things to do in newquay

Last Updated on: 16th July 2024, 06:05 am

Welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Newquay, the ultimate seaside destination located in Cornwall, England. As a local, I am excited to share with you some of my favorite activities and attractions in this beautiful town. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, Newquay has a lot to offer.

From white-sand beaches and thrilling water sports to rich history and culture, there is something for everyone in Newquay. Join me as we explore the top things to do in Newquay, UK, and discover why this town is the perfect vacation spot.

Things to Do in Newquay

1. Hit the Beaches

Newquay is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, or attempting to surf. Among these, Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay are the go-to spots for surf enthusiasts while Towan Beach and Great Western Beach offer a more relaxed atmosphere for those seeking tranquility. Make sure to explore the gorgeous tidal pools and coastal paths for an up-close look at the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

Looking for more ideas on things to do in Newquay or Cornwall? Check out other sections of this guide.

Towan Beach

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Beach Comparison Table

Beach Name Surfing Relaxation Tide Pools
Fistral Beach Best Fair Good
Watergate Bay Good Fair Poor
Towan Beach Poor Best Fair
Great Western Beach Fair Good Fair

“The sound of waves crashing on the shore is nature’s lullaby.”

For those who enjoy beach activities and boat trips, Newquay offers a range of options similar to Benidorm, where you can also explore beautiful coastlines and marine life.

2. Experience the Thrill of Water Sports

Are you an adrenaline junkie? Are you looking for the ultimate water adventure? Look no further than Newquay, the ultimate destination for water sports.

From surfing and paddleboarding to kiteboarding and coasteering, Newquay has it all. Rent equipment and take lessons from experienced instructors to ensure you make the most of your time on the water.

Surfing is one of the most popular water sports in Newquay. Master the waves at Fistral Beach or Watergate Bay, two of the best spots for surfing in the UK. Paddleboarding is another exciting water sport that combines elements of surfing and kayaking. Enjoy a leisurely paddle across the water while taking in the stunning coastline views.

Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is a thrilling sport that involves riding a board while being pulled along by a kite. Feel the rush of the wind and the thrill of speed as you glide across the water.

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, try coasteering. This extreme sport involves climbing, swimming, and jumping off cliffs. Explore the rocky coastline and hidden coves of Newquay in a unique and exhilarating way.

Water Sports

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Whether you’re an experienced water sports enthusiast or a beginner, Newquay offers a range of exciting options to suit your skill level.

3. Explore Newquay’s Coastal Trails

If you prefer walking over water sports, Newquay has stunning coastal trails to explore. The South West Coast Path offers a scenic walk along the rugged cliffs with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Put on your hiking boots, and enjoy the fresh sea air as you discover hidden coves, dramatic landscapes, and diverse wildlife along the way.

One trail worth mentioning is the Newquay Walk, which starts at the Harbour and takes you on a journey through the town, up the cliffs, and along the coast. It’s the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of Newquay and get a glimpse of the town’s history and culture.

Don’t forget to pack your camera to capture the mesmerizing views of the Cornwall coast, and keep your eyes peeled for seals, dolphins, and other marine wildlife along the way.

Newquay's Coastal Trails

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“The South West Coast Path offers a scenic walk along the rugged cliffs with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.”

4. Visit the Iconic Newquay Zoo

If you’re an animal lover, a trip to the Newquay Zoo is a must during your visit to this picturesque seaside town. With over 1,000 animals from all over the world, the zoo offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Get up close and personal with lions, penguins, and lemurs, and learn about conservation efforts to protect these beautiful creatures. You can even attend feeding sessions and watch the animals play in their natural habitats.

Make sure to check the zoo’s website for special events and behind-the-scenes tours.

things to do in newquay uk

The History of Newquay Zoo

The Newquay Zoo was founded in 1969 by local businessman Ken Smith, who started with just a few animals and a passion for wildlife conservation. Over the years, the zoo has expanded and become an important part of the community and a leading destination for visitors to Cornwall.

“We are committed to inspiring our visitors to protect and preserve the world’s wildlife,” says Zoo Director Stewart Muir. “Our team of dedicated keepers works tirelessly to provide the best care for our animals and to educate our visitors about the importance of conservation.”

Plan Your Visit

The Newquay Zoo is open every day from 10am to 5pm, with the last admission at 4pm. Admission prices vary depending on age and type of ticket, with discounts available for online bookings.

