The 14 Best Things To Do In Newquay – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Whether you call Newquay your home or are just passing through on holiday, you won’t run out of things to do here.

The town is well-known as the UK’s surf capital, which makes it a great spot for surfing and swimming.

For nightlife, there is a diverse selection of bars, restaurants and clubs to pick from.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more relaxed, Newquay also boasts some stunning sandy beaches and seaside areas for visitors to enjoy and explore.

Newquay can be found on the north coast of Cornwall, and there are many beautiful walks and excursions that can be enjoyed in the surrounding area.

You can also travel to some of the neighbouring towns and villages, such as Padstow and Fowey, which are also known for their picturesque settings, or slightly further out to St Ives.

Things To Do In Newquay

1. Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is a breath-taking beach that can be found only 3 miles away from Newquay.

The stretch of soft, golden sand that extends for two miles is ideal for lounging in the sun or spending the day with the family.

Because of its consistent water quality it’s very popular as a surfing spot and its relative tranquilly in comparison to Newquay’s other beaches.

A great spot for water sports, Newquay’s family friendly Watergate Bay is an excellent option for the hotter months of the year.

Address: Watergate Bay, Newquay, TR8 4AD

2. Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach is a world famous surfing beach and is known as the venue for major international surfing competitions.

It is just a stone’s throw from the railway station and provides excellent surfing conditions with consistent waves for surfers of all levels, from novices to seasoned veterans.

The International Surfing Centre features a variety of shops and restaurants, in addition to surf equipment that can be rented out, making it the ideal location to get ready for a day spent riding the waves.

And if you’ve never surfed before, the instructors at the Fistral Beach Surf Schools can show you how to ride the ideal wave.

Because lifeguards are present at Fistral from April through October, it is an excellent destination for families during these months.

Building sandcastles, exploring rock pools, and flying kites are just some of the other things that are available for visitors to participate in.

Address: Fistral Beach, near Newquay, North Cornish Coast, Cornwall

3. Trerice Manor

Trerice Manor is a historic manor house, designed in the Tudor style and located to the east of Newquay.

Since 1953, the National Trust has been the owner of both the house and the garden with the house itself a Grade I listed building.

John Trerice, who later became the High Sheriff of Cornwall, commissioned the construction of the manor toward the end of the 15th century.

The property was purchased by the National Trust in 1953, and subsequent restoration work brought it back to its original Tudor-era appearance.

Visitors are welcome to stroll through the grounds that contains a traditional apple orchard and explore the home, which is open to the general public.

Address: Newquay TR8 4PG

4. Newquay Zoo

The Newquay Zoo is well-known all over the world and is Cornwall’s largest zoo.

It is home to a number of animals that are in danger of extinction and is a leading conservation charity that works to protect endangered species.

The zoo is located in lush subtropical gardens and is home to a wide variety of displays, some of which include an Oriental Garden, a Village Farm, Tropical house and play parks.

Ideal for a family day out this exciting Zoo has a wide variety of animals, including monkeys, lynx, lemurs, meerkats, and marmosets, to name just a few of them.

This family friendly attraction also has animal encounters, exciting keeper talks and plenty of children’s areas.

Address: Newquay Zoo, Trenance Gardens, Newquay TR7 2NL

5. Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre

Only 10 minutes from Newquay town centre, the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre is located at Newquay Cornwall Airport.

The museum honours the history of aviation in Britain and has an excellent collection of iconic British aircraft that provide enjoyable aviation activities suitable for the whole family.

Visitors can explore the museum indoors and outdoors, and have the opportunity to touch aircraft as well as sit in the pilot’s seat.

Great for the whole family, this museum is a fantastic opportunity to experience the excitement of aviation.

There is also a diner on site that is decorated in the style of the 1950s and serves refreshments.

Address: Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Newquay TR8 4JN

6. Porth Beach

Sunbathing, swimming, and surfing are just some of the activities that can be enjoyed at Porth Beach, which is known for its pristine sand and breath-taking views of the water.

One of Newquay’s beaches that is really stunning, it is shielded from strong winds and high waves by two small headlands located on either side of it.

This helps to keep the beach relatively protected from the natural elements.

In addition to the natural scenery, the beach is home to a number of earthworks and archaeological relics that are thought to date back several thousand years.

The beach itself is very popular with families due to it’s lovely golden sands making it ideal for kids to play in.

Address: Porth Beach, Newquay, TR7 3LU

7. Blue Reef Aquarium

The Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is widely regarded as one of the top destinations for anyone interested in discovering the mysteries of the sea.

This fascinating attraction is located on England’s beautiful Cornish coast, and showcases an amazing array of marine life that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.

The aquarium is home to more than forty themed habitats, each of which provides visitors with a fascinating look into the vibrant and varied world that lies beneath the water.

Visitors have the opportunity to get very close to seahorses, giant octopuses, jellyfish, and even fierce Piranha.

A breath-taking reef ecosystem is on display in an ocean tunnel that serves as the centrepiece of the aquarium and features sharks, rays and moray eels.

Other exciting things to see and do at the Blue Reef Aquarium include feeding demonstrations, workshops and presentations that offer fascinating new perspectives on marine life.

