If you’re looking for an accessible beach with plenty of room for everyone, Watergate Bay is just the ticket. At low tide the sea slinks back to reveal two miles of glorious golden sand beach studded with rock pools and lined with caves just begging to be explored.
It’s just 3 miles out of Newquay yet the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist town is left behind thanks to the huge expanse of open sand. But the strong surfing culture? That’s here in abundance! The waves here are often huge and clean and attract surfers to the sea in their droves. Watergate Bay has something of a reputation for being a water lover’s playground and as well as surfing you can try your hand at bodyboarding, kitesurfing, paddleboarding and more. To organise this contact Extreme Academy - the on-beach water sports centre – which offers lessons and equipment hire.
Watergate Bay at a glance:
> Sandy beach
> Dog friendly all year round
> Toilets available with a small cost
> A choice of restaurants near the beach
You can get to Watergate Bay from Newquay in about 10 minutes by car or an hour's (fairly hilly) walk. Once you arrive there are two nearby car parks, the nearest is just a few metres away but quite often jam-packed in the summer months and the spaces are a bit on the small side. You’re far better off heading to the second car park which sprawls out onto a nearby field and is still only a short couple of minutes from the beach. This is always our go-to. You’ll find toilets located between the two car parks, but don’t forget your pennies if you want to spend a penny as it costs 30p to use.
We deliberately arrived at low tide as our boisterous golden retriever, Monty, likes lots of room to run around! We parked up and walked down to the beach turning right where we walked along the sand stopping for Monty to bathe in rock pools and explore caves. After all that running around it was time for a cool down so we headed to the shoreline where Monty was in his element jumping about in the surf and playing with other dogs. Watergate Bay remains dog friendly year round, so it’s popular with both local and holidaying dog walkers and there are always plenty of canine companions around.
If you get hungry there are plenty of great eating spots nearby. For something quick and cheerful right on the beach you’ll find Venus Takeaway serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, burgers and of course – what with this being Cornwall – pasties. For more of a sit-down affair you can head into The Beach Hut which serves up delicious local produce with views over the beach. Just up from the beach you’ll also find Wax which does great burgers, pizzas and salads. Both eateries are great with kids and dog friendly to boot. If you’re looking for something more upmarket try Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen or Zacry’s.
We always try and snag a table in The Beach Hut for the views and laidback atmosphere, but on this occasion it was full to the brim so we headed a minute up the road to Wax. It was my first time here and I was really impressed. We sat out on the sunny terrace with a beer each, listening to chilled out tunes and it almost felt like we were on holiday.
If you’re heading back up into Newquay in the car around sunset, stop off in the layby just above the beach and hop out for a glorious view of the sun setting into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s out of this world!
Stay in a dog friendly cottage in Cornwall for a holiday to remember.