Welcome to the sun-soaked shores of Newquay, where Cornwall’s coastline unfolds in all its glory. Newquay, a surfing mecca nestled on England’s southwestern tip, boasts a vibrant mix of sandy stretches and hidden coves, each with its own unique charm.
In this article, we’ll be your beachcombing guides, steering you through the best beaches in this seaside gem. Whether you’re a wave rider seeking the ultimate swell or a family in search of serene shores, Newquay’s beaches have something for everyone.
Join us as we embark on a sandy adventure, uncovering the top spots for sun, surf, and relaxation in this coastal paradise.
How Many Beaches Are There In Newquay?
The coastal town of Newquay, which lies on the north coast of Cornwall, is a place that is renowned for its sandy beaches. On that note, there are approximately 15 notable beaches in and around Newquay, each with its own unique features and charm.
These beaches offer a wide range of experiences, from surfing and water sports to family-friendly fun, serene escapes, and natural beauty. Some of the more popular beaches include Fistral Beach, Watergate Bay Beach, Porth Beach, and Towan Beach, which see a high number of tourists and visitors throughout the year.
That said, there are several other beaches scattered throughout the area, including hidden coves and quieter stretches of coastline, waiting to be explored by visitors to Newquay. In the section below, we have discussed these beaches in greater detail.
15 Best Newquay Beaches
1. Fistral Beach
Located a few minutes away from the Newquay town centre, Fistral Beach stands tall as Newquay’s most famous beach, renowned worldwide for its impressive waves and exceptional surf conditions. Surfers flock here year-round to ride the swells, and it’s often the venue for international surfing competitions. The beach’s high cliffs offer panoramic views of the rolling ocean, creating a stunning backdrop for beachgoers and photographers alike.
Fistral is busiest during the summer months when the lively atmosphere draws in both surf enthusiasts and sun seekers. Fortunately, ample car parks are available to accommodate the influx of visitors, ensuring easy access to this iconic stretch of golden sand.
2. Porth Beach
Porth Beach is a family-friendly haven with its soft, golden sands and abundant rock pools. Perfect for building sandcastles or basking in the sun, it provides an idyllic setting for a day by the sea. The convenience of nearby car parks makes accessing this beach a breeze, particularly for those travelling with little ones and beach gear in tow.
It’s a popular choice during the summer months, as the gentle waves are well-suited for swimming and water sports. Porth Beach’s location within walking distance of Newquay’s town centre means you can seamlessly combine beach time with a visit to the town’s charming shops and eateries.
3. Towan Beach
Towan Beach, often affectionately referred to as “Town Beach,” is the perfect family beach near Newquay’s town centre. This inviting sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and beach games, making it a hub of activity throughout the year. Families will appreciate the proximity of the Blue Reef Aquarium, where you can explore the wonders of marine life. Additionally, an adventure centre nearby offers opportunities for adrenaline-pumping activities.
During low tide, the beach unveils expansive stretches of sand, providing ample space for various recreational pursuits. With its central location, Towan Beach offers easy access to Newquay’s town centre, making it an integral part of the town’s beach culture.
4. Watergate Bay Beach
Watergate Bay Beach is a paradise for families and beach sports enthusiasts. Its wide expanse of golden sand is perfect for picnics, beach volleyball, and kite flying. It’s also home to the popular Watergate Bay Hotel, offering seaside dining and relaxation.
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant is a culinary highlight, showcasing local flavours with an ocean view. Two conveniently located car parks make accessing this beautiful beach a breeze, and it’s also dog-friendly, ensuring that everyone in the family can enjoy this coastal gem.
5. Whipsiderry Beach
Whipsiderry Beach is a well-kept secret along the Newquay coastline. Its pristine, golden sand stretches as far as the eye can see, creating a picturesque backdrop for beachgoers. One of its standout features is the intriguing rock pools that emerge during low tide, inviting curious explorers to discover a world of marine life.
This beach is a haven for surf enthusiasts, and a surf school operates here during the warmer months, offering lessons for all skill levels. While Whipsiderry lacks a designated car park, its relative seclusion and peaceful ambience make it an ideal retreat. Plus, it’s within a short walk of Newquay’s town centre and other nearby beaches, offering convenience with a touch of tranquillity.
6. Perranporth Beach
Perranporth Beach is a postcard-worthy destination with its vast sandy shore punctuated by towering sand dunes. At low tide, the beach extends to create an expansive playground for beachgoers, making it ideal for long walks and games.
Perranporth is one of the best dog-friendly beaches, ensuring that your four-legged friends can join in on the seaside fun. While it may be a bit quieter compared to some of the more bustling Newquay beaches, its natural beauty and serene surroundings make it a perfect escape from the crowds.
7. Crantock Beach
Crantock Beach offers a peaceful retreat with its rugged cliffs, rolling sand dunes, and the soothing sound of crashing waves. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Newquay, making it a paradise for those seeking solitude amidst nature’s beauty.
Compared to other Newquay beaches, the area covered here is quite large, which means that you don’t have to worry about space concerns. Nearby, the river Gannel estuary invites exploration, particularly for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Stroll along the pristine sands, explore the hidden coves, and breathe in the salty sea air as you appreciate the untouched charm of Crantock Beach.
8. Gannel Estuary Beach
This Newquay beach is nestled along the banks of the River Gannel, offering a unique coastal experience in Newquay. It is located near Crantock Beach, and it can be accessed via car, bike, walking or horse.