Great for the whole family, the aquarium is very child friendly and offers a great indoor day out in Newquay.

Address: Blue Reef Aquarium, Towan Promenade, Newquay TR7 1DU

8. Polzeath Beach

Polzeath is one of Newquay’s stunning beaches that draws visitors from all walks of life, including families, surfers, and people who are interested in the natural world.

When the tide is out, the beach stretches for miles in either direction, providing explorers and children with plenty of room to roam and have fun.

Building sandcastles, body boarding, and surfing are all activities that are ideal for Polzeath Beach due to its expansive stretch of soft sand and long, slowly breaking waves.

New Polzeath, Polzeath’s sister beach, can be found to the right of the bay and is an option for visitors who would like to avoid the crowds that can sometimes be found at the main beach.

Address: Cornwall, PL27 6SP

9. Holywell Bay Beach

The picturesque fishing village of Holywell Bay in north Cornwall, is home to a lovely stretch of beach known simply as Holywell Bay.

This area is a favourite destination for surfers and swimmers alike due to its expansive stretch of golden sand and great views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The actual beach is encircled on all sides by towering cliffs and expansive sand dunes, both of which offer secluded areas where one can go to get away from the crowds and relax.

At low tide, children can play in the shallow rock pools that dot the shoreline.

At high tide, these same pools transform into wide streams, where visitors can still find plenty of small fish and other animals to observe.

The Bay is a destination that is perfect for families with young children because there are restrooms and lifeguards on duty during the summer months.

Address: near Newquay, North Cornish Coast, Cornwall

10. Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Located near Newquay, this one-of-a-kind amusement park is home to three different railways that wind their way through the picturesque scenery.

One of the highlights is a ride on the 15-inch gauge steam railway, which provides a ride along over a mile of track through the beautiful Lappa Valley.

In addition to the steam railway, there is also a mini woodland railway with a 7 and 1/4-inch gauge that takes passengers on a ride around the grounds of the park while passing through beautiful forest scenery.

This excellent attraction is ideal for families with young children and features activities such as the Trevithick toddlers path maze, Pedalo swans, crazy golf courses and a nature pond.

There are also several picturesque walking trails through peaceful woods and along meandering streams.

The charming Whistle Stop Café at the park provides guests with the opportunity to unwind, take in the scenery, and enjoy refreshments.

Address: St Newlyn East, Newquay TR8 5LX

11. Tolcarne Beach

Tolcarne Beach is a stunning crescent-shaped bay that is well protected from the elements.

It is characterised by tall cliffs on either side and fine, golden sand, qualities that combine to make it an ideal location for water activities such as swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

Additionally, Tolcarne Beach is home to a number of small rock pools that are ideal for exploring during times of low tide.

This lovely beach does get quite busy during the Summer months as there are lifeguards on duty and it’s very family friendly.

Address: Newquay TR7 2PL

12. South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is one of the most beautiful and scenic hiking trails in the UK.

The beginning of this 630-mile path is in Minehead, it then travels through Devon and Cornwall before arriving at Poole Harbour in Dorset.

Along the way, you will go through some charming towns and villages, as well as pass some breath-taking coastlines, cliffs, and coves.

The fact that you spend the majority of your time on this trail practically right next to the water is one of the best things about it.

If you happen to be walking along the coast at the right time, you might get a glimpse of some whales, dolphins, or even basking sharks.

The South West Coast Path has a variety of different trails to choose from, depending on how long of a hiking trip you are looking to take.

Around Newquay’s fascinating shoreline there are sandy beaches, rocky headlands and the spectacular Newquay Bay.

Address: South West Coast Path, Newquay

13. Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach is located just a few minutes drive from Newquay or can be reached via the coastal path.

It is a sandy beach backed by dunes, with a huge expanse of sand at low tide.

There’s also the River Gannel estuary area that’s great for paddle boarding.

The beach has lifeguards during the Summer months that keep surfers and canoeists separate from swimmers.

Great family beach, which also has cafes, toilets and parking nearby.

Address: Crantock Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

14. The Japanese Garden, Newquay

The Japanese Garden is located in the pretty village of St. Mawgan not far from Newquay.

It is just over an acre in size and is a place of peace, with a variety of plants and water features, where visitors can enjoy nature in a relaxing space.

There is a Stroll garden, a Zen Garden and Water Gardens to be explored that are planted with some beautiful exotic varieties of plants including Japanese maples, ornamental grasses and a bamboo grove.

Open throughout the Summer from the 1st March to 31st October, this inspiring garden is well worth a visit.

Address: The Japanese Garden, St Mawgan, Nr Newquay TR8 4ET


Is Great Western Beach in Newquay good for surfing?

Great Western is popular for surfing and is 2 minutes walk from the town centre.

Are there any water parks in Newquay?

Newquay has some options for enjoying a swim away from the sea.

There are two main water parks in Newquay that offer a 50m swimming pool, toddler pools and fun pools, including Oasis Fun Pools.

Where is good for bird watching in Newquay?

​The Gannel Estuary is a tidal estuary and is situated on the south side of Newquay.

It provides an ideal roosting area for many wading birds such as the Common Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin.


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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