Beach and beach huts at Newquay, Cornwall

Welcome to the third part of Cornwall on Sunday, an episode a little less rosy than the rest.

According to my slightly aged Lonely Planet Great Britain, Newquay is the kind of place you either love or loathe. Loathe is much too strong a word. That said, Newquay didn’t really appeal to me.

Sure, Newquay has its pretty spots, there are flowers, hills, bluffs and white-sand beaches. But humans have put some grotty marks on nature’s groundwork here. Newquay, you see, is Cornwall’s surfing mecca and party town numero uno. It’s full of pubs, bars, drunks and surf bums, who apparently live to surf. Some, I think, even live on the beach and have for the last 20 years. Then there’s the traffic.

On a somewhat irrelevant note: it’s difficult to dislike anyone who drives a Citroën.

Surfers and boards at the beach in Newquay, Cornwall

Street scene, Main street, Newquay, Cornwall

Newquay for kids. Really!

So why on earth have I called this post Newquay for kids? Did I really mean Newquay for kids – not!?

No, not at all! My then 8-year-old didn’t notice any of Newquay’s dodgier bits. She remembers doing cartwheels on the beach.

She remembers the penny arcade. She loves the blasted things, and I, well… I always try to divert her attention somewhere else, usually without success. I think I can safely say I loathe penny arcades.

And she remembers lions, zebras and lemurs. She remembers being deliciously frightened by creepy crawlies and getting up close with penguins. In short, she remembers Newquay Zoo.

It’s a nice, responsible little zoo, and part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Lemurs at Newquay Zoo, Cornwall

Have you been to Newquay? Thoughts?