During low tide, the estuary unveils expansive sandbanks, perfect for picnics, birdwatching, and leisurely strolls. Conversely, during high tide, it can be a great spot for canoeing or kayaking. The surrounding cliffs add a touch of rugged beauty to the landscape. Accessible from car parks and with a dog-friendly policy, it promises a serene escape from the bustle of busier shores.
9. Tolcarne Beach
The picturesque Tolcarne Beach is surrounded by steep cliffs on one side, which makes it a dream location for nature lovers or extreme sports enthusiasts. The soft, golden sands invite visitors to lay out their towels and soak up the sun.
The beach’s waves, although not as powerful as those at Fistral, are perfect for swimming and bodyboarding. It’s an ideal spot for both families and couples looking for a relaxed beach day. With nearby car parking facilities, easy access to amenities, and a vibrant beachfront atmosphere, Tolcarne Beach embodies the essence of a quintessential beach experience.
10. Lusty Glaze Beach
Lusty Glaze Beach is an enchanting cove framed by high cliffs that provide shelter and seclusion. The waves here are impressive, attracting thrill-seekers and surfers. Families will appreciate the adventure centre, which offers activities like coasteering and zip-lining. Additionally, an indoor pool lets you take a dip even on less favourable weather days.
Car parking is available, and this beach’s dog-friendly policy ensures that your furry companions can join in on the coastal adventure. With its unique features and activities, Lusty Glaze Beach promises a day of excitement and relaxation.
11. Great Western Beach
Great Western Beach is a popular family beach lying near the Great Western Hotel, which makes it an ideal choice for guests staying at this famous hotel. And since the hotel lies only a few minutes away from the Great Western Railway station, it is highly accessible as well. Its soft sand provides a comfortable spot for sunbathing, and the gently rolling waves beckon swimmers and bodyboarders.
The two car parks make it a practical option for visitors looking for a central beach experience. This beach embodies the charm of Newquay’s coastal town spirit, offering a place where you can unwind, soak up the sun, and embrace the lively atmosphere.
12. Holywell Bay Beach
Holywell Bay Beach is a serene escape known for its dramatic sand dunes and impressive waves. Dog-friendly and a short drive from Newquay, it is one of the quieter beaches in Newquay, making it the perfect spot for those who love peace and solitude.
During low tide, the beach reveals its expansive sandy shore, providing an ideal canvas for leisurely walks and beach games. The towering cliffs that encircle the bay create a sense of seclusion, making Holywell Bay a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers.
13. Porth Joke Beach
Porth Joke Beach, affectionately known as “Polly Joke,” is a hidden gem tucked away from the crowds. The low cliffs and tranquil ambience make it an ideal spot for those seeking solitude.
This picturesque cove, with its quiet charm, is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of busier beaches. Porth Joke’s peacefulness, coupled with its natural beauty, makes it a hidden treasure worth discovering.
14. Newquay Harbour Beach
This small but busy beach is located right by Newquay Harbour. Its small patch of golden sand provides a welcoming spot for beachgoers to sunbathe and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. A beach shop nearby offers essentials and souvenirs, while the proximity to the harbour makes it a great spot for those who love boating.
While it might not be as big as some of the neighbouring beaches, its lively atmosphere during the summer months creates a vibrant seaside scene. Ample car parks are available, making it easy for visitors to access this iconic beach.
15. Mawgan Porth Beach
Mawgan Porth Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline with sandy shores and nearby surf schools, making it a haven for water sports enthusiasts. It’s conveniently located near Newquay Airport, providing easy access for travellers.
The surrounding cliffs and rugged coastline offer stunning vistas for those who enjoy scenic walks. Whether you’re looking to ride the waves or simply relax on the golden sands, Mawgan Porth Beach offers a delightful beach experience.
Other Beaches Near Newquay That You Must Visit
Newquay isn’t the only town in Cornwall that consists of beaches – there are many others present in this southwestern English county. On that note, here are a few additional north coast beaches that you can visit if you get the time. These are just as popular as the ones we have mentioned above and are not that far from Newquay.
1. Porthmeor Beach
Porthmeor Beach is located in St. Ives, a bit further west of Newquay. It’s renowned for its golden sands and is a popular destination for surfers and artists, thanks to its stunning coastal vistas and the Tate St. Ives art gallery.
2. Porthminster Beach
Also situated in St. Ives, Porthminster Beach offers a more sheltered and family-friendly atmosphere. Its calm waters, soft sands, and proximity to the town centre make it an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming.
3. Hayle Beach
Hayle Beach is a spacious, three-mile-long stretch of sandy shoreline located to the south of Newquay. It’s a peaceful haven for beachcombers and birdwatchers, with the nearby Hayle Estuary attracting a variety of bird species.
4. Porthtowan Beach
Porthtowan Beach is a picturesque coastal gem known for its dramatic cliffs and excellent surf conditions. It’s a favourite spot for both experienced surfers and families looking for a quieter beach experience.
The beaches of Newquay and its neighbouring coastal towns offer a diverse tapestry of seaside experiences.
From the world-renowned surf mecca of Fistral Beach to the tranquil estuarine beauty of Gannel Estuary Beach, there’s a beach for every preference. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or family-friendly fun, these golden sands will give you something to enjoy.
What’s more, the rugged cliffs and inviting waters at some of them beckon visitors to explore and create cherished memories along the stunning coastline of Cornwall. Newquay’s beaches truly embody the essence of seaside perfection.
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