Travel

Top things to see and do in Newquay, Cornwall

The surf culture is alive and well in Newquay; you’ll often spot groups of teenagers sporting surf ponchos practicing their bottom turns near Fistral Beach before sunrise.

With a cultural heritage, Newquay is bustling with youthful vibrance and inland adventures. The dynamic culinary scene draws an international crown hoping to sample local delicacies such as the Saffron bun and Stargazy pie.

Soak up the sun at the Tolcarne Beach

When the sun shines in Newquay you feel as if you are in the French Riviera. The beautiful crescent-shaped bay of Tolcarne offers sandy beaches and azure waters and is a perfect spot for some well-deserved relaxation. Work your way down the glistening coast, find yourself a cozy spot in this sun-drenched, and unwind. Try your hand at sea fishing, before heading south to Tolcarne wedge for some boogie boarding. 

A panoramic view of the rocks at Bedruthan Steps on the North Cornwall coast, taken from the Porthcothan direction. The tide is fully in and the waves break on the rock stacks.

Befriend a penguin at the Newquay Zoo

Even though the beaches in this town attract a major crowd, a trip to the Newquay Zoo is perfect for exploring the lesser-known inland wildlife. Head to this 13-acre compound inside Trenance Leisure Park where, in addition to more than 130 species of animals, you can also visit the tropical house exhibit showcasing rainforest flora species, sloths, and several tropical birds. The zoo reopened in April and is currently offering one-way tours to maintain social distancing.

Enjoy tailor-made surfing lessons on Fistral beach

The Newquay surfing experience is a wildly popular activity for visitors, and for post-pandemic travel, it is also ideal for social distancing. Sign up for a surf lesson to learn the basics and get up close and personal with the swells of the Atlantic. Escape Surf School Newquay offers on-site lessons throughout the year and is currently operating a small staff with all necessary precautions in place. More centrally located, Fistral Beach Surf School is another recommended school with specialized lessons for visitors.

Hike through the Newquay Discovery Trail

This decade-old cultural institution developed by David Faulkner is the epicenter of Newquay’s many walking routes that take travelers through a panorama of countryside walks. Follow a series of fourteen slate plaques that will fork into two routes —The Hetty Trail and The Ada Trail. Roam through rural southwest Newquay on a new self-guided walking trip to find 14 carved messages that will help you uncover this vibrant surf town.

Explore the Trenance Garden

One of Newquay’s natural crown jewels, this thriving garden nestled just a few miles away from the center is filled with tropical splendor: a lush flora of beautiful roses, dramatic vistas, and a Tea Room named Trenance Cottages that takes you back. It is also the perfect place to enjoy a socially distanced brunch or picnic with plenty of nooks and crannies that provide respite from the summer heat.