From the golden sands of Watergate Bay to the beloved Fistral Beach, Newquay is blessed with an abundance of sandy stretches. Get out the bucket and spade, slip, slap, slop the suntan lotion and get busy on some of the best beaches in the country.
Beaches in Newquay
If surfing is your game, then head down to Fistral Beach. Home to several annual championships, some of the best surfers in the world alley-oop and carve up the waves while you can sit back and enjoy a drink at any of the overlooking bars and cafés. If you want to get involved yourself, there are several surf schools nearby where you can rent equipment, including wetsuits. They also provide lessons for surfers of all abilities. And it’s just a short walk from the town centre.
Watergate Bay Beach
The other main surfing spot is Watergate Bay Beach. Three miles up the coastline, it is where the annual Boardmasters event and music festival is held. Over two miles long, the bay is full of golden sand, with several public car parks at the top of the cliffs. Perfect for families and surfers, there’s a wide range of restaurants, including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. The beach has the highest rating for water quality and has full-time lifeguards from May to September, with dogs welcome year round.
Watergate Bay Beach
If you like your beach life with a side order of history, Porth Beach contains prehistoric earthworks and well-preserved remains of a millennia-old settlement. An enclosed and narrow beach sheltered by headlands on both sides with a river running down the middle, the end of the island has a blowhole, which is at its best at mid-tide on windy days. The cliff top offers impressive views back to Newquay and is a 30-minute walk from the town centre.
Also known as Towan beach, Newquay Beach is in the centre of town and wonderfully sheltered with small waves making it perfect for families. At low tide, you can stroll round to the Great Western Beach, creating two unbroken miles of golden expanse. There’s a full lifeguard service during the summer months and good disabled access.
Just down from Porth Beach back towards Newquay is Lusty Glaze. A privately-owned cove, it’s home to the Lusty Glaze Bar & Restaurant, and once you’ve sauntered down the 133 steps from the cliff top, you’ll be welcomed with gorgeous beach views, daily deals and live acoustic music once a week. A lively bar and restaurant, the beach is dog-friendly and even has a dedicated dogs’ dinner menu every Wednesday.
If you’ve had enough of Newquay’s beaches, head north to Polzeath. With a horizontal attitude to life, this expansive sandy beach is enormous at low tide but rapidly shrinks at high tide, so plan your visit in advance – especially if you want to take advantage of the free on-sand parking. If you’re lucky, you might see a pod of dolphins in the bay or even a puffin. The beach has seasonal lifeguards and comes with a Blue Flag guarantee, meaning the sand and water are of the highest quality.