Swimming & Cider off the Atlantic Highway, Cornwall

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The Atlantic Highway is a glamourous name for a truly average road. Running from Barnstaple to Newquay, its grandiose title makes it sound like an empty American highway with panoramic ocean views.

In reality, your view is much more likely to be the back-end of a tractor that you’ve been trailing for the past 30 miles – with no chance of overtaking. It might be the most infuriating road in England.

But beyond it, the beaches are gorgeous and the sea beautifully clear  – particularly when there’s no wind and temperatures, it rivals the Mediterranean.

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It’s been over ten days without so much as a ripple to surf upon. So, we’ve had to resort to pastimes other than surfing. In this case, swimming.

Here are a few nice pieces that will make your swimming/sunbathing/picnicking experience all the better:
1. Billabong Skinny Jane Long-John Wetsuit. It’s retro in style with all the benefits of modern neoprene – and it comes in the same colour as sea fog. £74.99, Surfdome.

2. GoPro Hero 2 Surf Edition. Amazingly adaptable waterproof camera. Just make sure you aim it right – otherwise you’ll end up with a few hundred blurry shots to delete later. £281, Amazon (but always worth trying eBay).

3. Mares i3 Diving Mask. Crucial for spotting that jellyfish up close with your GoPro. £29.99, Simply Scuba.

4. Cornish Orchards Gold Cider. Locally-produced with a dry, crisp taste, it’s a perfect antidote to that salty post-swim mouth. £29.99 for 12 500ml bottles,  Cornish Orchards.

5. Vicky’s Sourdough Bread. Honestly, the best bread in Cornwall. Every time I go to buy it, it’s sold out – but you usually can find it in the Spar at Polzeath and Relish Deli, Wadebridge among other places. Vicky’s Bread.

6. Cornish organic brie. Slice off a wedge of Cornwall’s own fresh brie. It’ll melt just as it should – without that thick residue you find in supermarket brie. Relish Wadebridge.

7. The Wool Company Picnic Rug. It even has a subtle waterproof lining underneath. £89,  The Wool Company.


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