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Planning a day out by the sea as part of your trip to Newquay? Choose which beach is best for you from our guide to our five favourite seaside spots.

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach image by Thomas Tolkien is licensed under CC 2.0

What’s to love: Perhaps Cornwall’s most famous beach, Newquay’s Fistral Beach is renowned as one of the UK’s best surfing destinations. Fistral is home to big surf competitions, including Boardmasters and the UK Pro Surf Tour, and The British Surfing Association National Surfing Centre. Thanks to the shape of the beach and its west-facing exposure to Atlantic swells, the consistent waves are a huge draw for every type of surfer, from absolute beginners to professionals.

Of course, it’s not just about the surf. You’ll also find high cliffs and sand dunes stretching between the two headlands, as well as a whole host of facilities, including cafes, restaurants and shops.

Location: On the west coast, directly behind the town and Newquay Golf Club

Disabled access: Yes

Parking: Yes – Pay and Display

Dog-friendly: Yes – all year round

Facilities: European Designated Beach for European Water Quality Standards. Toilets, showers, restaurants, cafes, surf hire and lessons

Lifeguard: Daily from March – November. Check the RNLI website for more details

Surfing: Yes – suitable for beginners. North Fistral can get very crowded in summer; take care of dangerous rips at South Fistral

Mawgan Porth Beach

What’s to love: Just north of Newquay itself, Mawgan Porth’s expansive golden sands are flanked by lofty cliffs and adjacent to the river flowing out to sea on the south side of the beach. During low tide, there are caves waiting to be explored and the beach is generally more spacious than the famous Fistral. At certain times, you can access Beacon Cove – a quiet and sheltered beach – via a steep and rugged path.

Location: Around 5 miles north of Newquay; 15-minute drive

Disabled access: Yes

Parking: Yes – next to the beach with level access to the sand

Dog-friendly: Yes – all year round

Facilities: European Designated Beach. Toilets, cafes and restaurants, beach shops, watersports equipment hire, surf school

Lifeguard: May – September. See the RNLI website for more details

Surfing: Yes – quite consistent at any time of year; can get crowded if conditions are right; take care of dangerous rips

Watergate Bay

What’s to love: The large open bay and 1.5 miles of beach make Watergate Bay very popular with surfers and families alike. You’ll find a whole host of facilities nearby, including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and the Extreme Academy surf and watersport school. The beach is perfect for sandcastle building and there are rock pools waiting to be explored.

Location: Around 3.5 miles north of Newquay; 10-minute drive

Disabled access: Yes

Parking: Yes – Pay and Display

Dog-friendly: Yes – all year round

Facilities: European Designated Beach. Toilets, showers, restaurants, cafes, watersports equipment hire, surf school, designated safe swimming areas for children

Lifeguard: Easter Bank Holiday weekend; May – September. See the RNLI website for more details

Surfing: Yes – popular with beginners and kitesurfers thanks to the big waves coming in from the Atlantic

Porth Beach

What’s to love: Porth beach is particularly popular with families and among people with walking difficulties, thanks to its easy, level access from the road. The long cove offers plenty of sandy space even at high tide and is much quieter than some of the more central Newquay beaches – perfect for a relaxing family day out at the beach.

Location: Just to the north of Newquay; 5-minute drive from the town centre

Disabled access: Yes

Parking: Yes – Pay and Display. As some parking is on the beach itself, the number of spaces is tide-dependent

Dog-friendly: No dogs allowed between Easter and September

Facilities: Toilets, seasonal refreshments and beach shop

Lifeguard: May – September. See the RNLI website for more details

Surfing: No surfing allowed during summer between 10am and 6pm

Lusty Glaze Beach

What’s to love: Lusty Glaze is a unique privately-owned beach that is open to all. Situated in a sheltered cove facing north-west, the beach is popular with families and offers a whole host of activities to keep everyone entertained. Not only is the scenery stunning, a year-round programme of live music events also draws big crowds, from intimate weekly shows during the winter to a programme of Headline sessions in the summer featuring some of the biggest names in music.

Location: Just north of Newquay town centre, between Great Western Beach and Porth Beach

Disabled access: No – access is via cliff steps or via Tolcarne Beach at low tide

Parking: Yes – Pay and Display

Dog-friendly: No dogs allowed from June to September

Facilities: European Designated Beach. Toilets, bar, restaurant, live music calendar, activities centre (watersports and abseiling), shop, beach huts available for hire

Lifeguard: During peak seasons

Surfing: Yes – surf school offering group and private lessons

The best of the rest of Newquay’s beaches

The five beaches above are just some of the most popular in and around Newquay; there are even more to explore. To find out more about the rest of Cornwall’s beaches, including Holywell Bay, Crantock and Tolcarne, visit the websites below:


Looking for more things to do in Newquay? Check out:

Ready to start planning your holiday? Take a look at our selection of great Newquay cottages and find your perfect place to stay.

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