The busy and popular seaside resort of Newquay is ideally placed to visit some of the best beaches in Cornwall, including Watergate, Crantock and the iconic Fistral beach - one of the most consistent surfing beaches in the UK.
Popular among families, groups of friends, and surfers, Newquay is also renowned for its wide choice of pubs and restaurants and major attractions. The Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Maritime Museum, Trerice House with its magnificent gardens, and many more fantastic day trips are all within easy striking distance of the town. Whilst there is a plentitude of accessible activities in and around Newquay to keep everyone in your party happy, from surfing and kite surfing to a spot of golf at one of the area's golf courses.
Newquay is also perfectly located for enjoying a gastronomic experience at Jamie Oliver's famous 15 restaurant, situated in the stunning Watergate Bay. The beach is also often host to surf championships and Veuve Cliquot Beach Polo in September, so if you time your visit right you could be treated to a spectacular display.
Newquay offers a vibrant base for a fun group holiday with family or friends, with everything you need to make your holiday memorable right on your doorstep.
On a 32ft offshore charter vessel called The Atlantis, this Newquay based company offers fishing trips on the beautiful Cornish coast. Aboard you will find a large wheelhouse and comfy seating area as well as tea and coffee facilities, cold drinks and a toilet. Licensed for 12 passengers at a time, they also have a second boat if you’re looking to bring a larger group, and staff are extremely accommodating. They offer a variety of trips from a two-hour mackerel bash to a sunset session, shark fishing, fishing and jet skiing, and a full day exploring the local reefs and wrecks.
In 13 acres, Newquay Zoo is an opportunity to meet more than 130 different species from around the world, explore different exhibits and habitats, learn, and support conservation projects. There’s a Kids Zone and games, and a number of cafes and restaurants providing ethically sourced food, as well as space for picnics throughout the park. You can visit at any time of the year, and tickets start at £13.60 for adults, but do remember that it’s one of the largest, not-for-profit charities in Cornwall, with all money going directly back into the zoo and its conservation projects.
Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is a wonderful attraction for families, particularly on rainy days. Dedicated to education, conservation and the creatures it holds dear, they have over 40 naturally themed habitats which take you on a journey from the Cornish waters to exotic seas and bring you face to face with freshwater turtles, jellyfish and puffer fish. A favourite feature is the aquarium’s ocean tank, where an underwater tunnel offers magical views of the giant Loggerhead turtle, reef sharks and shoals of colourful fish as well. Parking is available on St Georges Road Car Park (TR7 1JS) or Manor Road Car Park (TR7 1RA) and prices start at £8.93 for adults if you book online
In Newquay in Cornwall, Jungle Jacks is the perfect opportunity to let your little monkeys run wild in a purpose-built play frame which provides 1,700 square feet of fun. It includes climbing, a rope bridge, an astra-glide slide, soft play, crafty crawl tubes and peekaboo bubble windows, while daredevils will love the racing slide and spiral tube. There’s also a dedicated baby and toddler area where the young ones can play safely, and a café where parents can kick back with a sandwich and a hot cup of tea. They host children’s parties, are open seven days a week, and prices start at £5.50 for children over three years or £4.50 for children aged 12-35 months.
An award winning pub in an idyllic village within easy reach of some of the best sandy beaches in Cornwall serving excellent value home cooked pub food. Expect tasty, hearty meals for lunch and supper, and a friendly atmosphere where children and dogs are welcome.
Ring o Bells Wadebridge PL27 7QA (T: 01841 540251)
Great name, great coffee, great food, great views, great atmosphere - surely that’s enough? If you need more reasons to visit this cool glass fronted café restaurant, check out their website until you bear it no longer.
Strong Adolfo’s St Breock, Wadebridge PL27 7LR (T: 01208 816949)
A rocky beach in a narrow, sheltered cove, Port Quin Beach is close to Port Isaac, and is only accessible at low tide. Its rugged landscape is beautiful to see, but its location means that it’s largely popular with seasoned walkers and those looking to go snorkeling and kayaking. Unspoiled and peaceful, it reveals a treasure trove of rock pools when the tide is out, and the nearby village is largely deserted, having once had thriving fishing and mining industries. Today both the cove and the village are owned by the National Trust and there is a car park courtesy of them in Port Quin. Dogs are banned between Easter and October, and there aren’t any facilities nearby – it’s all about enjoying the peace and quiet.
Since the arrival of Doc Martin on the small screen, Port Isaac has soared in popularity, and the pretty little village with the historic harbour, which also serves as the beach, has become instantly recognisable. Still an active fishing village with crab pots scattered about, the sand stretches between twin piers at low tide and has a small stream and lots of rock pools to explore, so it’s ideal for children. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and as it’s at the centre of the village there’s easy access to shops and all facilities including public toilets. The car park for the town is a 10-minute walk away, and while there are a couple of parking spaces on the beach itself, just make sure you park above the high water mark, or keep an eagle eye on the tide!
A sheltered beach on the north Cornwall coast, Port Gaverne Beach is in a narrow cove just east of Port Isaac. It’s comprised of sand and shingle with lots of rock pools to explore at low tide. In the summer months it can get quite busy given the popularity of the location and its suitability for families. Surrounding walks along the cliff path are delightful and at high tide the beach is favoured by divers. There’s also a slipway and it’s sometimes used to launch boats because of the easy access from the road. Thanks to it proximity to Port Isaac half a mile away facilities and restaurants are nearby, and the beach welcomes dogs all year round. You can also park in the village although there is limited road parking by the beach itself.
Best known as a surf beach, Tregardock Beach is only accessible by footpath, which offers beautiful views of the water and Port Isaac as you head down. It is quite a stroll and the terrain is bumpy, so it’s not an ideal beach to visit with children. The path can also get quite muddy, so keep an eye on the weather. There’s a seasonal ban on dogs from Easter to September, and there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity of the beach. When the tide goes out, several small beaches become one long stretch of sand, and there’s a waterfall cascading down the cliffs at the back of the beach as well as caves to explore, so it really is a little paradise hidden in the landscape. Because it’s not easy to access, it’s usually quiet at this beach, but parking along the roadside near the farm at Treligga is very limited, so it’s a good idea to head over as early as possible and make sure you don’t get cut off at high tide.
In the heart of Polruan, Back Beach is not short of facilities and nearby shops and restaurants. A pretty little beach that’s popular with families, it has beautiful views across the river to Fowey and is a lovely place to watch the world go by with all the boats pottering along in front of you. It’s predominantly a sand beach, leading to a sheltered section of the river, so it’s good for swimming, but there aren’t any lifeguards around. The only complication for access is that it’s very difficult to park in the village, and it’s a considerable walk down the steep hill from the car park at St Saviours, or a ferry ride across the river from Fowey. Therefore, it’s best to combine a visit with a day exploring the village itself to make the most of it.