There’s something sweet brewing in Newquay, and it’s not just Cornish cider. The local community has been working hard to transform the seaside resort into a centre for sustainable and family-friendly tourism. Now the high street teems with all sorts of grassroots initiatives, from eco-restaurants to innovative social enterprises.
But surfing remains Newquay’s biggest draw, with beaches catering for pros and beginners alike. Exposed Watergate Bay welcomes Atlantic-sized swells daily, while the waves at sheltered Towan Beach are smaller and less daunting when the wind is strong.
The more secluded Mawgan Porth Beach offers a quieter environment against a backdrop of craggy cliffs and green fields, but for most surfers there’s only one spot on the radar. Fistral Beach, the lynchpin of the UK surfing scene, throngs with surfers – all vying to catch the gnarliest wave throughout summer. A reef at the beach’s north end creates the UK’s biggest surfable breaks.
Beyond the beaches there are plenty of popular walking routes. The South West Coast Path heading towards St Ives flanks secluded coves and a handful of country pubs, whereas picturesque Newquay Harbour is the perfect place for a morning stroll before settling down to a hearty lunch. Just watch out for those fearless seagulls – they’ll swoop down and steal your chips the minute you let your guard down!
When to go?
The best time to visit Newquay is in summer. August is especially popular, when the four-day Boardmasters Festival and World Surf League qualifying series take place. Things are a little quieter and cheaper in May and September, though beach weather isn’t guaranteed.
Where to stay?
The Headland Hotel and Spa
Perched on a rugged headland overlooking Fistral Beach, The Headland Hotel and Spa consistently wows Booking.com guests with its amazing location. This lavish Victorian hotel’s excellent facilities include a spa, golf course, sea-view terrace and surf school.
Bedlam House, UK
Bedlam House offers all the standard amenities you’d expect from a top-rated hotel, but Booking.com guests agree the real selling point is its distinctively quirky décor. Adorning the walls are contemporary artworks, custom-designed wallpaper, and even a cheeky Banksy-like print on the building’s exterior.
Hotel Great Western
The sweeping ocean views from the modern rooms and cliff-top terrace at Hotel Great Western continuously impress Booking.com guests. The hotel overlooks the Atlantic, and Newquay’s lively centre is just a few steps away. Steam, the hotel restaurant, serves freshly caught seafood and traditional Cornish breakfast daily.