Newquay is famed for its surfing credentials, but its beaches aren’t all about carving the waves. With 11 beaches falling under Newquay’s stretch of the coast, there’s an impressive seven miles to explore.
But what beach suits your holiday in Newquay? While some may like to try as many beaches as possible, others perhaps want to research beforehand if there’s something they’re looking for in a beach such as accessibility or whether the dog can come too. But fear not, there’s something to suit everyone, from quieter coves to town centre beaches, surf heavy shores to golden bays.
We've rounded-up eight of our favourite beaches in Newquay.
Probably Newquay’s best-known beach, Fistral is an iconic tourist hotspot known for its wild waves. A mecca for surfers, the west-facing beach is bookended by two headlands which keep the waves compact, as is why its chosen hosts many surfing competitions such as the high profile Boardmasters.
It’s not all about the sea though, the large expanse of golden sand makes for great sandcastle building, and the beach is wonderfully clean.
Is Fistral Beach dog friendly? Fistral Beach is dog friendly all-year round, with no seasonal bans in place.
Is Fistral Beach lifeguarded? RNLI lifeguard seasonal cover daily from Easter Bank Holiday to end of October.
Where to eat: The obvious choice is the Fish House at Fistral, a seafood lover’s dream and right on the beach.
Where to park: There is a 250-space car park at Fistral Beach.
Are there toilets at Fistral Beach? Yes, there are public toilets which are open all-year round.
Towan Beach – often called ‘Town Beach’ due to its central location – is within walking distance from Newquay town, a sandy beach lying directly below Killacourt, a popular community green space.
A lovely little cove at high tide, or visiting at low tide it connects to neighbouring Great Western Beach. It’s a wonderfully sheltered beach, making it a great choice for families as the waves are much gentler.
Towan Beach is also home to ‘The Island’, a house on a lonely rock, accessed only via a 90 ft suspension bridge, it’s formerly the residence of the famous scientist Sir Oliver Lodge and quite a sight to see. Check out the caves along the beach, too.
Is Towan Beach dog friendly? Towan Beach is dog friendly all-year round, with no seasonal bans in place.
Is Towan Beach lifeguarded? RNLI lifeguard seasonal cover daily from 5 May to end of September.
Where to eat: 12 Beach Road overlooks Towan Beach, serving food all day. The menu has something for everyone, from tacos to Cornish-inspired salads
Where to park: There’s 180 parking spaces at Towan Headland car park.
Are there toilets at Towan Beach? Yes, there are toilets by the beach and public toilets at Killacourt (20p charge).
Lusty Glaze ©Ian Woolcock Shutterstock
While it’s a privately-owned beach Lusty Glaze has full public access and is a little haven just around the corner from Porth beach.
Lusty Glaze is a sandy beach regardless of the state of the tide and is flanked by dramatic 200ft cliffs. Smaller and less known than its Newquay neighbours, it’s home to an adventure centre making it a good option for watersport fans.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll need to put some legwork in to reach Lusty Glaze as it’s only accessed via pretty steep steps.
Is Lusty Glaze dog friendly? There’s also a seasonal dog ban at Lusty Glaze from 1 June until 1 September between 9am-6pm.
Is Lusty Glaze lifeguarded? RNLI lifeguard seasonal cover during the busiest months; from July to September
Where to eat: Right on the beach is Lusty Glaze’s restaurant and bar, a no brainer.
Where to park: There’s a large car park on the field at the top of the beach.
Are there toilets at Lusty Glaze? Yes, there are toilets at the beach.
The beach at Watergate Bay is three miles north of Newquay, but certainly worthy of a visit. The fine expanse of soft, golden sand stretches for over 2 miles, accentuated by steep gorse-covered cliffs with caves.
The beach is in a bay set between the picturesque cliffs of Trevelgue Head to the south and Stem Point in the north, the sand is smooth at low tide, with azure waters when the sky is blue. There’s rock pools to explore or for the more adventurous, plenty of surfing potential.
