A local in Cornwall has pranked thousands of tourists by setting up a website for a fictitious beach - which holidaymakers then try and find.
The website and twitter account for Porthemmet Beach has received thousands of hits a day - but doesn’t exist.
It is advertised as a ‘tropical paradise’ with stunningly clear water, white sands and an amazing social scene - but it’s entirely made up.
The website claims it’s ideal for surfers, is visited by puffins and offers warm tropical waters.
But the beach doesn’t exist and the site was set up to confuse tourists.
Emmet is a word that is used to refer to tourists or holiday makers coming to Cornwall.
The site was launched in 2007 and still has an active scene on social media - recently posting that Porthemmet reached a nearly unbelievable 42C in last week’s heatwave.
It was set up 15 years ago by local teacher Jonty Haywood - but it is unclear if he is still involved.
The hoax website at one point even got 10,000 visitors in a few hours.
The beach even has a website that still remains online, featuring claims that it is “the best beach in Cornwall” according to the ‘Cornish Times’ — we have never given such a statement!
Speaking to the BBC in 2007, Jonty said: “I definitely didn’t anticipate such a response.
“My main aim...was to create a county-wide prank, something that Cornish people could amuse themselves with.’’
The website claims that the beach benefits from an ‘influx from the Gulf Stream’ giving Porthemmet a tropical climate and warm waters.
Photos of the ‘beach’ show stunning views of perfectly clear skies and water, while dozens of tourists sit on the beach and in the water.
It also claims that there are ‘many beach bars, pubs and clubs’ along with diving, a fishing trawler turned sightseeing boat and ‘Nanny Ogg’s Pasty Shop’ - serving the best pasties in Cornwall.
The website even claims that the beach is regularly visited by puffins - ordinarily found only in the colder parts of the UK and North Atlantic.
You can even buy dozens of gifts including jumpers, stationary and teddies on the beach’s online store.
Despite being a hoax, the beach has received rave reviews online as recently as 2020.
One reviewer posting on cornwall-beaches.co.uk where the beach is still listed said: “Best beach bar none.
“Always sunny and warm, never rains and the welcome is to die for, as is the surf. Never any wind either.
“Very easy to find, the directions and maps are great. Love the fact that nudists are welcome, so educational for the children.
“Do not miss this beach!”
Another man noted the beach’s ‘great fishing’, posting: “Have had some of the best catches here from Cod, Turbot and Tope. Fish low tide in use blow lug.”
While ‘Rob from Yorkshire; is quoted on the beach website saying: “After experimenting with the beaches of Spain and South East Asia for a couple of years I’m back at Porthemmet and I’ll be back here every year.”
You can take a look at the beach yourself on it’s website here: www.porthemmet.com/
Porthemmet Beach website has been contacted for comment.
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