Things to do in Newquay, Cornwall

Newquay is among the large towns along the northern coast of Cornwall. It is known for its surfing, sandy beaches and a thriving nightlife. Read on below to find out about all the great things to do in Newquay

Those are just some of the activities to expect when visiting Newquay. There is much more to the town than that though! You have many lovely walks and places to relax while viewing the Atlantic waves as they roll. The magical county provides a lot.

On some of the beautiful beaches and coastal paths, you can wander for several miles. You can also visit some of the popular tourist attractions like St Michael’s Mount and Eden Project. Although are not in Newquay are a short car journey away. Those are just some of the things to do in Newquay, Cornwall. If you are planning to spend a few days in the town, here are some of the other things to try.

Tour Newquay Zoo – It’s One Of The Top Things To Do In Newquay

Newquay Zoo is Cornwall’s largest zoo and the only one that houses lions. It has over 130 species, some of which you might have never seen before.

The zoo has played an important part in breeding programs for the endangered and rare species like Sulawesi crested macaques, Owston’s palm civets and the red-fronted macaws.

Inside the Tropical House, you will enjoy a humid rainforest environment associated with poison dart frogs, skinks, sloth and various reptiles and insects.

Newquay Zoo has feeding times, and the keepers will educate your kids as they hand food to the Humboldt penguins and the meerkats. Newquay Zoo is a great place when you’re looking for things to do in Newquay.

See the Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Lappa Valley Newquay

The Lappa Valley Steam Railway is something that the young clan members love. The things that characterise the steam railway are the three miniature and minimum gauge lines. You will find vintage steam lines and locomotives traversing the lines. The tracks sit in a park, indicating that you will find many side activities. The primary line, which stretches from East Wheal Rose to Benny Halt which was built in the year 1849.

The purpose of its construction was for the silver-lead mine. The engine house and the chimney still loom over the park. Two lines have been built since the 1990s, and they both run from the East Wheal Rose station. In addition to riding on a vintage train, your kids will enjoy crazy golf, solving the brick path maze, clambering over several playgrounds and paddle in canoes. When it comes to things to do in Newquay you can’t go far rong than visiting Lappa Valley!

Tour the Newquay Harbour

Lets not forget the history of the harbour and Newquay town when looking for things to do in Newquay! The town grew around the small sheltered harbour that has existed since the year 1439. The harbour did not take on the current scale until late in the 18th century as the route to ship the mineral ore deposits to smelting mills situated in South Wales.

A tunnel and a tramway allow hauling of wagons down the cliff from the Newquay town to the piers of the harbour. You will still be able to see the entrance to the tunnel, which people use to store traditional Cornish six-oared pilot fishgigs.

You can move to the north pier to get a different perspective of this harbour and to watch the boats coming into port. You will feel the sand on the little beach of this harbour if the sea air is good. The area has many inns, cafes and restaurants.

Kayak at the Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach on the Gannel Estuary has a lot in store for visitors. The West Pentire and the Pentire Point guard the shore. The two of them are long grassy headlands featuring cliffs and dunes that rise like mountain ranges.

The beach angles towards the ocean and its good breaks will suit you if you are a beginner in this sport. In fact, the Big Green Surf School has been helping people get started.

You can hire out kayaking equipment or stand-up paddleboarding equipment if you like the sport.

Like most other beaches situated in the area, Crantock pitches steadily into the sea, and even though the waves are high, it is relatively safe for swimmers. The RNLI lifeguards are usually present between May and September.

Build Sandcastles at Porth Beach

Sandcastles Newquay

Porth Beach is an excellent option for family holidays. Unlike most other beaches in Newquay, Porth Beach is known for gentle surf and safe swimming. One of the things that you will realise after you get to this beach is that it is situated on a very long inlet — screened by Porth Island and two long headlands to the northern part.

Surfing is prohibited in summer, which means that the beach is a perfect choice for families on holiday. You can build sandcastles on the golden sands, which slope gently. Rockpool and enjoy life with your family in the shallow water.

