Newquay Things to See and Do

This north-coast town has some of the best beaches in Cornwall, and some of these are right in the centre of Newquay. The surrounding landscape is beautiful, with lush countryside and a rugged coastline interspersed with sandy coves and beaches. There are also plenty of visitor attractions around Newquay, as well as surfing academies and outdoor activity centres.


Let’s start with Newquay’s greatest asset: its glorious beaches. In the town, try Towan, Tolcarne or Great Western beaches. These are popular family beaches, as they’re close to the town’s facilities. 

Towan Beach is home to the famous Island, where a house perches on a rocky outcrop, reached by a suspension bridge. Great Western Is the best for rock pools and is sheltered by its cliffs. There are 200 steps down to Tolcarne Beach, but once you’re down, you’re rewarded with lovely sand and safe swimming. At low water, Great Western and Tolcarne join up with the wonderfully named Lusty Glaze Beach, another sheltered spot. 

What about the beaches out of town?. If you’re on hold with your pooch, head for Crantock, a beautiful sandy beach just two miles from Newquay that welcomes dogs all year round. Bedruthan Steps is a little further and a bit tricky to scramble down to, but it’s simply one of the most stunning beaches in Cornwall (with the added bonus of a National Trust cafe).

Towan Beach

Towan Beach Visit

Tolcarne Beach

Tolcarne Beach Visit

Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach Visit


Whether you’re an expert or a complete rookie, Newquay’s the top spot for surfing. Fistral Beach is a world-renowned surfing destination and the site of famous fixtures like Boardmasters and the National Surf Championships. Never caught a wave? No worries: Surf School Newquay will soon have you on the water. Of course, this isn’t compulsory, and you might prefer to simply lie back on the sand, watching the pros at work, or wander around Fistral’s beachside shops and cafes.

As an alternative to Fistral, Watergate Bay is a short drive along the coast from Newquay. Wavehunters at the Extreme Academy run the surf school at Watergate Bay. It’s a great family beach and generally less busy than the ones in town. It also has some fantastic places to grab a bite to eat.

For a great range of beach-based activities, it’s hard to beat Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre for sheer variety. You can take part in all sorts of coastal adventures, from banana boat rides to cliffside tightrope walking, and of course, surf lessons.

Surf School Newquay

Surf School Newquay Visit

Wavehunters at the Extreme Academy

Wavehunters at the Extreme Academy Visit

Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre

Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre Visit


If you can bear to leave the beach, there are plenty of other things to do in and around the town. Newquay Zoo is home to over 130 species, who live in a landscaped 13-acre park. Don’t miss the lions, lemurs or penguins, and top marks to anyone who manages to spot a sloth. 

Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay is by Towan Beach, one of the town centre beaches. You’ll learn more about our local marine life, as well as encountering exotic sea creatures. Top tip: don’t save this one for a rainy day, as it will be seriously busy.

Speaking of rainy days, your family can still get their daily aquatic fix at Newquay Leisure World swimming pool, which is just next door to Newquay Zoo. Out-of-town family attractions include Lappa Valley and Dairyland Farm Park, small-scale theme parks with plenty to keep the kids entertained. For a lower-octane but thoroughly enjoyable trip out, try Trenance Gardens and boating lake (on the way to the zoo).

Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo Visit

Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef Aquarium Visit

Lappa Valley

Lappa Valley Visit


Newquay Things to See and Do

Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay, Towan Promenade, Newquay, UK

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Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach, Crantock, Newquay, UK

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Dairyland Farm Park

Dairyland Farm Park, Newquay, UK

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Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach, Newquay, UK

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Lappa Valley

Lappa Valley, Saint Newlyn East, Newquay, UK

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Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre

Lusty Glaze Beach, Lusty Glaze Road, Newquay, UK

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Newquay Leisure World

Newquay Leisure World, Trenance Lane, Newquay, UK

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Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo, Newquay, UK

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Surf Newquay Ltd

Surf Newquay Ltd, Headland Road, Newquay, UK

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Tolcarne Beach

Tolcarne Beach, Newquay, UK

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Towan Beach

Towan Beach, Newquay, UK

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Wavehunters at the Extreme Academy

Wavehunters at the Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay, Newquay, UK

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