A NEW WAVE OF FAMILY SURFING HOLIDAYS
As the epicentre of British surf culture, and one of the UK’s most popular family holiday destinations, Newquay and its surrounds have become a popular place for family surfing breaks. With expert instructors, plenty of waves, and stylish surfside accommodation, it’s little wonder that more and more families are turning to surfing as a way of spending quality time together on their Cornish beach holidays.
What with high-tech equipment and snuggly-warm wetsuits, surfing isn’t just a summer activity. In fact, once the bucket-and-spade brigades abate, autumn is the perfect time to make the most of Cornwall’s more consistent, less crowded waves. An expert in family surf travel, Family Surf Co., shares a few of its favourite places to stay in style, ride the autumn swells and dine on the ocean’s bounty.
Nowhere tees up family surfing and beach-chic accommodation quite like Watergate Bay Hotel. With surf in/surf out access, a surfing and watersports academy, and flawless facilities for all ages from tots to teens, here family beach life is an absolute breeze.
With Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall heading up the huddle of swanky eateries overlooking the surf, you can taste the saltwater lifestyle without even getting in the sea. Swim to the end of the indoor infinity pool or take a dip in the hot tub on the deck, and you’re so close to the waves that you almost feel like you could catch one.
However, instead of just watching the wave-scapes, get to grips with surfing under the tutelage of the onsite Extreme Academy.
Children can join in surf lessons from the age of eight, but having babes in tow doesn’t stop you having all the fun. There’s an Ofsted-registered crèche and a kids zone for up to seven year-olds, as well as supervised activity sessions for older kids, so you can take time out to enjoy the waves to yourself – or simply bubble in the hot tub, steam in the sauna or sink into an armchair with a cocktail.
When evening comes and you have finally exhausted the pitter-patter of sandy feet and hung your wetsuits in the drying room, rig up your complimentary baby monitor system, or book a private babysitter, and choose which restaurant to wine and dine in.
Just a couple of miles over the headland from Watergate Bay awaits the more rugged Mawgan Porth, with its grass roots surfing culture and one of Cornwall’s favourite family surf schools – KingSurf. Book a family lesson, join in twice-daily group sessions, or hone your skills with a one-to-one, and make the most of the waves on this sandy runway that’s a swell magnet.
Kit yourself up at the surfside stores selling everything you need for gourmet picnics and bucket-and-spade days, or do the surf check over a platter of fresh seafood at Catch restaurant.
Idyllic family beach days are a cinch when you’re staying nearby at The Park Cornwall, where you can choose to make yourself at home in an eco-cabin, cosy cottage, yurt or caravan. Enjoy all the flexibility of self-catering, teamed with luxuries such as hot tubs, an indoor and outdoor pool, play areas, soft play, kids trails and daily activity sessions. What with chickens and goats, acres of parkland to explore, and a contemporary restaurant, it’s easy to forget that you’re so close to the beach – and there’s plenty to do when you don’t fancy surfing.
Dubbed the surfing capital of Britain, Fistral is where many of the UK’s pro surfers cut their teeth. As well as consistent waves, surf shops and a vast sandy beach, there’s an impressive line-up of cocktail bars and restaurants, including perennial family favourite, The Stable, the trendy Fistral Beach Bar, and the foodie hotspots of Rick Stein Fistral and The Fish House.
Overlooking the waves at North Fistral, the Headland Hotel has become one of Newquay’s most iconic landmarks. Step inside the striking Victorian design and you’ll find a contemporary haven made for family beach holidays.
The experts at the onsite Surf Sanctuary will help you find your feet in the waves, while back in the comfort of your seaside hotel room or cliff-top cottage, you’ve got a spa, swimming pool and two swanky restaurants at your fingertips.
Car-free surf travel: Fly to Cornwall Airport Newquay and it’s a two-minute taxi ride to Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth, and just 15-minutes to Fistral, so you don’t even need a car to enjoy any of our favourite family surfing destinations in Cornwall.
Family Surf Co. is a new family travel company organising bespoke family beach holidays to bucket-list surfing destinations across the world. Set up by two Cornwall-based surfing mums, Family Surf Co. can plan your perfect family surfing holiday to Cornwall, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Barbados or Costa Rica.