One of the nation’s favourite seaside towns, Newquay is a fantastic place for a holiday. With a different beach for every day of the week, an emerging foodie scene and a packed calendar of events for the year it’s a must see location if you’re in the area.
Things to do in Newquay
If you experience a bit of mizzle while in Newquay, while away an afternoon at the Blue Reef Aquarium. Kids will love the underwater tunnel which allows visitors to get up close and personal with the inhabitants. Alternatively there is a fantastic cinema in town which is another option for staying dry.
Many people miss the harbour, but it is well worth a visit. It remains a working harbour packed with brightly coloured fishing boats off to catch the days catch. It’s also home to one of Newquay’s best fish restaurants, The Boathouse, which enjoys beautiful views out across the harbour.
When the sun goes down, Newquay is all about live music and good drinks. Whiskers is a fantastic bar and live music venue in the centre of Newquay – if you’re feeling brave head to the open mic night every Monday!
The privately owned beach Lusty Glaze topped the list of The Times' 'most picturesque live musics venue in the UK' – it’s not hard to see why with the dramatic north coast cliffs and beachside location. Throughout the year they host a range of artists with their woodburner and sundowner sessions.
The town itself hosts a range of events throughout the year including the ever popular Boardmasters Festival at Watergate Bay.
Nature around Newquay
Right on the South West Coast Path, Newquay is walkers’ paradise - with a clifftop vantage the views are truly out of this world. You’re also never far from a beach so whether you want to surf like a pro, sunbathe in peace or have fun with your family you’ll find a suitable sandy spot.
Known as the surf capital of England, it’s hardly a surprise Newquay has plenty of water sports. From kayaking to coasteering, paddle boarding to jet skiing – you’ll find a surf school with equipment for hire or tuition available on many of the beaches.
The Gannel Estuary runs between Newquay and Crantock village. It’s a fantastic spot for wildlife lovers and home to plenty of fish and wading birds like egrets. It’s also a fantastic area to swim and practice paddle boarding thanks to the calmer waters.
Image credit Matt Jessop
Where to eat
There is a real emerging foodie scene in Newquay ever since the town started to shake off its reputation as a stag night destination. Rick Stein has opened a restaurant at Fistral serving his famous fish and chips as well as an array of Indian delicacies inspired by his travels. New kid on the block, Chapter 1, is bringing fine dining to the centre of Newquay with perfectly cooked local food. Go for a tasting menu to make the most of the experience – February's included pork braised in truffle with chestnuts, parmesan and smoked potato.
If it's views you want, grab a pint or a Sunday roast at The Fort Inn. The views on the outside terrace take in the harbour, town and several beaches. For laidback beachy vibes with a side of good food head to The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay – the veggie burger is divine.
Best shopping spots in Newquay
The Newquay shopping scene is perfect for picking up holiday souvenirs and gifts and perhaps some surf wear to remind you of your holiday. The high street twists and turns the entire length of the town and features a mix of national names, independent boutiques and, of course, plenty of surf shops.
Watershed is a Newquay brand and while it now has three shops across the county, it all started in Newquay. They sell surfboards and accessories, men’s and women’s clothing and a great range of homewares. If you’ve got a sweet tooth you’ll want to swing by The Cornish Sweet Shop and give your dentist something to worry about.
Got kids? Head 10 miles down the road to the Aqua Park at Retallack Resort. This total wipeout style inflatable park has a giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, slides and plenty more. Sessions costs £15 per person which includes wetsuits and buoyancy aids.
In the mood for doing nothing? Nip over to Bedruthan Spa for the day and enjoy the view of the Atlantic from the warmth of a Jacuzzi! The sweet village of Mawgan Porth is only 5 miles away and boasts a Sunday Times award winning beach. There are also plenty of activities in and around the local area including pitch and putt on an Iron Age fort, go-kart racing and a candle factory!