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In the town and surrounding area there are a wide range of shops including supermarkets. These cater for the large contingent of the Newquay self catering population that arrives during the summer months.
Newquay centre has many high street shopping names mixed in with the surf shops, clothing shops and the novelty shops.
Although to some, the town has been cheapened it still offers the very best of family holidays. It goes without saying that the main draw are the Newquay beaches. These are unchanged and are still regarded as the best in Europe.
There are eleven beaches in Newquay:
Approached through the little village of Cubert off the main Newquay to Redruth road.
There is a National Trust car park at the head of the beach, together with a small shop, two pubs and toilets.
The beach is long and sandy with large rolling sand dunes giving protection from the wind whatever the direction. A small stream wanders down one side of the beach and is a favourite with young children damming it up. The beach itself is flat for much of the tide but does rise at high tide. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months and it is strongly recommended that bathing is between the fixed flags. Holywell, like all Newquay beaches is on the Cornwall north coast and the currents can be hazardous.
A lovely beach, soft sand and high dunes. There is very little local accommodation and what there is consists of self catering, although there are a few guest houses in nearby Cubert. Most visitors to Holywell beach are either from the Newquay camp sites or some other accommodation in Newquay.
Approached through Crantock village which has a post office/general stores, 2 pubs and quaint little cottages.
There is a National Trust car park on the beach together with toilets. The beach itself has lovely soft sand and rolling sand dunes. Because of its size it never appears busy although it is an extremely popular beach with visitors who have bothered to find it. The sand dunes are very popular with children who spend hours playing in them. Also popular with children is the River Gannel which enters the sea here. When the tide is out the river is very shallow and an ideal playground. However, there are warning signs about the river and this is particularly relevant when the tide comes in, the currents are very strong and not a place to play. Like all Newquay beaches lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, it is strongly recommended that bathers take the lifeguards instructions and bathe/surf between the yellow flags.
Lovely walks can be enjoyed along the grassed tops of the sand-dunes or up the river towards Newquay. Careful with the tide with walks up the Gannel as the tide comes in very quickly and it's possible to be cut off.
A beautiful beach with easy access and highly recommended.
The accommodation in Crantock is extremely limited. There are a few guest houses in the village and a few hotels at the top of the village. There is also a large caravan park immediately above the beach. Most of the visitors to the beach will have come either from the Newquay Caravan Parks, the Newquay camp sites or other accommodation in Newquay. Crantock is about a 10 minute drive from Newquay (traffic permitting).
Further information can be obtained from the Newquay tourist information office.
The Pentire Headland separates Crantock from Fistral beach. The headland is a favourite destination for sightseers who just want to sit in their cars or on the grass and relax overlooking the beach or enjoy a pleasant stroll to the headland point. Fishing can also be enjoyed from the rocks on both sides of the headland. Fishing into the Gannel is the preferred location and Bass the main species. Lugworm/ragworm/sandeels are the favoured baits.
Fishing from the rocks on the Fistral beach side of the headland the water is much deeper and the species are likely to be mackerel/Pollack.
Moving north we arrive at:
Approached through Newquay town and on the western edge and flanked by the Pentire Headland and Newquay Headland.
Fistral beach has its own car park together with car parking availability on the approach road, this has the usual British pay & display meters. However, during high season it does get extremely busy and parking can be a problem. Toilets/café/surfing shop on the beach.
Fistral beach is almost a mile long and is a favourite for surfing competitions including the Rip Curl Championship, now a 5 star event.
Life guards are on duty during the summer months, there are separate areas for long board surfers and ordinary bathers, there advice is strongly recommended, currents, can be extreme and the life guards are continually monitoring them.
Just to the north of Fistral beach flanked by the splendid Headland Hotel (one of the few remaining hotels that provide an excellent example of days gone by) is Little Fistral. A rocky little cove carved out of the Newquay Headland, Little Fistral is a favourite with the more experienced surfers when the conditions are suitable.
Just to the north of Little Fistral and off the point of Newquay Headland is 'The Cribber'. When conditions are right, usually in the winter, a reef can make the surf enormous, breaking into the headland with thunderous roaring. Only the foolhardy or very experienced should even consider surfing here.
Fistral Beach is regarded as the surfing capital of the UK and surfers congregate here all the year round. However the beach is suitable for all types of activities, the sand is of excellent quality backed by small dunes and is gently sloping right up to high tide when it does rise more steeply.
The beach is recommended, especially for those who enjoy surfing.
Fistral beach accommodation is provided by Newquay and the surrounding area.
Newquay camp sites
Newquay Caravan parks
Newquay guest houses
Newquay self catering establishments.
Any further information on Newquay can be obtained from the Newquay tourist information office in the town centre.
