Newquay Arts and Heritage
There’s an older town behind the bright lights and surf shacks. Newquay has been a port since the Middle Ages, although it was called Towan Blystra in those days (the name Newquay seems to date from the 17th century). Take a stroll through the town to learn more about its story.
The current harbour was first laid out as long ago as the 15th century, and it was expanded during Cornwall’s industrial revolution, when Newquay worked as a trading as well as fishing port.
Walk around the harbour area to get a feel of the older town, before heading up to the Huer’s Hut, a small white building on the cliffs, where the “Huer” would look out for shoals of fish. When he spotted a likely-looking shoal, he’d shout “Hevva, hevva!” down to the waiting boats, who then knew where to head for a good catch. The views from the hut are amazing, and definitely worth the walk.
Newquay’s story changed again with the coming of the railway in 1876, and Victorian travellers saw the benefits of the town’s sheltered bathing spots. The opulent hotels built for these early tourists still dominate Newquay’s headlands, joined by smaller establishments in town, and later by some eye-catching Art Deco seaside architecture. Take a stroll around the town and bays to see both its humble beginnings and grander past.
Step into a different piece of Newquay’s history, and drive to the Elizabethan manor house of Trerice in Kestle Mill. Explore the elegant National Trust house, taking in the orchard and knot gardens, surrounded by pleasant tree-lined meadows.
It’s one of the most relaxing Cornish National Trust properties to visit (or maybe that’s down to all the lavender in the gardens…). Enjoy a cream tea under the trees before heading back to the bustle of the town.
Art in Newquay
Like most Cornish coastal towns, the landscape around Newquay has inspired many artists, including painters, sculptors and photographers. There are several independent galleries among the shops in Newquay, where you might find that perfect picture as a memento of your stay.
To see fantastic new art on display, visit the North Coast Asylum in Newquay, a contemporary art space in a former chapel, created to promote local talent.
Huer’s Hut, King Edward Crescent, Newquay, UK
North Coast Asylum
North Coast Asylum, Beachfield Avenue, Newquay, UK
Trerice – National Trust, Kestle Mill, Newquay, UK