The seaside town of Newquay, in Cornwall, is a popular summer holiday destination for us Brits. With miles of beaches, great surf and a wealth of attractions, it’s one of Cornwall’s most visited destinations all year round. Whether you’re planning a day trip, long weekend or week by the seaside, these are the 10 Newquay attractions you just can’t miss.
1. Go surfing
Newquay is one of the biggest surfing destinations in the UK, so where better to take your board and ride some waves? The area around Newquay offers beaches which cater to a range of surfing abilities, so whether you’re a seasoned pro, or a fair weather surfer you’re sure to find something for you. There are certainly plenty of beaches that offer a gnarly surf. From famous Fistral Beach to Perranporth and Bedruthan Step Beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Even if you’ve never surfed before, Newquay is a great place to start, with lots of surf schools in the area.
Surfing in Newquay should be at the top of your British bucket list.
2. Learn about sea life at Blue Reef Aquarium
Situated on Towan Beach, overlooking the Atlantic Sea, the Blue Reef Aquarium recreates the magic of the undersea world. You will be led through oceans from across the globe, from the local Cornish coast to the stunning beauty of the Topical Reef. You’ll come face to face with incredible sea life including giant crabs and lobsters, seahorses and tropical sharks! From entertaining talks and touch pools to feeding time for the turtles, there’s lots to keep you entertained. Whatever the weather, the aquarium is a popular Newquay attraction.
3. Walk the South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path boasts 630 miles of superb coastline all along the South West of England. The Newquay section of the path wends its way between the region’s gorgeous beaches, via coastal sand dunes, cliffs and spectacular scenery. It’s a lovely walk whatever the weather, but particularly on a windy Autumn day, when you can watch flocks of seabirds heading southwards down the coastline.
4. Eat a Cornish pasty
You can’t go to Cornwall without having a Cornish pasty (or three). Tuck into the award-winning pasties at The Cornish Bakery, located just a 10-minute stroll from the train station in the centre of town . Hand-made with local ingredients and baked daily, you’ll love the variety of fillings on offer. Discover the amazing choice of crowd-pleasing favourites, from the Traditional Cornish pasty (beef and potato) to exciting flavours like Thai Chicken, Smoked Haddock and even Apple Rhubarb and Custard!
5. Ride the Newquay Road Train
Newquay’s famous Road Train takes a relaxing 5-mile loop around the town, made much more interesting by the conductor’s well-informed commentary. The fully flexible ticket and hop-on-hop-off service is a great way to get around town and offers excellent value for money. The route will take you past the wonderful Trenance Gardens and Boating Lake, through the centre of town and back past Newquay’s beautiful beaches.
6. Sink your toes in sand at one of Newquay’s beaches
From iconic sandy beaches to intimate sheltered coves, there are so many beaches to choose from in Newquay. Dog friendly, family friendly, golden sands, pebbly, lively or blissfully empty, whatever you look for in a beach, Newquay’s got your back.
Get out in the surf at Fistral Beach, dip your toe in turquoise waters at Porthcurno, hunt for crabs at Treyarnon Bay, or ping on a snorkel at Crantock (you may even spot dolphins from the shore here).
7. Admire Trenance Gardens
Clearly, beaches are one of Newquay’s main attractions but if you fancy some time away from the sand, head to Trenance Gardens. Situated on the outskirts of Newquay Town Centre, these picturesque Gardens boast beautiful rose bushes, colourful flowers and enchanting old trees. Stroll around the winding paths, visit the neighbouring Boating Lake and let the kids enjoy the playgrounds. End your visit by popping into Trenance Cottages Tea Room - you’ll not want to miss their delicious Cornish Cream Tea.
8. Go Wild at Newquay Zoo
Great for if you’re visiting with kids, Newquay Zoo is one of Newquay’s best attractions. During your visit you can get close to over 1,000 of the world’s rarest and most endangered animals whilst also learning about the conservation work carried out by the zoo.
Watch the lions devour their lunch and have a go at helping to feed the penguins and meerkats yourself. Venture into the Tropical House to meet some of the more unusual
residents, including a sloth! There are also exciting keeper talks as well as activity trails, face painting and a children’s play area.
9. Explore the Japanese Garden
If you’re after some relaxation and reflection, head to Newquay’s Japanese Garden. A pretty, meditative spot, the garden is filled with plants and water features for you to admire. Whether you want to relax by the colourful pools swimming with Koi carp fish, listen to the tumbling waterfall or explore the Eastern horticulture tradition, discover a tranquil and welcoming space. Recline on the balcony of the Cha-Seki (teahouse) to complete your experience as you take in the stunning view of this magical paradise.
The garden closes for winter but is open from March until late October.
10. Enjoy a tasty meal with a sea view
There’s nothing nicer than enjoying a delicious meal with friends and family, except perhaps overlooking the ocean at the same time. And, luckily, there are plenty of places to do just that in Newquay. One of our favourites is the Bowgie Inn, also known as 'the pink pub'. The award-winning inn offers locally sourced food, as well as panoramic views of the unspoilt beach of Crantock, Polly Joke, the Gannel and the headlands. It’s open all year round and you won’t go wrong ordering the fish.
There’s absolutely loads to do in Newquay, so why not find out more about visiting Newquay by train. If you’re staying for longer than a night, you’ll want to stay in a great hotel! Plus, make sure you take advantage of great savings with our Advance train tickets.
Written by Julia