path down to one of the beaches in newquay

Exploring Newquay: An Overview Guide of Cornwall’s Coastal Gem

The beautiful and beloved seaside town of Newquay in Cornwall has been pulling in the crowds for decades now...but it's not just your average seaside town. It's a place where you're more likely to trip over a surfboard than a pebble, where you'll swear the seagulls sound like they're teasing you in a proper Cornish accent, and where your taste buds will discover the true meaning of bliss (think pasties and cream teas).

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The beautiful and beloved seaside town of Newquay in Cornwall has been pulling in the crowds for decades now…but it’s not just your average seaside town. It’s a place where you’re more likely to trip over a surfboard than a pebble, where you’ll swear the seagulls sound like they’re teasing you in a proper Cornish accent, and where your taste buds will discover the true meaning of bliss (think pasties and cream teas).

Where exactly is this magical place, you ask? Picture the southwest corner of the United Kingdom, where Cornwall dangles off the edge like a daring tightrope walker. Newquay is cradled there, laughing in the face of the Atlantic Ocean, serving up a dizzying number of things to do, a great nightlife scene, and waiting for you to explore every bit of it.

Newquay’s History & Culture

A quick dive into the history books tells us that Newquay was once just a quiet fishing village. It’s grown somewhat since then. The most recent census put the population at over 20,000 souls, but I swear every single one of them knows how to throw a proper beach party and surf the Atlantic waves.

Newquay’s culture is a curious mix of laid-back surfer cool, historical reverence, and a pinch of the typical English eccentricity. It’s not uncommon to see a group of silver-haired ladies cheerfully sipping tea, right next to a crowd of bronzed surfers discussing wave patterns. It’s like Downton Abbey meets Point Break.

Dare We Mention The Weather…

As for the climate, well, I’d call it ‘temperamental charm’. One minute you’re basking in the sunshine, the next you’re running for cover from a sudden shower.

With Newquay’s location on the Atlantic coast, it experiences a maritime climate, with some of the UK’s warmest temperatures thanks to the Gulf Stream. Summer (June to August) sees the warmest weather, with average highs around 19-20°C (66-68°F) which is absolutely perfect for beach activities and surfing in the cool sea waters averaging 16-17°C (61-63°F).

The shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are milder, with temperatures ranging from 11°C to 18°C (52°F to 64°F), providing a peaceful opportunity to explore the town.

Winter (December to February) is the coolest, yet still mild with highs around 9-10°C (48-50°F) and lows of 4-5°C (39-41°F). With fewer tourists, winter offers a relaxed, tranquil Newquay experience.

The good news is, Newquay is a place that looks stunning come rain or shine, with a collection for perfect travel itineraries to suit everyone. The locals swear by the mantra, “There’s no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.” So, pack a little bit of everything, I say.

When Should You Visit?

When’s the best time to visit? In summer, the town’s abuzz with festivals like the Boardmasters and the Fish Festival. But, for those who’d rather not share their beach space with half the population of Cornwall, the shoulder months of May and September can be wonderful, with the weather still playing nice and the town a bit quieter.

In short, Newquay is like that favourite book you keep going back to, each time discovering something new and delightful. So, are you ready for your chapter in the Newquay story?


There is a fantastic range of accommodation options when it comes to finding the perfect place to rest your head for the night. Whether you’re looking for a ‘no-thrills’ budget-friendly hostel, mid-range hotel or fancy, top-end spa, Newquay has your back.


Is Newquay worth visiting?

Without a doubt, Newquay is a destination worth visiting. It caters to a broad range of interests and preferences. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, there’s the world-renowned surfing, stunning coastal walks, and abundant fishing spots.

History enthusiasts will appreciate the local landmarks like the Trerice Elizabethan Manor House. Gastronomically, Newquay offers a selection of fresh seafood and traditional Cornish fare that foodies will enjoy.

Overall, Newquay presents a mix of natural beauty, historical interest, and culinary delight that many travellers find compelling.

Is there much to do in Newquay?

Newquay indeed offers a wide range of activities and attractions. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are opportunities for surfing, fishing, and hiking along the beautiful coast. Those interested in wildlife can explore the Newquay Zoo or the Blue Reef Aquarium. History lovers will find the local historical sites like the Trerice Elizabethan Manor House intriguing. Additionally, there are numerous dining and shopping options in the town, with a range of establishments serving local and international cuisine, and a variety of shops selling everything from surf gear to local crafts. The breadth and diversity of activities in Newquay make it a destination with much to do and explore.

What is Newquay popular for?

In a word, surfing. But it’s also famous for its beautiful beaches, the delectable Cornish pasty, cream teas, and let’s not forget, good old Cornish hospitality.

Which is the nicest part of Newquay?

Tough one, that’s like asking to choose a favourite child. But if I were pressed, I’d say the area around Fistral Beach, a surfer’s paradise. But honestly, all of Newquay has a unique charm.

Which is better, St Ives or Newquay?

Ah, the eternal debate. It’s a bit like comparing scones and clotted cream, both delightful in their own right. St Ives is more artsy, while Newquay is more surfy. Pick according to your preference, or better yet, visit both!

How do I spend a day in Newquay?

Start with a beach walk, then pop into a local café for a cream tea breakfast. Visit the Blue Reef Aquarium or the Zoo, then catch a surf lesson. Sample a Cornish pasty for lunch, followed by some local shopping. End the day at a seaside pub. Perfect!

Does Newquay have a town Centre?

Indeed, it does. And it’s as charming as a cottage in a British drama, with shops, eateries, and all the usual suspects you’d find in a quaint, yet bustling town.

What is the best time of year to go to Newquay?

If you’re a fan of sunshine, festivals, and don’t mind a crowd, summer’s your best bet. But if you prefer a quieter time with milder weather, consider May or September.

Is parking free in Newquay?

Ah, I wish! Unfortunately, much like most of the UK, parking comes at a price. But, there are plenty of spots available, and some accommodations offer parking facilities. Always remember to check the signs to avoid unwanted fines!

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