Vibrant Newquay (once known as Towna Blystra) was, like so many Cornish towns, historically a fishing port. The town’s ‘new quay’ was funded in the 1400s and the name stuck. Now you are more likely to come across pleasure crafts than fishing boats.
Newquay may have once had a reputation as a post-exam party town, a place for hen and stag parties, not a family resort, BUT we assure you it has now been reinvented. It is still a surfing mecca, because it has amazing waves to catch, but it also has so much more to offer.
The town has transformed, with nightclubs of old replaced by indy bars and restaurants attracting a new clientele.
Now something of an independent food haven, including vegan and vegetarian options, people are attracted by more upmarket trends. Additionally, is a very strong community spirit which has been allowed to shine through once again.
The proximity of Newquay Airport is also an attraction for travellers.
Despite the airport, most people arrive by car or train. However, you can book flights from a variety of UK destinations. From Humberside and London Gatwick, all direct flights to Newquay are operated by Eastern Airways. From London Heathrow, you can fly non-stop to Newquay with British Airways (a seasonal route that starts in July and ends in September) or from Manchester and Newcastle, you can fly non-stop with easyJet or Loganair.
By car, depending on where you are travelling from, most people take the M5, the A30 and then a short stretch of A39 to get to Newquay. It’s that simple.
If you’re driving to North Cornwall in a plug-in electric vehicle, see our list of charging locations here.
It is also easy to get to Newquay by train from all over the UK, with direct routes from some of the country’s biggest cities, including London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Newquay has a mixture of council (15) car parks and private parking so choose carefully. Cornwall Council offers the Countywide Rover ticket which can be used for one week in many of the Cornwall Council long stay car park in Newquay and elsewhere in the county, which makes sense, as on-street parking is highly unlikely anywhere in peak season.
Rover tickets are available to buy in advance by calling 0300 1234 222 or emailing Cornwall Council.
After 4 pm there is currently no charge in Council car parks in Newquay, however some charge until 6pm so it’s worth checking first. Please note that many car parks are now pay on exit. You can find information about current prices of the many car parks here.
The short stay car park costs £2.20 for an hour and is at Fore Street.
The car park on Fistral Beach is private, tends to be crowded and is camera-controlled. Be warned, there is no leeway on timing, so please keep your ticket and get back in good time. Around Fistral, you also have council-owned car parks including Belmont, Dane Road Towan Headland and Tower Road.
For the town centre, the harbour and Great Western and Tolcarne beaches, try The Manor, Fore Street (short stay) St George’s Road, Mountwise or Albany Road. There is a small car park at Newquay Harbour but it is a working harbour, so usually quite busy.
For parking on the beach, try Lusty Glaze (parking on the cliff above, with steps down), Porth or Watergate Bay. Crantock and Holywell Bay offer parking on the beach but are National Trust car parks, so perfect if you are a member. Remember to bring your card to scan.
There are some fun places to try, foodwise. These are just a selection.
The Tom Thumb Cocktail Bar is a classy, local, sustainable bar specialising in premium cocktails and coffee, home-made syrups and vermouths plus food such as vegan mezze boards; they usually hold events there, too.
If eating at home, why not try Sprout Health? Based in an old print house, it is popular for one-pot meals such as delicious daals. The cakes are pretty tasty, too, and you can buy healthy store cupboard staples.
Or maybe The Jam Jar is for you, a small, independent coffee shop also offering superfood smoothies, healthy breakfast bowls and toasted bagels.
Escape to the water’s edge for fine dining at luxurious Lewinnick Lodge, which is home to classic Cornish dishes and seafood specials, with the bonus of spectacular cliff edge views over the Atlantic ocean.
Try El Huichol for authentic Mexican food usually situated at Newquay Harbour, offering takeaways and deliveries with character. For pan-Asian, it has to be Kahuna. Or maybe a taste of global Australian influenced food with Bush Pepper is your choice.
Seafood lovers will adore the Fish House at Fistral, for vibrant dishes cooked by chef Paul Harwood, but do have a search around as there are so many places to eat in the town. Find your own favourite – and let us know about it.
f you are searching for that special self catering holiday in Newquay, Cornwall then look no further than our luxury hand-picked selection of holiday cottages in Newquay.