Newquay: naughty, and apart from its stunning beaches, not really very nice, actually. For many years, that's been the prevailing opinion of Cornwall's surfing capital, and honestly, Newquay has no one but itself to blame for the bad rap. With a notorious nightlife, and a main street lined with trashy clubs, rowdy pubs and blinking amusement arcades, it's no surprise the town has found itself struggling to transcend its party-hard, alcohol-fuelled, bargain-basement image.
But things are changing: Newquay is making a concerted effort to smarten up its act. Several of the big clubs have closed down; trendy bistros, cafes, bakeries and health-food shops have appeared in the town centre; and along the coast, a bevy of boutique hotels are attracting a more discerning clientele. There's a way to go, but at last it feels like Newquay might be growing up. About time, too.