Holidays in Newquay - A 2023 Guide
If you’re looking for a coastal town that has it all, look no further than Newquay. This seaside town in Cornwall is known for its dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches and pounding surf. It’s also a great place to enjoy some of the best seafood in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an action-packed holiday, Newquay has something for everyone! In this guide, we will explore everything that this vibrant town has to offer.
Newquay Town History
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.
Beaches in 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.
Lusty Glaze, though privately owned, welcomes the public to its sandy shores. Enclosed by towering 200ft cliffs, it offers a more intimate beach experience. Less frequented than other Newquay beaches, it houses an adventure centre, making it a hotspot for watersport enthusiasts. However, accessing Lusty Glaze requires navigating a series of steep steps.
Situated three miles north of Newquay, Watergate Bay is a visual treat with over 2 miles of golden sand, framed by gorse-covered cliffs hiding intriguing caves. The bay, nestled between the scenic cliffs of Trevelgue Head and Stem Point, reveals smooth sand at low tide and mesmerizing azure waters on clear days. It’s a haven for rock pooling and offers ample surfing opportunities.
Located in the heart of Newquay, Great Western Beach is a sandy oasis that first introduced Newquay to the surfing world. At low tide, visitors can explore intriguing rock pools and caves embedded in the surrounding cliffs. The beach, named after the Great Western Railway, is accessible via a moderately steep path or from its neighbouring beaches, Towan or Tolcarne, during low tide.
A short distance from Newquay town lies Porth Beach, a narrow stretch of golden sand. The headlands on either side shield Porth Beach from strong winds, making it a family favorite. The Porth Stream or Whipsiderry Stream meanders across the beach, creating a delightful spot for children to play. Trevalgue Head, also known as Porth Island, is a captivating headland accessible via a narrow footbridge from the beach.
Often referred to as the ‘Town Beach’ due to its proximity to Newquay town, Towan Beach is a sandy retreat nestled directly below Killacourt, a cherished community green space. At high tide, it appears as a quaint cove, but during low tide, it merges seamlessly with the neighbouring Great Western Beach. The beach’s sheltered nature makes it ideal for families, offering gentler waves. A unique feature is ‘The Island’, a house perched on a solitary rock, connected only by a 90 ft suspension bridge.
Fistral Beach stands as the crown jewel of Newquay’s coastline. Renowned for its fierce waves, it’s a surfer’s paradise. The west-facing orientation of the beach, flanked by two protective headlands, ensures compact waves, making it the chosen venue for high-profile surfing competitions like the Boardmasters. Beyond the waves, the vast stretch of golden sand is perfect for sunbathing and sandcastle building.
Accommodation in Newquay
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.
When to Visit Newquay
Whatever time of year you choose to visit, you’re sure to have a great time in Newquay!
The best time to visit Newquay depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to enjoy the town’s surf scene, then the summer months are ideal. From June to September, the waves are at their best and the beaches are packed with sunseekers.
Newquay is also a great place to visit in the winter, although the surf might not be as good, there are still plenty of things to do, and you’ll find the town much quieter than in peak season.
Eat and Drink in Newquay
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 pic from a freshly made Cornish pasty to a freshly caught and made scallop dish all complimented with a side of beauty with phenomenal views.
How to Get to Newquay
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.