Overview and History
Famous for its surfing, beaches, family fun and nightlife Newquay is a real favourite with tourists in Cornwall. The world-famous Fistral beach is at the heart of the town and you really will find something for everyone in this bustling seaside resort.
Historically Newquay was a fishing harbour town and the picturesque harbour is still there today with some boats using it for fishing and some offering fishing trips to tourists. The Huers Hut, a building where someone would look out for fish, mostly pilchards in the bay and alert the town is still there and has been visited many times over years by many people including John Lennon! Newquay evolved into a fishing port and there are still active fishermen that use the harbour today. Newquay has always been a popular holiday destination even going back to the Victorian times and today the population of locals in the town is around 20,000, but this rises considerably in the summer when the tourists visit. The coastal sights speak for themselves as there are 7 beaches in Newquay all offering something different and all beautiful in their own way.
There is a train station that goes into the centre of Newquay to access the town but most access by car. If you are staying in the surrounding areas then there are buses going to and from the town and during the peak months there are many routes. There are different car parks throughout the town and you can usually find a space and walk to where you need to go. Road parking is there but it’s hard to find a space particularly during the summer months. Most of the beaches have their own car parks but you will need to pay, this can quite often be done online. Exploring Newquay can mostly be done on foot so it’s possible to leave your car in 1 spot for the day and most beach car parks have a day rate for parking too.
Accommodation in Newquay varies from luxury to camping and you will find every different option you can want in our accommodation section. Some of these properties offer stunning views across the bay and are well located to enjoy everything that Newquay has to offer.
See below to browse a selection of our holiday accommodation guides for Newquay:
Fistral beach, most famous for its surfing culture is a beautiful beach right in the centre of the town. Boardmasters and other surfing competitions take place here throughout the year and there are plenty of shops and dining options on the beach including a Rick Stein chip shop. You can literally sit pretty much on the beach and have a beer or cider and soak up some of the Cornish Sun. The harbour is just around the corner and this is right next to Towan Beach which famously has an island on it. Most beaches in Newquay offer water sports and have dining options on them. Surfing, kayaking or stand up boarding are among the most popular things to do or just a good old fashioned dip in the sea. There are 7 beaches to explore and enjoy all offering different things.
Obviously Newquay boasts some of the most fabulous beaches in Cornwall but there are lots more things to do. There is the Sea Life Centre, Pirates Quest and multiple boat and fishing trips that you can take. Dairyland is a few minutes outside of Newquay for smaller kids and you can drive to the Eden Project in 25 minutes. Newquay has a park, tennis centre and Water World which has an indoor fun pool as well as a Zoo and a skate park. The Gannel estuary is a stunning place for an evening walk and you can also enjoy water sports there too. The surrounding areas offer quieter villages with different things to explore and Watergate bay is up the coast where they have their extreme academy of different sports you can enjoy. Many hiking and cycling trails surround Newquay and it is a great place to bring a dog with a lot of dog-friendly accommodation (check our accommodation page) and dog-friendly beaches and pubs.
Boardmasters Festival is once a year and is one of the biggest festivals in the UK. One of the best things about Newquay is the amount of outdoor space you can explore for free, beaches, gardens and parks all within walking distance of each other.
Food & Entertainment
Newquay is very well known for its nightlife and selection of great night clubs and bars. There really are some of the best night clubs and bars in Cornwall in Newquay and they offer DJ nights and live music as well as live sporting events showing on large screens. Boardmasters is one of the UK’s biggest festivals and features global acts and take place each August. Not only are there multiple bars with stunning views but there are some fine dining options with some incredible sea views. Whatever your budget or group you will find something you will like. There are family restaurants, and dog-friendly places as well as more lively places so take your pick from a freshly made Cornish pasty to a freshly caught and made scallop dish all complimented with a side of beauty with phenomenal views.