Wondering what activities to do in Newquay? Well, the town is a real tourist destination, meaning there’s no shortage of things to keep you occupied. The beach and coastline might provide most of the fun and games, but there’s plenty of fun to be had inland as well.
Activities in Newquay
As you’d expect from one of the UK’s best-loved stretches of coastline, Newquay is alive with water sports. The Newquay Harbour Watersports Centre at Newquay Harbour offers everything – and we do mean everything. From surfing lessons to kayaking, paddleboarding to jet skis, you can simply hire what you need, including wetsuits and surfboards – or sign up for group or one-on-one lessons. Alternatively, you can take the more chilled approach and hire a deckchair for the day and just watch the world go by.
The Harbour is a small and traditional quay boasting one of quaintest beaches in Cornwall. Take a stroll along the beach, grab a pint at a nearby pub, dine out on some freshly caught seafood at any of the local restaurants or book yourself on a day or evening fishing trip. The harbour has long been central to Newquay, from tin mining to pilchard fishing, but is now largely a tourist hotspot, as well as being home to two very friendly seals who like to bask in the midday sun.
The harbour is also where you will find several day trip companies, including Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing. Book your ticket and you’ll – hopefully – get up close and personal with dolphins, seals, basking sharks or the ultra-rare sunfish during your two-hour excursion. Slightly further up the coast, you’ll find Cornwall Waverunner Safaris who offer a wide range of watersports, including jet skiing, surf lessons and banana boat rides.
If that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush for you, the Vertical Descents Adventure Centre combines the best of land-based and water sports. From kitesurfing to coasteering, raft building to Segway tours, and mountain biking to abseiling, the centre is the perfect place to blow off steam, with multi-day packages available.
Newquay might be the south-west’s home of extreme sports, but there are several more sedate pursuits out there, including the Lappa Valley Steam Railway. A short drive from both our Newquay (Quintrell Downs) hotel and our Newquay (A30/Fraddon) hotel, it’s a fun family day out. Take a trip one any of their three steam engines, strut your stuff at crazy golf, go canoeing on their lake or take it easy in their café.
And finally, head to Newquay Golf Club on Tower Road to enjoy their 18-hole links course. Be sure to book a tee time in advance, as the course gets busy on the weekends and during holidays. With cracking views across Fistral Beach, it’s easy to be distracted by the scenery and hit your ball straight into the bunkers – that’s our excuse anyway, and you’re welcome to borrow it.
We’ve also included Newquay Zoo in our roundup and have given it its very own dedicated page.
Our video guide to Newquay activities
With its west-coast setting, Newquay can often bear the brunt of some seriously heavy storms, but there’s plenty to do when the sun doesn’t shine, including an aquarium, water park, farms and cinemas. We’ve rounded up our favourite indoor activities in Newquay here.
Ditch the surfboard and get on two wheels to see Newquay from a different perspective. The Cornish Way cycle network is a series of six interlinking trails that take you across the county as far as Land’s End.
One of the most popular routes is the St. Piran Trail, which starts at Truro and ends in Padstow, with Newquay marking the halfway point. The route takes you through picture-postcard villages, rolling fields and woodlands and is 55 km in total.
Alternatively, try out the Trerice Manor route south from Newquay. Riding through backcountry lanes, the five-mile round trip will take you to the Elizabethan National Trust property, where you can pop in for afternoon tea, take a walk around the gardens and – oddly enough – visit the lawnmower museum. Or extend the leisurely ride back to Newquay by stopping off for a pint at the Pheasant Inn in nearby St. Newlyn East.
Thanks to the huge open skies and endless coastal vistas, there’s really no bad view in Newquay. With rolling hills, jaw-dropping cliffs and sandy beaches, the area is tailor-made for walking, with several outstanding routes that – crucially – are never far from an ice cream van or a pub bench.
The South West Coast Path is supremely versatile – from gentle surf-side strolls to strenuous hikes, there’s something for everyone. Cunningly, the website will also let you plan your walk around cafés, pubs or points of interest. One of the most popular routes is from Newquay’s Twin Headlands to the train station; a five-mile trek that takes in some breathtaking coastal scenery and rocky headlands with plenty of benches along the way. The route also covers several historical features, including prehistoric ruins.
Six miles from our Quintrell Downs hotel are the iconic Bedruthan Steps. With seabird colonies nesting in the grasslands, the three-mile round walk takes in spectacular beaches, towering cliff edges and the iconic Bedruthan Stacks. If you’re driving, park at either the Carnewas or Park Head car park.
With seven beaches stretching for miles down the stunning Cornish coast, Newquay is a sand lover’s paradise. So much so, that we’ve given Newquay’s beaches their very own dedicated page.