The footbridge from Porth Island to the cliff-top will allow you to investigate Bronze Age barrows and the Iron Age fort earthworks. At mid-tide during the windy days, you will notice the astonishing blow hole situated on the southern side of this island.

Surfing Is One Of The Things To Do In Newquay

In England, the word “Newquay” is another word for surfing. Surfing is one of those things to do in Newquay that is just a given. People from the United States and Australia discovered the Newquay town in the early 60s. They were the first people to discover The Cribbar, which is also known as Widow Maker. If you tour the place around December and January, you will see that the reef break off the Town Headland will be around ten metres.

You can try the first surf spots at Fistral Beach, Crantock Beach and Watergate Bay, which have surf camps and schools combining tuition and accommodation for weeks. If you are ready to discover more, you can try the hire shops. The RNLI lifeguards patrol all the surf beaches in Newquay.

Learn to surf at Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach is the best surf beach in the UK. It points to the west and catches full weight of the swells of North Atlantic. The beach is an excellent destination for anyone, including those who are not ready to ride the waves. It is a beautiful 750-metre strip of golden sand that is traced by dunes. If you would want to choose the best place for newbies and seasoned surfers, Fistral Beach should be your first choice. You will catch some waves. The Surfing Centre has shops, a surf school, and restaurants and hire companies.

Each time surfing competitions are taking place in Newquay, they will definitely take place at Fistral, whether it is the UK Pro Surf Tour stages, Quiksilver Skins, the BUSA Championships or the Boardmaster. After an exciting day on the board, you will be able to watch the setting sun behind the big waves.

Visit Trerice

Trerice Newquay

When searching for a break from the North Atlantic, the captivating Elizabethan house (Trerice) is the next place to visit.

The house looks just as it looked after its construction around 450 years ago. The constructors adopted the E-shaped footprint and Sir John Arundell, who was the High Sheriff of Cornwall commissioned the construction.

The property has been under the management of the National Trust since the 1950s, and they invite people to view the collection of over 1,000 art pieces, decorative objects and furniture.

After entering Trerice, the first thing you should look out for is the two contrasting gable designs and the 16th-century glass windows.

After that, enjoy the romantic views from St Newlyn East Church to Great Chamber and the grand old barn, which is a restaurant today.

Outside the building, you will notice the recreated Elizabethan knot garden that features yews planted in 2013 in addition to an orchard with numerous varieties of historic fruit trees.

See the footbridges at Gannel Estuary.

The River Gannel enters the North Atlantic at the Crantock Beach, but before that, it opens out to make a tidal estuary that is longer than one mile.

The estuary was dredged in the past to allow shipping of coal and pilchards to the town, where they were loaded on trains. Even though tides characterise the area, the water in this place is sheltered, which means that it is a perfect place to try kayaking away from the Atlantic.

When walking along the banks of the River Gannel, you will find several footbridges, which are can get flooded by the tide.

When moving carefully, you will come across some wading birds such as godwits, egrets and redshanks. Bass, smelt, trout and salmon will also be swimming in the shallow waters.

Tour the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre

Consider touring this aircraft shelter hardened by the Cold War. In the Aviation Centre, you will find the Hawker Harrier Jet and many other classics. You can chat with the experienced ex-pilots, engineers and navigators to learn more about the planes.

Actually, they will be happy to tell the previous roles of the wonderful cold war aircraft and their history.

Outside the hangar, visitors have the opportunity of jumping aboard and experience the other iconic jets that were common many years ago.

Take guided Vickers Varsity and VC10 tours and experience the open grounds situated next to RAF St Mawgan and the Newquay Airport.

Watch many aircraft departures and arrivals. In the 1950s style café, you will be able to peruse the gifts, clothing, models next door and relax with the free Wi-Fi — the drinks include fair trade coffees, pasty’s, tasty cakes and hot snacks.


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