A STUNNING "tropical paradise" has been dubbed Cornwall's best beach – but everything isn't quite as it seems.
The county is known for its picturesque coastline, with four million people visiting for hols every year.
And many will have been tempted by idyllic Porthemmet beach, which boasts crystal clear waters, white sands and a buzzing nightlife.
There's just one problem, however.
Porthemmet doesn't actually exist.
Visitors first began talking about the fictional beauty spot in north Cornwall when a promotional website was launched back in 2007.
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The site advertises a top-quality restaurant, branded merchandise and trips on an old fishing tug.
But a handful of clues quickly gave the game away to Cornish locals.
The first is the attraction's name. 'Emmet' is slang for tourists or holiday-makers, specifically those who visit Cornwall.
Meanwhile, those planning a trip to the beach may have noticed an odd misspelling in the name of the restaurateur who owns its eatery.
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Rick Stein is well-known for his many restaurants in Padstow – although Porthemmet's diner is apparently owned by 'Rick Goldstein'.
And those who decide to pack up their buckets and spades anyway will have trouble tracking down a postcode.
That's because there's no map or directions.
Brits wondering if the website developers had just made a mistake and turned to Twitter would have been even more baffled.
The spot does have a page on the social media site, where it's said to have been "voted the best mythical beach in Cornwall for the last 10 years".
But the idyllic location was in fact dreamed up by Jonty Haywood, of Truro, who first began putting up signs for the fake beach 15 years ago.
At one point, his website received 10,000 hits in just a few hours.
He later told the BBC: “My main aim was to create a countywide prank, something that Cornish people could amuse themselves with.
"The national publicity has kind of given away the joke to lots of people outside Cornwall.”
Just last week, the location's Twitter account revealed Porthemmet had hit 42C during the June heatwave, CornwallLive reports.
And followers will be reassured to learn the beach is unaffected by the train strike – because it's "not on rail timetables".
'Emmets' aren't always terribly popular in Cornwall.
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But the county is set to remain a firm favourite for those staying in the UK for their holidays.
Plenty of gorgeous beaches do exist – and one of them has been voted the most beautiful in the UK.
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