Ticket Type Price
Adults (16+) £19.00
Children (3-15) £14.25
Seniors (60+) £16.10
Family (2 adults + 2 children) £59.50

Pro tip: Save time and money by booking your tickets in advance online.

Don’t miss the chance to visit Newquay’s iconic zoo and witness the beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom first hand.

5. Discover Newquay’s Rich Surfing Heritage

Newquay has become synonymous with surfing in the UK, attracting surfers from around the world. The town’s surfing heritage dates back to the 1960s, when Australian surfers first introduced the sport to the area. Today, Newquay hosts numerous surfing competitions, including the Boardmasters Festival, which features live music and entertainment in addition to surfing competitions.

Newquay's Rich Surfing Heritage

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If you’re interested in learning more about the history of surfing in Newquay, be sure to visit the Surfing Museum. The museum features exhibits on the evolution of surfing and its impact on the local community, as well as a collection of vintage surfboards and memorabilia. You can also take a surf lesson or watch a live competition to experience the thrill of riding the waves for yourself.

6. Enjoy Delicious Seafood and Local Cuisine

When visiting Newquay, you cannot miss the opportunity to try out the local delicacies and savor the fresh flavors of Cornwall. With a diverse range of dining options, this coastal town has something for everyone’s taste buds.

Whether it’s traditional fish and chips from Lewinnick Lodge or innovative seafood dishes from Rick Stein Fistral, there’s something for every seafood lover. A must-try dish is the humble Cornish pasty, a savory pastry filled with meat and vegetables, a perfect snack for any time of the day.

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, head to upscale Rooftop Restaurant for panoramic views of the turquoise sea. For a casual evening, head to a local pub like The Central Inn or The Chy Bar for a pint of ale and some live music performances.

things to do in newquay england

Top dining options in Newquay

Name of Restaurant Specialty Dish
The Fish House Fistral Hake fillet with butter sauce and crushed potatoes
Rick Stein Fistral Cornish lobster, garlic, and chilli crème fraîche linguine
Lewinnick Lodge Classic fish and chips made with locally sourced ingredients

“The Cornish pasty is a delicious and hearty snack that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Newquay. With its savory filling and buttery pastry, it’s a perfect option for a quick bite or a picnic by the beach.” – Me

Don’t miss out on the local produce and seafood, which are the heart and soul of Cornwall’s cuisine. Take a food tour or visit a farmers’ market to learn about the local culinary culture and sample some of the finest and freshest flavors during your trip to Newquay and Cornwall.

7. Take a Boat Trip and Discover Marine Life

Exploring the rich marine life and stunning coastline of Newquay is an unforgettable experience. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a boat trip from the harbor. I highly recommend booking a tour to see dolphins, seals, and various seabirds in their natural habitats. As you cruise along the coastline, marvel at the breathtaking views of Newquay’s stunning beaches and deep-blue waters.

Some tours offer the opportunity to try fishing or visit nearby islands such as the iconic St. Michael’s Mount. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture incredible memories of your journey.

Boat Trip

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Boat Trip Options

Tour Operator Duration Price Range
Fish Tales 2 hours starts from £3o
Sea Safaris 2 hours £30 each
Newquay Coast 4 hours starts from £55

“Taking a boat trip is a must-do experience in Newquay. Seeing the spectacular coastline, spotting wildlife, and feeling the refreshing sea breeze makes for an unforgettable adventure.” – Me

8. Immerse Yourself in Local Art and Culture

As a lover of art and culture, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the vibrant scene of Newquay. Here, visitors can explore numerous galleries and exhibitions showcasing the creativity of local artists. Two of my personal favorites are the Newquay Art Gallery and The Exchange.

The Newquay Art Gallery displays a diverse range of works, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. Visitors can admire and purchase pieces created by talented local artists. The Exchange, on the other hand, offers a platform for various events and performances, from live music to theatrical productions, in a cozy and intimate setting.

No matter your interests, the creative energy of Newquay is sure to captivate you. Take some time to discover the town’s unique artistic expression and cultural offerings.

things to do in newquay uk

If you love outdoor activities, Newquay has several beautiful parks and walking trails, similar to the picturesque Verulamium Park in St Albans.

9. Go Wildlife Spotting at Newquay Harbour and Gannel Estuary

If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the town, why not go wildlife spotting in Newquay? Newquay Harbour and Gannel Estuary are two great spots to explore Newquay’s diverse wildlife while enjoying the tranquil scenery.