Separating Fistral beach from the main town beaches is the Newquay Headland.
Like the Pentire Headland this is a lovely spot just to sit and relax on the grass and view the Atlantic Ocean virtually all the way around. A lovely walk can be enjoyed around the top of the headland, all-be-it not very long. Toilets are provided on the headland and ice creams are usually available. Of course, there are the obligatory parking meters. I can remember the day, not too long distant when it was possible to enjoy the walks, the wildlife and the views free of charge, but alas those days seem to have gone forever. The Headland is also a popular destination for the fishing brigade. There are excellent rocky vantage points to fish from right to near the point. Popular baits include, ragworm, mackerel strip, sandeels. Species caught are usually mackerel, Pollack, the occasional bass/flounders/mullet near the point.
Moving on we arrive at the Town beaches & the harbour:
A real sun-trap and well protected from the prevailing wind it provides a safe anchorage for numerous small craft. Access the harbour is restricted for boats as it dries out at low tide. Boat trips are available for deep sea fishing and mackerel fishing around the bay.
The harbour is popular with local children as the swimming is safe and many take great joy in jumping off the harbour wall at high tide.
Fishing, especially at night, is popular from the harbour wall. Main species include, mackerel, bass and flounder, recommended bait being lugworm.
A nice place to call into when out on a walk, the beach has lovely sand and very popular with the bucket and spade brigade. Good boat fishing trips.
Newquay Towan Beach:
Next to the harbour and sheltered by the headland, Towan beach is the safest of all the Newquay beaches. A favourite with families and young children, the beach is flat with excellent sand good for sand castles and ball games. Unlike most of Newquay's beaches the tide comes right into the wall on the higher tides. All amenities are available but there is no car park. The beach is just a few minutes walk from the town centre with all its shops/restaurants/takeaways etc. The beach also has a tidal swimming pool under 'The Island' which is very popular with younger children.
A popular little beach within a few minutes walk of the town centre. Very popular with families and young children. Offers safe bathing and excellent sand quality.
Moving next to Towan beach in a slight arc are the remaining town beaches, consisting of:
Great Western Beach
Lusty Glaze Beach
All have toilets and services but no parking facilities.
At low tide from Towan to Lusty Glaze it is one long open beach. The waves tend to increase in size as you move away from Towan so the Headland gives less protection.
All excellent beaches with the finest quality sand, all have lifeguards during the summer months and are within easy walking distance of the town.
Moving north we arrive at:
A narrow sandy beach with a small stream running down one side. Parking is available on the beach. Services include toilets, tea shop and pubs.
To the north of the beach there is a splendid headland offering an excellent walk.
Fishing from the rocks is also available onto Porth beach with the incoming tide. Bass is the species most likely to be caught, best bait, lugworm.
An excellent sandy beach, popular with families. Parking on the beach is an advantage.
Accommodation in Newquay Porth is limited although there are a few hotels/guest houses/camp sites in Newquay Porth.
From Newquay Porth there is a relatively long jump, taking in several rocky outcrops and headlands, the next and last Newquay beach is:
No longer protected by Newquay Headland Watergate Bay is wide open to the Atlantic Rollers and as such is very popular with surfers. The surfing can be extremely rewarding with large swells when weather conditions are right.
Parking is available at the entrance to the beach together with toilets and services.
Jamie Oliver's 15 Restaurant is now a popular destination attracting customers from all over Cornwall.
Accommodation in Watergate Bay consists mostly of hotels including the impressive Watergate Bay Hotel, positioned directly on top of the beach.
A very large expanse of excellent quality sand providing first rate surfing.
The Newquay accommodation caters for many thousands of visitors each year, the varying types of accommodation in Newquay has to be extensive.
Although the main influx of visitors are in the main summer months Newquay has become more and more an all year round destination. Even in the middle of the winter with Atlantic gales in full force large numbers of surfers can be seen bobbing around in the swell.
The accommodation in Newquay has been designed to cater for all pockets.
One of the latest, and growing in popularity with Newquay tourist information searches is that of:
Newquay Budget accommodation: This caters in the main for the surfing brigade and offers basic accommodation at very reasonable rates. Often room only but food available if required.
The next is:
Self catering in Newquay and the surrounding area, this consists of:
Newquay caravan and camp sites
There are also many self catering houses in Newquay offering that little more luxury and popular with those prepared to spend a little more money.
The bed and breakfast in Newquay comes in various forms:
Newquay guest houses - usually providing en-suite accommodation with a full English breakfast. Because of the competition in the town these offer excellent value.
Newquay Hotels - many of the larger hotels in Newquay have disappeared, often reappearing as flats. Those that remain provide an excellent service with value for money accommodation.