David Frederick offers a guide to some of the best that the popular Cornish surf spot has to offer… One of the UK’s favourite coastal towns and an increasingly popular holiday destination, Cornwall’s Newquay has something for everyone, regardless of age and interests. Blessed with a plethora of beautiful beaches, it’s easy to see why so many flock to the resort each summer. It’s quite amazing that the town manages to be both trendy for young tourists and still remain a fantastic family resort – all contained in the most sensational coastal surroundings.
As England’s surfing capital, there are 11 great beaches within easy reach of the town. Walking around you will notice the number of surf lodges and shops dotted around the resort. The atmosphere and vibe that Newquay possesses is like no other, it’s incredibly infectious and up-tempo, making it one of the UK’s most popular partying destinations. Plus there’s a wide range of attractions from historic to gastronomic to keep everyone entertained.
The small distinctive white shape of the Huer’s Hut and its large chimney can be seen from miles down the coast. Perched proudly upon the cliff top at Towan Head and overlooking the harbor, Huer’s Hut is thought to date right the back to the 14th century when it was used by the huer as a lookout, hence its name. The huer’s job was to watch for pilchard shoals and then notify the fishermen and townsfolk of their arrival. Upon spotting the shoal, the Huer would notify the rest of the town by shouting ‘Hevva, Hevva!’ they would then rush down to the harbor to prepare to land the tons of fish.
Ideal for adults and children alike, Newquay Zoo is a fascinating place with hundreds of animal species to see. The surrounding scenery is pleasant, set in subtropical gardens with a large picturesque lake. Newquay Zoo dates back to the late 1960’s and is renowned for its conservation work. The ‘Tropical House’ is well worth visiting and features an incredible variety of exotic snakes and reptiles, a gigantic aviary with rainforest planting and a children’s petting zoo. You can expect to see everything from monkeys and parrots, to penguins, red pandas, raccoons and meerkats.
Located next to Newquay’s main beach, the Blue Reef Aquarium offers a captivating insight into the underwater world that lies beneath the surface of the world’s oceans. The Blue Reefs main attraction is an underwater tunnel that provides visitors with a wonderful way to observe the surrounding fish, sharks and sea life. A number of underwater habitats are recreated such as Cornwall’s world famous coastline, the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean Sea
As you would expect with any seaside resort, Newquay is home to a fantastic selection of seafood restaurants. For fish lovers, the Boathouse Restaurant is an absolute must, all of the food from here is sourced locally and its beautiful harbor location makes for a wonderful setting. If fish isn’t to your taste, Butches Bistro does great steaks at a relatively inexpensive price. Butchers Bistro is passionate about Cornish food, but their passion doesn’t stop at Cornwall, during the week they host a number of European themed nights.
Despite being known as one of the top surfing destinations in the UK, it’s not just surfers who can enjoy Newquay’s lovely beaches. There are a number of family friendly beaches including Mawgan Porth, a gigantic stretch of north west-facing beach. When the tide is at its lowest there is a selection of small caves to explore and enjoy. With a large car park situated close by, Mawgan Porth Beach is easily accessible; there is also disabled access to the beach.
Fistral Beach is the most popular beach for surfing and is a world class venue. This beach is far cry away from the town centre’s hustle and bustle and is famous worldwide for the major international surfing championships that it hosts, the most prestigious of these being the Boardmasters championship. All of the beaches in Newquay are clean and have great facilities, so you won’t go far wrong whichever beach you choose. So start planning those summer trips! David Frederick