Poldark fans told to stay away from Cornwall beaches amid fears of overcrowding

Tourism bosses say some parts of county are struggling to cope amid unprecedented visitor numbers

Colin Drury@colin__drury
Monday 13 August 2018 16:19
Poldark: attracting visitors to Cornwall
Poldark: attracting visitors to Cornwall

Poldark fans have been asked to stay away from two beaches featured in the hit BBC drama amid fears of overcrowding and safety concerns.

Cornwall tourism bosses say the county is struggling to cope with “unprecedented” surge in holidaymakers at Kynance Cove and Porthcurno.

They have taken the unique decision to stop promoting two resorts because the sheer number of visitors have led to gridlocked traffic and raised potential safety issues.

"Dear Mr Aidan Turner and his wonderful chest and thighs walking down the water is better advertising than we could ever hope to get," said Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall.

But he added: “There are actually lots of other beaches he is filmed on and we can point people to, because we have 400 miles of coastline and a beach for every mile."

He said of Kynance Cove and Porthcurno: “On particular peak days and especially at weekends, we have suffered from gridlock in these places.

“For anybody who loves and knows our Cornwall, these particular beaches are down quite windy roads so it's not always that easy to just quickly drive on because you have got to turn round.

"It's about informing and distributing so people have a great holiday and enjoy Cornwall rather than getting frustrated at being stuck down one of our beautiful Cornish lanes."

Heavy social media promotion, combined with the recent heatwave, has seen tourists flock to sites in their thousands.

Drivers were pictured getting out of their cars as they waited in huge tailbacks at Porthcurno, while ambulance crews reported being unable to reach patients due to poor parking.

A spokesperson from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: "This summer we have struggled to reach patients on various occasions due to vehicles being parked inappropriately. We urge people to park sensibly and to show consideration for emergency vehicle access.”

Kevin Hall, who runs a campsite near Porthcurno, said deliveries were late because they could not get through the jams.

"It's been unprecedented,” he said. “It got to the stage where we had to go down to the junction to stop people coming into the village and try to turn them around."

Deborah Hopkins, Unite union regional officer for Cornwall, said the increasing traffic created a "nightmare" for some health workers and trades people.

"Each summer it gets a bit worse," she said. "We need to have a serious discussion about how we balance the need for tourism and the need for business to continue to run over the summer.

“Our infrastructure is struggling to cope. The burden needs to be recognised and the government needs to invest in Cornwall.”

The county as a whole is estimated to have attracted 20 per cent more visitors this year than the usual 4.5 million.