was the Oceanside Hotel, a second-generation, family-run, fiercely-independent,hotel that has operated in the seaside town since

Located on the westside of the town, it is ideally placed, a ten minute walk to Fistral beach and around fifteen minutes to the harbour and the centre of the town.

People have enjoyed the seascape of Newquay since the iron age but the curve of the headland which provided natural protection from bad weather saw a small fishing village grew up in the area, where Newquay harbour now is.

It was known as ‘Towan Blystra’ – ‘Towan’ means sand hill/ dune in Cornish, “Blystra” meaning blown, names that you will see around the town to this day

In 1439 the local burghers applied to Bishop Lacey of Exeter for leave and funds to build a “New quay” from which the town derives its current name.

Before Tourism took over, the town’s economy relied as did many in Cornwall on the Pilchard Trade, the town’s insignia is two pilchards but the real pilchards have long gone

Nestled by the harbour is the Boathouse, unique in that its capacity can double when the tide is out when benches and tables are set up on the sands.Called streetfood on the beach, we are told that in the high season, people queue down the steep road that leads to the venue.

It does exactly what it says.Sit down at the table and select from a number of different vedor menus.The crab sandwich was recommended to me and it didn’t disappoint, but it doesn’t have to be from the sea with Indian Food and Pizza also prominent

On the otherside of the harbour stands the Harbour Fish and Grill.It is fine dining literally chiselled into the cliff face.Its outdoor tables giving spectular view across all seven of Newquay’s Beaches

Origonally a grain store, it has been a restuarant and hotel since the 1950’s but today Executive Chef Aaron Janes has raised this venue to another level.

My Newquay Lobster Bisque, a starter was supreme, the Bisque so rich and tasty while across the table,Mrs B was surprised by how the Beetroot and Orange combined in the Risotto.

Other delights on the starter menu that night included Harbour seafood Knickerbocker Glory, Chicken Parfait and Vodka Cure Salmon

For the mains, it was difficult to resist the Cornish Sole with Garlic KIng Prawns, Clams, Samphire and Watercress, all local sourced including the Samphire from the cliffs just south of the town

On the other side of the table, an Indian Twist on seafood saw Spiced Stone Bass with a mackeral and Mussel Dahl, which I could not resist a taste of and was supreme

You can’t visit the Cornwall without sampling a pasty-Are those stories true about the origins or perhaps like the Ploughman’s they were invented as a marketing gimmick?

In the Centre of the town stands The Cornish Oven.Established since 1999, it is a family-run pasty producer, retailer and supplier. They make pasties in their bakery in Pool, Cornwall using simple ingredients: vegetables, meat, margarine, flour, water, seasoning.

Their salads and sandwiches are made in their kitchen in Scorrier and for those who can’t make the trip, they can post them out

Pasties date back as far as the 13th century, at which time they were a pie baked without a dish of French origins, with a rich filling of venison, veal, beef, lamb or seafood, gravy and fruit. The name pasty is a mutation of the Medieval French “paste”, for pie.

They are first referenced in Cornwall in the 1700’s the food of the working class certainly not the rich, decadent pies of the previous centuries but instead filling a simple short crust pastry case with potato, swede and onion, all common vegetables, and occasionally some cheap pieces of meat if available

As tin mining proliferated around the country, they became a go-to meal for the miners’  mid-morning break

But back to the town and as Newquay began to become a populat tourist resort at the turn of the twentieth century, the council decided to purchase an area of headland overlooking the bay called the Killacourt, used principally for grazing and growing crops by the local farmers but now to be used as a public area to sit relax and take in the view.

The views are still there, the Atlantic Hotel and the suspension bridge to the small island, built incidently in Aberdeen.Once tourists would cross the bridge to a tea room,Sadly now the house is a privately owned residence.

Killacourt has been improved in recent years, made more accessable and now home to 12 enterprise units and a cafe giving businesses the opportunity to start up with renys much loweer than that in the town centre.But one thing the council says, wont change are the views.

There is plenty more to do in the town-Take a look at the Visit Newquay Website 

About Manchester travelled to Newquay as guests of Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) and Logan Air




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