Once you’ve booked your Newquay hotel, you can start planning your holiday. Although surfing is a relatively recent phenomenon and the reason that thousands of people make an annual pilgrimage to the town, it is easy to forget that Newquay has actually been receiving tourists for over a century. Not everyone comes to surf. Most people come to Newquay for the natural wonders; from the clean golden beaches to the parks and gardens to the beautiful waters of the bay. While there’s little doubt that Newquay has lately become known as the ‘Blackpool of the West Country’, and that if you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, adrenalin sports and the surfer lifestyle you’ll find it, the town nevertheless retains all the charm of the original Cornish fishing village and the coastline which surrounds it. As such, we’ve listed some highlights of any visit to Newquay, all of which should be explored on a trip to this beautiful town.


If you book a hotel in Newquay, you should at least try surfing. Newquay is the epicenter of British surfing, with reliable and consistent waves and beaches to suit all levels. Fistral is the most famous surfing beach in Britain, and has hosted numerous international surfing competitions. There is also surfing of varying degrees of difficulty along the beaches of Towan, Great Western and Tolcarne. Newquay is also the place to find the now legendary Cribbar, a mecca for big wave surfers.

The Beaches

Even if you don’t fancy surfing, the beaches themselves are enough of a draw to bring you to Newquay. Whichever of the hotels in Newquay you’ve opted for, chances are there is a stunning beach right outside the front door. Towan is the most central, then nearby there are also Porth Beach and Watergate Bay, Fistral Bay and Crantock Beach, Holywell Bay and Perran Beach. The sand seems to go on and on, and if it’s sea walks you’re after, you could spend a couple of weeks walking in Newquay and never see the same spot twice. All beaches offer excellent swimming and most are supervised by lifeguards in the summer. If you fancy trying water-sports other than surfing, Newquay is packed with adrenalin adventures, from kite-buggying to mountain-boarding, from wave-skiing to paddle-surfing to kayaking.

Trenance Leisure Gardens

If all these water-sports wear you out and you feel a hankering for some peace and quiet, why not spend a day in Trenance Leisure Gardens? Situated in a woody valley on the outskirts of Newquay they offer a meditative and contemplative space to clear your head and to escape the noise of everyday life. The gardens retain something of the Edwardian era in which they were established, and walking from the viaduct arches through the gardens, cottages and centuries old trees, you do feel as if you have entered a different age.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Only a short walk from most hotels in Newquay town centre is the excellent Blue Reef Aquarium, which, as with many modern aquaria, features an underwater tunnel to allow you to view hundreds of stunning tropical fish. With a marine collection spanning Sea Turtles, angel-fish, puffer fish, moray eels and reef sharks, as well as an ‘interesting’ octopus, this is well worth a visit.

Newquay Harbour Seals

For even more marine life it is also worth checking out the Newquay harbour seals. Take a boat trip out to Towan headland to see the seals basking in the sun or playing in the water. If you’re lucky you might also encounter the local dolphins, who sometimes swim by to say hello. For the more adventurous you can also organize shark, reef or wreck fishing.

Newquay Zoo

Finally, should you tire of marine animals, most Newquay hotels are also within walking distance of Newquay Zoo, set in the Trenance Park grounds and home to hundreds of animals from all over the world. From penguins to zebra, and from the lynx to the emperor tamarins, the zoo is a particular favorite with young children, particularly at feeding times.


From the bohemian cafes to the famous nightlife, and from the Lappa Valley Steam Railway to the nearby Elizabethan manor of Trerice, there is so much more to Newquay than the surfing. If you’ve got time, head out into Cornwall to other spots like St Ives or Bude, and also see if you can make time to visit the Eden Project, one of Cornwall’s star attractions.

Also check out our page on Newquay Tourist Information or if you’ve decided to visit, Compare the best deals on Newquay Hotels