Is Watergate Bay dog friendly? Dogs are allowed at Watergate Bay all-year round.
Is Watergate Bay lifeguarded? RNLI lifeguards are on patrol from May through to September.
Where to eat: Wax Watergate Bay is a cool surfers’ hangout, with hand-rolled sourdough pizzas, tasty small plates and hearty burgers..
Where to park: Watergate Bay benefits from two car parks. The closest to the beach and the largest is run by Cornwall Council and has 400 spaces.
Are there toilets at Watergate Bay? Yes, there are toilets at the beach.
Great Western Newquay ©Ian Woolcock Shutterstock
Another of Newquay’s central beaches is Great Western, a privately-managed beach which is open to all. A west-facing beach, at low tide enjoy rock pools and caves in the surrounding cliffs. This sandy beach attracts both families and surfers – both enjoying a quieter beach than nearby Fistral or Watergate Bay, and is recommended for those new to the surfing scene. In fact it’s Great Western Beach that first put Newquay on the map for its surfing credentials.
Named after Great Western Railway which ran a very popular service to Newquay between 1876 and 1960, now you can reach the beach via a moderately steep path, or at low tide from its neighbouring beaches Towan or Tolcarne.
Is Great Western Beach dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all-year round at Great Western Beach.
Is Great Western Beach lifeguarded? Great Western Beach has RNLI lifeguards from May until September.
Where to eat: Right on the beach is Great Western Surf Café
Where to park: Less than ten-minute walk is the council-run Manor Car park, which has almost 250 spaces. See here for more options.
Are there toilets at Great Western Beach? Yes, there are public toilets open during the summer. Please note that these are closed in the winter.
Heading out of the town of Newquay, the next beach on from Lusty Glaze is Porth Beach. With a wonderful expanse of golden sand, this narrow beach is a popular choice for families with the headlands on each side keeping Porth Beach sheltered from the wind. Because of its narrowness, surfing is not permitted during the peak summer months but bodyboarding and paddleboarding is allowed.
The Porth Stream or Whipsiderry Stream crosses this beach, trickling down from the sea to the start of the beach – a lovely place for kids to splash around. There’s also plenty of rock pools to discover on either side of the beach.
A point of interest here is Trevalgue Head, also known as Porth Island, is a stunning headland which can be accessed from the beach via a narrow footbridge.
Is Porth Beach dog friendly? There’s a seasonal dog ban in place at Porth Beach. No dogs on beach from 15 May to 30 September between 10am to 6pm.
Is Porth Beach lifeguarded? RNLI lifeguards are on patrol from May through to the end of September.
Where to eat: A beachside location, The Mermaid Inn, serves delicious burgers and seafood.
Where to park: There’s a car park opposite the beach.
Are there toilets at Porth Beach? Yes, there are toilets at the beach.
Crescent-shaped, Tolcarne Beach joins up with its neighbouring beaches Great Western and Lusty Glaze at low tide, so it’s in good company. This sandy beach does however require some effort to reach, in fact there are more than two hundred steps to tackle.
The gorgeous soft sand, sheltered swimming, and plentiful rock pools – alongside its central location – makes it a popular choice for families.
Is Tolcarne Beach dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all-year round at Tolcarne Beach.
Is Tolcarne Beach lifeguarded? RNLI lifeguards are on patrol from May through to the end of September.
Where to eat: Right on the beach, The Wedge serves freshly made coffee with a selection of cakes and ice creams, alongside tasty lunch options from pasties to pizzas.
Where to park: Ten-minute walk is the council-run Manor Car park, which has almost 250 spaces. See here for more options.
Are there toilets at Tolcarne Beach? Yes, there are toilets at the westerly end of the beach.
We have a stunning collection of self-catering properties in Newquay. From cosy apartments to larger holiday homes, we've got your dream Newquay holiday covered.