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Cornwall

I went to Newquay in late September 2009 with the main aim of learning to surf. Newquay is great for surfing lessons; good surf (gentle enough for beginners) and large sandy beaches. The town itself seemed quite rundown although there were signs of building works and renovations going on. We booked a package with Reef Surf Lodge (01637 879058) for 3 nights b&b and 3 surf lessons. All the kit was included - wetsuits and boards. If you want wet boots you'll need to bring your own. The staff at the guest house were very amenable and it was no hassle for us to move the lessons according to when everyone in the group arrived and left. I'm not sure how easy this would be in mid-august though. The surf lessons were really good, very well organised and the staff kept a close eye on how well you progressed and moved you around according to competancy. There were about 8 in our group but again in the high season these lessons can have twenty of more pupils.

We booked as a group of 7 and had a dorm-style room all sharing one bathroom. This was a bit of a tight squeeze but we were in different surfing lessons so could stagger shower times a little. The room was very clean and the beds comfortable. There are plenty of special offers so check the website (http://www.reefsurflodge.info/index.htm) for the best deals.

We ate at Pizza Express one night which is at the far end of the town, keep the station on your right and the beach on your left and just keep walking. Another night we found a Mexican place more in the centre of town which was very good. There are plenty of fudge shops and the usual toursit shops selling all the beach equipment you'd need.

There is a mainline train station and an airport outside the town which is obviously useful for getting to the rest of Cornwall too.

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Roughly an hour in the car from Newquay and you'll reach Land's End - the most westerly point of Britain. We didn't research before we went and arrived at 17:20 just as the couple running the photographic stall were shutting up, and taking the famous sign down! Apparantly this was because it continually being stolen or damaged but I think it is a money making scam. The photos are a complete rip off in my opinion as you can stand in front of a railing 6ft infront of the sign and take your own photo free of charge.
On a clear day you can see across to the Isles of Scilly but it was a little overcast when I was there.
Being late September and after 5pm most things were shut so taking a picnic is advisable although the pub served tea and coffee but no cream teas which was disappointing.
On the road to and from Land's End, you can stop at the Last Pub in England/The First Pub in England, depending on your direction of travel. The locals all seem very friendly and don't bat an eyelid at tourists snappy photos of their pub signs from different sides.


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