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When most of us picture Cornwall, we’re flooded with visions of a quiet county with stunning landscapes, a dramatic coastline, long beaches, fascinating moorland, charming villages and towns with lovely businesses. Believe it or not, not everyone agrees with you.
“Smelly harbours”, “tacky villages”, “cycle trails with too many cyclists”, and a coastal path that needs “serious policing” – that is how the teasy visitors who have left “poor” and “terrible” reviews on TripAdvisor see the county.
And don’t get them started on the beautiful Bude sea pool which, apparently, is “nothing special”…
To mark the end of the peak tourist season, Cornwall Live has had a look at some of the most baffling reviews on TripAdvisor – including ones deemed “outrageous and unreasonable”, so much so that we’re sure they will make you smile or, at the very least, entertain you.
Charlestown is tacky
Bob O wrote: “We went here in 2017 and it was a nice place to visit and very picturesque however now it’s just a tourist trap filled with tacky food stalls, parking is a nightmare but if you are happy to wait people don’t seem to stay long”.
Amberley3737 commented: “What has become of this lovely harbour? I thought it was a World Heritage site – is it still? I can’t believe how quickly this harbour has been turned into some sort of Poldark theme park and an outside food hall.
“Tacky fake cannons, porta cabin food vendors that look like they have come from the motorway and rows of umbrellas that would be more in keeping with Benidorm. We stayed in lovely accommodation which we will review separately but we spent most days travelling further afield as Charlestown seemed rammed with people just looking for beer and BBQ!”
Bodmin Moor has bulls and horses
Cally G, from Liverpool, wasn’t too keen on the animals. Oh, and the walks are too long. “Ok if you like very very long walks amongst bulls,” she wrote.
“Horses and bulls roam freely – not the best idea we had to walk the dog here! It is extensively large and beautiful to look at with a gorgeous huge lake, but you could easily get lost. This is an adult place, children would not enjoy it.”
Padstow is ‘boring, boring, boring’
Sue, from London, seems to think the water there needs a good clean. She commented: “Overrun by tourists. Expensive shops in Padstow harbour. The water could be cleaner. There are so many tourists here, locals seemed to be fed up.”
Darren R added: “Boring. Can’t highlight Padstow boring boring boring, most of the town seems to be owned and run by one person…paid for half day parking left after an hour and a half. Not as nice as we thought would be and sooooo expensive.”
Did we mention it was boring?
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Fowey ‘hates tourists’
Two angry visitors vowed to never go back to Fowey. Bit harsh…
Michael S wrote: “We stayed just outside Fowey for ten days at the end of September. It was our first visit. We had hoped to centre the holiday around Fowey and the ferry boats and leave the car alone but we only went into the town three times as it was absolutely packed each time.
“There was a slightly manic, unrelaxing feel to the place and It was a big disappointment. I’m sure it’s beautiful in the winter, but we didn’t like it and won’t be coming back again.”
sarahsmithneeroberts added: “Don’t bother. I would not go back Fowey even if you paid me. Full of horrible, rude people who hate tourists. The term cake and eat it springs to mind! It has a nice sandy cove for swimming, lovely shops & a picturesque river but very few places to sit and chill. Loads of high-end shops and beautiful properties.”
Cornish coastal path ‘needs serious policing’
Dorsydorsy Wells wrote: “Be careful! Walked from Penzance to Marazion. Fantastic walk completely ruined by the amount of dog excrement on the path. Needs some serious policing.”
At least they recognised the walks themselves are worth it.
Camel Trail has ‘too many cyclists’
“Walk ruined,” James R Nice wrote. “Fabulous scenery easy flat waking but ruined by cyclists who think they own the trail. Need eyes in the back of your head to avoid being run over”.
But the anger against cyclists does not end there. According to Simon F Shrivenham, they can’t even ride in a straight line…
Simon commented: “Totally destroyed by its own popularity. All of the reviews are correct in that this is a beautiful path, nice and flat, technically good for families etc.
“The trouble is that given even the slightest glimmer of sunshine everyone seems to go there at once. As a result, the path is full of people who can’t ride in a straight line, kids having tantrums and general misery. It is testament to the general British lack of imagination that people feel the need to go to a specific cycle path to get their annual exercise. I imagine on the right day it could be really pleasant (assuming you are not on a road bike as much of the path is gravel). Just don’t go in the school holidays!!”
Bude sea pool is ‘nothing special’
“Nothing special,” rockosworld Gretton wrote. “It’s just a swimming pool next to the beach, nothing special, good size, best to go when the weather is a lot warmer”.
Ouch. But it gets worse… “Not as good as the Bude Tunnel, just a pool,” Andy B wrote. “For real action head up the road to the tunnel. If you don’t like salt water this is definitely not for you. Did I mention the Bude tunnel?”
Truro Cathedral isn’t ‘old enough’
“Nice, but not exactly ancient,” ChrisGV pointed out about the cathedral which, indeed, was built between 1880 and 1910. “Newish religious construction in the middle of a bustling, interesting small city. Avoid the mysticism, and go for a coffee! Much more rewarding than myths.”
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Golitha Falls are ‘a bit of rough water’
J_pz_12 from Truro was underwhelmed. “I was expecting beautiful waterfalls cascading down, however, the reality was a little poor,” he wrote. “The walk through woods involved many trip hazards with tree roots, rocks etc… also not much signage showing the way.
“There was some dog poo but that’s down to the owners not collecting the poo or leaving bags behind (shame on them). I thought there was going to be a large waterfall tumbling down from a higher level but alas this was not the case. We aborted mission after 45mins and went to the café for a coffee in the car park instead. Disappointed.”
Alan S hasn’t actually seen the falls, but here’s his opinion anyway: “Not seen, so not recommended! We visited after a very slight rainfall the previous day and the consequent mud made the paths impassable. Having then seen photos of the “falls” – well, a bit of rough water – we were glad in fact that we had expended no further effort!”
Mevagissey is a ‘smelly harbour’
M B described beautiful Meva as “tedious and overbearing”. And then again as a “tedious area”.
“Unless you’re a truly avid boat- spotter, you’ll spend the whole trip in a state of bewilderment at the time, trouble and cost of getting to an aged, smelly harbour like any other,” they wrote. “There was a seagull. And some very pompous, overbearing women with union jack sunglasses who told me we should have let them in front of us, followed by several minutes of talking loudly about the lack of respect these days. I wish there was someone I could demand a refund from.”
Last but not least, Brumwzz from Birmingham with their savage review that recently went viral. “Awful,” they wrote. “Nothing but avoiding cars as they drive around the streets to ridiculously positioned car parks. With two small children and a dog it was impossible to comfortably wall around the place without having to step out of the way every few minutes because of a car. Stressed me out so much we left. Not a visitor-friendly place at all.
“Almost nowhere to sit out on the harbour. Plus hardly any dog-friendly places to eat. There are almost no places with outside seating if you want to dine outside. Probably because of the constant passing cars. The whole place needs a redesign. Plenty of places just outside the main part they could put more parking. The gift shops just had any old crap you can buy anywhere in the UK. Don’t bother.”
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