Here, you might see a variety of seabirds, including gulls, cormorants, and oystercatchers. Seals are also a common sighting in the harbor, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot the elusive otters.

The best way to experience Newquay’s wildlife up close is by taking a leisurely walk along the harbor or joining a guided wildlife tour. Keep your camera handy to capture unforgettable moments of nature in action.

Wildlife Spotting

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Newquay Harbour and Gannel Estuary Wildlife Tips:

  • Best time to spot wildlife is during low tide.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for outdoor activities.
  • Bring binoculars to get a closer look at birds and other wildlife.
  • Respect the wildlife and their habitat by not disturbing them.


After exploring Newquay, it’s clear why it’s known as England’s premier seaside escape. The town has so many wonderful things to do, from hitting the beaches and indulging in local cuisine to discovering the rich surfing heritage and exploring the coastal trails. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or seeking a more relaxed vacation, Newquay has something to offer.

Don’t forget to visit the iconic Newquay Zoo or take a boat trip to spot marine life along the coastline. And if you’re interested in local art and culture, be sure to check out the galleries and theaters in the area.

Overall, Newquay is the perfect destination for a fun-filled and memorable vacation. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience all the amazing things to do in Newquay, England’s seaside gem in Cornwall. For those who enjoy coastal towns, you might also want to visit Bognor Regis which offers a variety of family-friendly activities and stunning natural landscapes.


What are some of the best things to do in Newquay, UK?

Some of the best things to do in Newquay, UK include visiting the stunning beaches, trying out exciting water sports, exploring the coastal trails, visiting the iconic Newquay Zoo, discovering the town’s rich surfing heritage, enjoying delicious seafood and local cuisine, taking a boat trip to discover marine life, immersing yourself in the local art and culture scene, and going wildlife spotting at Newquay Harbour and Gannel Estuary.

Which beaches should I visit in Newquay, England?

Newquay, England is known for its stunning beaches. Some of the top beaches to visit in Newquay include Fistral Beach, Watergate Bay, Towan Beach, and Great Western Beach.

What water sports can I try in Newquay, UK?

In Newquay, UK, you can try a variety of water sports including surfing, paddleboarding, kiteboarding, and coasteering, which involves climbing, swimming, and jumping off cliffs.

Are there any coastal trails to explore in Newquay, England?

Yes, Newquay, England offers breathtaking coastal trails to explore. The South West Coast Path is particularly popular, offering scenic walks along rugged cliffs with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

What can I expect to see at the Newquay Zoo in the UK?

The Newquay Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, including lions, penguins, and lemurs. Visitors can learn about conservation efforts, attend feeding sessions, and get up close with their favorite animals.

Where can I learn about Newquay’s surfing heritage?

To learn about Newquay’s rich surfing heritage, you can visit the Surfing Museum. They provide a comprehensive history of the sport and its impact on the local community.

What are some must-try seafood and local cuisine in Newquay, UK?

Newquay, UK offers a range of delicious seafood and local cuisine. Some must-try dishes include traditional fish and chips, innovative seafood dishes, and the famous Cornish pasty, a savory pastry filled with meat and vegetables.

Can I take a boat trip to explore marine life from Newquay, England?

Yes, you can embark on a boat trip from Newquay, England to explore the rich marine life in the area. These trips often provide opportunities to spot dolphins, seals, and various seabirds, and some even offer fishing experiences or visits to nearby islands such as St. Michael’s Mount.

Where can I experience the local art and culture scene in Newquay, UK?

Newquay, UK boasts a vibrant art and culture scene. You can visit the Newquay Art Gallery or The Exchange to admire works by local artists, attend live performances, and enjoy theatrical productions at the local theaters.

Are there any wildlife spotting opportunities in Newquay, England?

Yes, Newquay, England is known for its diverse wildlife. You can head to Newquay Harbour and Gannel Estuary for a chance to spot seabirds, seals, and even otters. Take a leisurely walk along the harbor or join a guided wildlife tour for an up-close encounter with nature.

What are the top things to do in Newquay, England?

The top things to do in Newquay, England include visiting the stunning beaches, trying out exciting water sports, exploring the coastal trails, visiting the iconic Newquay Zoo, discovering the town’s rich surfing heritage, enjoying delicious seafood and local cuisine, taking a boat trip to discover marine life, immersing yourself in the local art and culture scene, and going wildlife spotting at Newquay Harbour and Gannel Estuary.


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