The Best Newquay Beach Guide


When it comes to beaches in Cornwall, Newquay has to be the emperor. The town on the north Cornish coast is globally known for its golden stretches of sand, not least thanks to all the top quality surfing that goes on off these shores. Fistral Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Europe and frankly some of the others next to along the Newquay coastline ‘aint half bad either. And then there are a few more crackers up to 20 minutes away by car from the town centre. But which one to choose? Well, we at Proper Cornwall are recommending our top choices here. Sure, some of the big boys are off our list but that’s because we simply don’t recommend them as much as the beaches below (being too crowded on a summer’s day or less-than-adequate facilities are often major contributing factors). Instead, we recommend these sensational sandy paradises in our Best Newquay Beach Guide 2022…

Fistral Beach

Suitable for: Surfers, from beginner to pro, plus sunbathers
Location: At the end of Headland Road, a short drive or about a 20-minute walk from the centre of town

Cornish beaches and the name Fistral go together like pasties and, well, Cornwall. Fistral is certainly a Newquay beach but it’s not one of the town centre stretches as it’s right out on its western reaches. It’s obviously uber-famous for its surf and surfing competitions but it’s also expansive, sandy, beautiful and has an iconic hotel up on the cliffs above. You can have a great day out here, even if surfing isn’t your thing.

Read More

Holywell Bay

Suitable for: Beach lovers of all ages
Location: At the end of Holywell village, just three miles down the coast from Newquay

We’ve drunk from this holy well and we liked it! Holywell Bay is a beautiful expanse of sands just three miles south of Newquay, so it takes just a few minutes by car to get here. It’s a bit of an everything beach too, with good surfing options, plenty of space (and a big stream!) for families to enjoy, good swimming out there and even a grotto that’s worth exploring at low tide. Well worth heading out of town for this one.

Read More

Lusty Glaze

Suitable for: Beach activities, drinking, eating or just relaxing
Location: Lusty Glaze Road, just a few minutes up the coast from the town centre

This may sound like the sort of thing that comes over your eyes when you’ve just spotted one hot piece of candy on legs but actually it’s one of Newquay‘s most central beaches. Lusty Glaze is, in fact, a private beach that’s open to the public for free because its owners are nice like that. It’s nestled in a sheltered cove, there’s a bar, restaurant and activity centre here, the sands are fine and the water is clear. Perfect!

Read More

Mawgan Porth Beach

Suitable for: Families, walkers, sunbathers and surfers
Location: Just off the B3276 at Mawgan Porth, a mile from St Mawgan, four miles north of Newquay

Another ‘covers everything beach’ but this time further up the coast from Newquay‘s town centre. In fact, Mawgan Porth Beach is about a 15-minute drive away. But it’s worth it because it’s far more tranquil here than the town and there’s a ton of space, as well as loads to do like a stream, caves and decent sand for the kids, good surf for the boarders and excellent facilities like cafés on the edge of the beach. Fab!

Read More

Perranporth Beach

Suitable for: People who like a side dish of activity with their white sandy mains
Location: At the front of Perranporth, off Cliff Road or St Pirans Road, eight miles down the coast from Newquay

Yeah, it’s probably stretching it but you can just about get to Perranporth Beach within 20 minutes by car from Newquay. It’s south along the coast and Perranporth town itself is worth touring before you tread on those white sands. Much of the atmosphere is at the lively town end of the beach due to the chic shops, hip cafés and busy pubs but you can find serenity at the other end and go for a dip in crystal clear waters.

Read More

Porth Beach

Suitable for: Families with young kids
Location: Off Alexandra Road at the top end of Newquay

Just past Lusty Glaze, Porth Beach is the most northern of Newquay‘s stretches of sand before the coast heads up to Watergate Bay and beyond. And it’s a real gem for families due to the space available and the gorgeous golden sands that make for great castle building. Plus, there are lots of safe bathing areas here, a ton of rock pools to explore and surfing is not permitted during the summer. Families love it here.

Read More

Towan Beach

Suitable for: Townies, novice surfers and those who like convenience
Location: The most central of all of Newquay‘s beaches is at the end of Beach Road

It’s an oddity for sure but Newquay‘s most convenient central beach is also arguably its most beautiful. Just like, well, one minute away from shops, pubs, restaurants and life is this beach that means ‘sand dune’ in Cornish. It’s well sheltered here, perfect for a swim or to learn how to surf before you brave Fistral and there’s a rocky outcrop on the beach with a house on top. With people living in it. Only in Cornwall!

Read More

Watergate Bay

Suitable for: Beach lovers who like space
Location: Three miles north of Newquay, off the B3276 and Trevarrian Hill

Three miles up the coast from Newquay, with Cornwall Airport Newquay at its back, is this mammoth-sized bay with a golden sandy beach that you could spend days on. Don’t, of course, but you could. Backed by high cliffs, Watergate Bay offers some decent surf and there are some good local surf schools to hit up but really it’s all about the sunbathing, swimming and serene strolls across the spacious sands here.

Read More

Plus, a glamping ‘n’ camping bonus…

A beach holiday in Newquay can be accompanied by a hotel or bed and breakfast in town but we suggest checking out the fab camping and glamping options in the area. To do this, check out Hipcamp‘s special recommendations for camping and glamping in Newquay, by clicking: here. The photo above shows surf pods in Bude but there are plenty of similar options around Newquay. Enjoy!

Read More