Voted one of the nation’s favourite seaside towns in the ‘Which Holiday Survey’ and best family holiday destination by readers of COAST magazine, Newquay is proud to be home to the best beaches in Cornwall.
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Surf-perfect waves and beautiful clean shores means that Newquay is at the epicentre of the UK’s surfing culture. There are 12 superb beaches (some of the best beaches in Cornwall!) within easy reach of The Esplanade Hotel, as well as many smaller hidden coves for you to discover. Every beach is different, and all are worth exploring.
From May to late October lifeguards patrol most of the beaches including Crantock, Fistral, Towan, Great Western, Tolcarne, Lusty Glaze, Porth and Watergate Bay. Take notice of the safety signs and be aware of strong rip currents. Always swim between the red and yellow flags and if you're learning to surf, stay between the black and white flags. For more information on beach safety, to give you peace of mind, our professional surf instructors at the Quiksilver Surf Centre will happily answer any queries you may have.
See below for our favourite Cornwall beaches.
THE BEACH IS OUR PLAYGROUND
- Fistral Beach
Right on our doorstep, Fistral Beach is Newquay’s iconic surf spot. Mention it to any surf enthusiast and they’ll know it, and not just for its waves – it’s also the backdrop for many events including Boardmasters, Europe’s largest surf and skate festival, every August. Overall, Fistral Beach is a great all-rounder: perfect for surfing, strolling, sunset watching, stargazing… and of course sunbathing (weather dependent). Seafront facilities including surf equipment hire, surf lessons, showers, toilets, car parking, restaurants and cafes.
- Tolcarne Beach
Tolcarne Beach nestles in a beautiful crescent shaped bay set against a background of cliffs. The beach offers soft sand, easy swimming, fun family surfing, exciting rock pools to explore at low tide, sea fishing and the unique 'Tolcarne wedge' for boogie boarding. The waves here are usually pretty good and the lifeguards make sure everyone stays safe.
- Crantock Beach
Voted Best British Beach by BBC Coast 2013! Crantock Beach lies on the River Gannel estuary and is a beautiful expanse of golden beach with good surf, ideal for all abilities. The beach has cliffs and rocks both sides and backs onto sand dunes. There are many entrances to be beach making it one of the easiest to access if you've god a buggy (or a big picnic!) The River Gannel at the northern end is a tidal river and is a popular and pretty spot for sheltered bathing.
- Lusty Glaze Beach
Newquay’s hidden gem of a sandy beach, Lusty Glaze is a pretty cove with traditional beach huts, adventure activities and a yummy beachside restaurant. Lusty Glaze is a great place for kids to get to grips with some new fun challenges.
- Porth Beach
If you want to escape the surfers, this is the beach for you – surfing is not permitted during the summer season. The large area of flat golden sand is just made for families – perfect for flying kites and playing rounders! Porth has level access to the beach and there’s a nice walking route around Porth Island.
- Porth Joke Beach
This small, unspoilt cove is known locally as Polly Joke. It’s north-west facing and generally less busy than other beaches nearby, making it an oasis of calm despite being so close to Newquay. It’s reached by a rough path so it’s not the most accessible of beaches, but it’s well worth the effort – the rockpools and caves are great fun to explore. If visiting Porth Joke we recommend you take a picnic.