Situated on the north coast of Cornwall is one of the South West’s and even the countries most well known group of beaches. There are approximately 10 beaches located in and around Newquay. It does not matter whether you are an experience surfer, a novice wanting to learn or just want to sunbathe in a secluded cove, Newquay has a beach for you. The main beaches are as follows:
Fistral is probably the countries most famous surfing beach and is visited by surfers from all over the country and even the world. Fistral is made up of three beaches north Fistral, south Fistral and little Fistral. North and south Fistral look very similar and are indeed joined by a wide expanse of sand in the middle. There is also a footpath to the rear of the beaches which runs near Newquay’s golf course and the sand dunes which houses it own ecosystem unique to sand dunes.
At the north end of the beach there are newly renovated facilities offering a wide range of amenities. These include a café, restaurant, bar and vital to the areas tourism; a surf school and hire shop.
During the year the area plays host to a number of local and national events, in recent years these have included the ‘Radio 1 Road show’, numerous live bands playing and of course major surfing events.
ittle Fistral has a totally different look and feel about it than the north and south beaches. Instead of golden sand the beach is mainly made up of course sand and the area around the sea is very rocky but tends to produce some big surf. The beach is famous for having the ‘Cribba’ Britain ‘s largest rideable wave which can be found off the headland which separates the beach from the main Fistral beaches.
A sandy beach located in a beautiful cove is probably the best way of describing Lusty Glaze. The beach is accessed via some steep steps so it is probably best to consider this if you plan to take small children or elderly people. The beach is home to the national lifeguard training centre and as such there is full lifeguard cover all year round. The beach has many activities such as a water sports centre, surfboard and canoe hire as well as being a popular area for swimmers. Lusty Glaze is a handy beach for the whole family, due to its varied activities and the 400 car parking spaces that are available.
Accessible from steps near the harbour at low tide the beach gets completely covered by water at high tide. The beach has a sea water pool which is good for children to play and paddled in. The beach has restrictions in place on surfing during the summer due to the popularity of the beach for swimming.
At the eastern edge of the beach is one of Newquay’s most famous landmarks ‘The Island’. Having been used for many years as a residential home it has now been turned into tea rooms which can be accessed via a suspension bridge. The beach has lifeguard cover during the summer months but does not have any car parking so it is best to park in the town and walk.
With cliffs on three sides the beach is very sheltered and as it has a sandy beach it is very popular with sun bathers. At high tide the beach becomes popular with boogie boarders when the waves break close to shore. Located at the rear of the beach are a set of brightly coloured beach huts which are available for rent. The beach is accessed by a set of steps or by an access road. There is lifeguard cover during the summer months and the beach is serviced by a good selection of shops and facilities including surf equipment hire and tuition.
Located three miles to the north of Newquay town centre, Watergate Bay is Newquays biggest beach which stretches for miles at low tide. The beach has lots of car parking spaces although these can become full during the summer months due to the beaches popularity amongst a variety of users. There are usually just as many surfers in the sea as there are sun bathers on the beach due to the surf school and equipment hire. The beach has good lifeguard cover and a selection of shops along the beach front.
The beach is sheltered by high cliffs and is accessible by a sloping road or at low tide by going to the other side of ‘The Island’. Due to its location the beach is usually cut off from late afternoon sun by the cliffs behind. The beach is popular with intermediate surfers who do not want to deal with the big swells that beaches such as Fistral have to offer. It is also a favourite with families during to its close proximity to the town centre. There is lifeguard cover during the summer but be careful as at high tide there is a chance of being cut off by the rising tide.
As its name suggests the beach is set within a bay with sand dunes to its rear. Even at high tide there is plenty of sand for children to play on and there are rock pools and caves to explore. The beach gained its name as pilgrims believed that the cave on the beach contain a source of holy water which had healing properties. Be careful when exploring the cave not to get cut off by the rising tide.
This beach is fairly flat and as such is a firm favourite with people out for a gentle stroll. A gentle slope means that at high tide the beach is idea for swimming because of its shallow depths. This also tends to make it popular with young families so during the summer it can get busy quickly so you need to get there early. The beach has a river running through it which is a good place for young children to play without the fear of waves. There are a selection of shops and even a pub nearby and during the summer months there is a lifeguard unit on patrol. Also nearby there is a pitch and putt golf course as well as a crazy golf course which make a nice alternative than spending hours sun bathing.