We’ve just returned from a week in Cornwall at Newquay. Funny how childhood holiday memories are always of sunshine. Last week, only people wearing wetsuits braved the foaming waves, while gale-force Atlantic winds whipped around our seafront hotel.
Add to this the travails of coach travel: early starts on ‘feeder’ coaches; a packed ‘interchange’, busy motorways and crowded services; along with our uncanny knack of always sitting next to the noisiest passenger on board.
However, we enjoyed ourselves. She Who Knows had visited a couple of decades ago and remembered café-bars overlooking the quaint harbour. I was enchanted by the same, as well as another of her memories relived – horse riding along the picturesque Gannel Estuary.
My own childhood memories were sparked by passing beneath the soaring stone viaduct into lovely Trenance Gardens. Our family used to walk there from our guest-house near the golf links by Fistral Beach. The landlady’s meals were so measly we had to supplement them with Cornish pasties, which still tasted as good today.
Back then I loved surfing on ‘belly boards’ at Great Western beach. So entranced did I become that later, as a teenager, I applied for a summer job at the hotel of that name. They asked for a photo with the job application, which I sent, then never got in touch again.
This time we dallied as sophisticated adults, enjoying the three remaining Victorian hotels. All were still palatial, though the town centre Victoria is a bit downgraded these days. The amazing Atlantic Hotel has been modernised with a capital Wow factor. However, we preferred afternoon tea at the more traditional Headlands. It was £9 for a crab sandwich but, at least, we escaped that noisy woman from the coach trip.
Memories are made of such. It’s good to relive them too!
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