People turn around and go home again as seafronts packed on New Year’s Day

It’s the first day of 2021 and people have been heading out in their droves to idyllic waterfront spots across Devon and Cornwall to take their first stroll of the year.

[Online Plymouth Herald contains many more comments and short videos]

Sarah Elmes

But due to ongoing Tier 3 restrictions – forcing food businesses to close apart from collection and takeaway – beaches and waterfront locations have been packed full of people queuing up for fish and chips and other Westcountry delights.

Many people have got in touch to say they personally didn’t want to risk the crowds, which can prevent social distancing from taking place.

Others have said they have simply turned around and gone back home again.

The Plymouth Hoe promenade was one such busy spot today.

One concerned resident got in touch to say: “Have you seen the amount of people on the Hoe? I’ve just gone to walk my dog but had to turn around – it’s heaving with no social distancing and groups of more than six.

“There were queues outside the chip shops and ice cream vans. It’s making all of our hard work within the NHS absolutely seem pointless.”

Elsewhere in Devon, Charlotte Evens took a trip to Exmouth beach today only to be confronted with queues and queues of people.

“We’ve just popped out for a walk but decided to turn around and go home again due to the high amount of people,” she said.

“It’s absolutely crazy down there.”

Queues on Exmouth beach front

(Image: Charlotte Evens)

She added: “There were huge queues at The Ice Cream shop and the chip shop next door. Also the new coffee hut by the large new building.”

The moors have also been extremely busy today and police have warned snow tourists not to visit.

Tavistock response sergeant Sgt Si Wellfair said: “It’s pretty bad. We’ve got at least two to two-and-a-half miles of parked cars. People really need to avoid this road for the time being and we’re trying to avoid more difficulties by urging folks to find different spots on Dartmoor to go for their New Year’s Day walks.” Read more on that here.