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A City Guide to Newquay - Sand, Sea, and Surf

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Newquay’s beaches are its biggest attraction with 7 miles of coastline and 11 sandy stretches fringed by the Atlantic Ocean. Soaring dunes, soft golden sand, and excellent surf conditions attract visitors to this laid-back resort. You can also enjoy family attractions like Newquay Zoo, and fun adventure sports like coasteering and kayaking.

Newquay's golden beaches


Taking a walk along one of Newquay’s beaches will bring you closer to nature as you breathe in fresh air and dip your toes into soft sand. Fistral Beach is popular with surfers, and the whole family will love Crantock Beach with its steep dunes and turquoise River Gannel estuary. Towan Beach and Harbour Beach are a 2-minute walk from the town centre, while Tolcarne and Lusty Glaze are secluded and dotted with colourful beach huts. You can go windsurfing at Watergate Bay, or build sandcastles with the kids on the flat stretch at Porth Beach.


History and coastal wonders


You can walk 1.5 miles from Newquay along the coast to Huer’s Hut, on Towan Head. This small, white, round building dates from the 1800s, though the spot on which it stands has been a lookout point since the 14th century. It was used by "huers" searching for shoals of mackerel. At Pentire Headland, you can enjoy panoramic views stretching from Crantock Beach to the west and Fistral to the east. Newquay Harbour is a working port that dates back to the 15th century.


  • Huer’s Hut, Towan Head, Newquay; Website: Huer’s Hut

  • Newquay Harbour, South Quay Hill, Newquay TR7 1HR; Website: Newquay Harbour


Zoo and aquarium


At Newquay Zoo, you’ll get close to exotic mammals, reptiles, and birds including zebras, lions, and meerkats. You can also feed farm animals like pigs and the world’s smallest sheep. Blue Reef Aquarium provides an insight into the world’s oceans as you walk under the glass tunnel beneath gliding sea turtles and darting blacktip reef sharks. You can visit the nurseries and learn about breeding programs and conservation projects that protect native and tropical marine species.


  • Newquay Zoo, Trenance Gardens, Newquay TR7 2NL; Tel: +44 1637 873342; Website: Newquay Zoo

  • Blue Reef Aquarium, Towan Promenade, Newquay TR7 1DU; Tel: +44 1637 878134; Website: Blue Reef Aquarium


Traditional pubs and beach bars


Visitors love Newquay’s old-fashioned pubs and laid-back beach bars, most of which enjoy sea views. The Red Lion has low-beamed ceilings and a crackling log fire in winter. It's a great place to sip local ales and meet locals. Beach bars like Lusty Glaze offer outside terraces with sea vistas that change with the seasons. You can wrap up and sip a hot chocolate while watching the raging waves in winter, or soak up the sunshine outside with chilled wine in summer.


  • Lusty Glaze, Lusty Glaze Rd, Newquay TR7 3AE; Tel: +44 1637 872444; Website: Lusty Glaze

  • Red Lion, Quay Cottage, N. Quay Hill, Newquay TR7 1HE; Tel: +44 1637 872195; Website: Red Lion


Fun family activities


If watching the rolling waves is a little passive for you, why not roll yourself downhill in a giant plastic ball at Cornwall Zorbing Park? Holywell Bay Fun Park has crazy golf and "blaster boats" that squirt water, and there are boat trips from the harbor that offer the chance to spot dolphins and seals. You can travel back in time to the days of piracy, smuggling, and treasure at Pirate’s Quest, or jump aboard miniature steam trains at Lappa Valley Steam Railway and chug through woodlands and green landscapes.


  • Pirate’s Quest, 22 St. Michael's Road, Newquay TR7 1RA; Tel: +44 1637 873379; Website: Pirate’s Quest

  • Cornwall Zorbing Park, Watergate Road, Newquay TR7 3LX; Tel: +44 1637 800273; Website: Cornwall Zorbing Park