If Fistral Beach is Newquay’s surf central and Porth Beach is the party town’s family central then Towan Beach in Newquay is its, well, town central. Literally, this stretch of golden sands is the most convenient of all of the town’s beaches as it’s so close to the centre of this holiday hotspot on Cornwall’s north coast. It’s almost like it was called Towan for this reason. It wasn’t, of course. It was called Towan because the word means ‘sand dune’ in Cornish.
Newquay’s Towan Beach, which can be found at the end of Beach Road, itself next to the bus station and loads of shops, bars and restaurants, should not be confused with the Towan Beach on the picturesque Roseland Peninsula near St Mawes and Falmouth. If you want to know all about that gorgeous hotspot then read here. No, Newquay’s Towan is all part of the town’s hustle and bustle. There’s a lively atmosphere here, particularly in the summer, as well as clean waters and sands, plus some excellent views. Newquay’s Towan is the place to head if fun is on your beachtime menu.
The beach is well protected by the Towan Headland that juts out past Newquay’s harbour on its east side. This shelter means that the waters here are more consistently calmer than, say, nearby Fistral Beach and plenty of other surf paradises along Cornwall’s rugged northern coastline. The calm sea makes Towan a great place not only for swimming but also for learning how to surf. It’s much easier for novices to get up on a board in these more mellow waves. There are plenty of surf schools and board hire companies near the beach who can get beginners going. Plus, it doesn’t happen often but on the odd occasion when the waves do get big at Towan, the pros paddle round from Fistral to give onlookers from Towan’s cliffs, sands and benches here a bit of a show.
A headland separates Towan on its west side from Newquay’s Great Western Beach at high tide but at low tide you can walk around the headland on the sand as the town’s two-mile continuous beachfront is formed. Also, right next to this headland on the Towan side lies a small rocky outcrop called Jago’s Island, which is famous due to the house that sits on top of it. Yup, you heard that right: there’s been an inhabited three-bedroomed house on top of the rock for more than 100 years. It’s only accessible by a suspension bridge connecting it to the headland and its setting reminds you of a Bond villain’s lair. Inventor Alexander Lodge is a former owner. It’s said he entertained Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in the island home.
To the rear of Towan Beach is Killacourt, a grassy terrace that slopes down from the town centre and offers some lovely vistas across the sands and over the harbour to the head. There are also some fab shops at Killacourt and down at beach level there’s a couple of cafés and surf stores right on the sands. There’s also Newquay’s Bluereef Aquarium here that certainly demands a visit. For those wanting to punctuate their sunbathing with a pasty or a spot of window shopping, the high street is just a few hundred yards away. And that’s what this place is all about. Newquay’s Towan beach is definitely a super-close and super-important part of this bustling town that you’ve just got to experience. Elementary.