Woman says UK’s ‘best seaside town’ has a dark side tourists don’t see

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    St Ives was recently found to be the top seaside town in the UK in a Telegraph report whereas in bottom was Rhyl, in Wales, and South Shields, near Newcastle.

    The Cornwall haven was praised for its dozens of restaurants, fancy hotels and lodges and shops.

    It’s easy to see why St Ives nabbed the top spot as its stunning blue waters, white sand beach and quintessential buildings ooze charm.

    READ MORE: Beautiful seaside town proves a hit – and it's also one of the UK's poshest places

    Over half a million day trippers and 220,000 overnight visitors each year ensure the hotspot is bustling with activity and vibrancy.

    Over on TripAdvisor, St Ives bay is concisely praised for being “beautiful”, “relaxing” and “clean”.

    However, it seems that not everything is sunshine and sea water in this Cornish destination….

    A woman who lives in 'the best seaside town in the country' says it has a little-discussed dark side, reports the Mirror.

    Rebecca Quick, who has lived in St Ives for 50 years, says that rude tourists and empty second homes are proving to be issues for the local community.

    When asked how St Ives changed she said: "I might be so bold as to suggest it is the second home owners who have done this.

    "To them, St Ives is this little, idyllic place that they visit every few months. They don't see the poverty.

    "They don't notice the houses that remain empty all winter. They don't experience the abject rudeness that the locals suffer from these entitled visitors.

    "They don't feel the hit of a maximum council tax rise of 5% while there are huge cuts in services."

    Rebecca said she was "happy to shine a light on the darker side of life in St Ives" having grown frustrated with the way the town had changed over the past five decades.

    She said she feels the sense of community has been lost, especially with a focus on tourism which hugely grows the 11,000 population and brings around 3,000 jobs to the town. However, this is a seasonal boost, during the peak holidays.

    It also means that landlords buy up homes and rent them out to holidaymakers, which bumps up house prices in the area.

    "When I was growing up here I knew my neighbours. We had neighbours back then," Rebecca continued.

    "There was a real sense of community. These days some streets in town are completely unoccupied during the winter months because the houses have all been bought as second homes and holiday lets.

    "The youngsters have nowhere to live and no real hope of owning their own home anywhere near St Ives and their families because what properties do come up for sale are priced too high for any first time buyer to aspire to.

    "Tourists are an important part of the Cornish economy but they are not the be all and end all."

    Rebecca says that rudeness is something locals repeatedly deal with, and that she has "listened to countless horror stories" as well as being subjected to "many encounters of my own".

    She added: "I avoid town like the plague in peak season so as to avoid the crushing inevitability of a fracas with a fed up, bored, soggy holidaymaker."

    One such horror story involved a man visiting a café who kept clicking at the waitress when he wanted her attention, before offering her a 90p tip if she smiled at him.


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    Source: Read Full Article