Like the delicious pasty, beautiful beaches are synonymous with Cornwall. But when it comes to merging turquoise seas with good surf, it’s Newquay that springs to mind.  
This surfing Mecca has been drawing in surfers since the 1960s and hosting regional, national and international surf comps year-on-year including the world famous surf festival, Boardmasters. With seven bays in the midst of an unequalled concentration of prime surf spots and conditions for all levels, it’s no wonder Newquay is perennially popular.
This surf capital of England has continued to shake off its 90s stag-and-hen image and these days the town boasts an abundance of surf shops, trendy bars and cafes, award-winning restaurants and Insta-worthy places to stay (and we don’t mean a hostel).  
Non-local? Read on to discover why you should choose Newquay for your next UK surf trip.


Fistral – probably the most famous surf break in the country. Without a doubt, one of the most consistent breaks in Europe with ridable waves ranging from a foot to as big as you can handle. It is surfable on most tides, picks up all swell, holds on shore, cross-shore and offshore winds well and always offers peaks of some sort.

Between Little Fistral Beach, North Fistral and South Fistral there is something for everyone. After work in the summer it can get a bit crowded on good days, but get up early and it will be as quiet as anywhere.


The southern headland protects the bay from south and light southwesterly winds. If that picks up too much or it is too powerful, just head around the corner. There you will find waves from Lusty Glaze through Tolcarne, Great Western and Towan in the south: the bay is perfect for learning.
Just outside of Newquay to the north you will find 3 miles of great beach breaks at Watergate Bay, to the south Crantock.
If you fancy a day out, you are in the perfect spot to head north to Constantine and Harlyn or south to Perranporth. Further afield, you have the south coast beaches which work on northwesterlies.
If faced with a flat day, hire a stand up paddle board (SUP) and cruise down the Gannel or head over to the newly developed skate park Concrete Waves – one of the best skate parks in the country. You can snorkel or coasteer in the bay, head out on fishing or wildlife spotting boat trips, or try go-karting, golfing and more.

food & drink

The Slope
Located bang on Great Western Beach with top beach and surf views, this small but mighty establishment serves up the burgers of all burgers.

The Stable
Provides panoramic views over Fistral beach, delicious pizzas, local produce and a plentiful supply of cider.

Crazy golf, tacos, burritos, cocktails tequila and beer. Laid-back and vibrant in the evenings with a great breakfast menu.

Pan-Asian inspired menu with a Nasi Goreng to rival your favourite Balinese go-to. Book ahead!

Still hungry?
Check out Wax at Watergate and Newquay, The Fish House for fresh fish dishes, Toast for tapas, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen for a special dining experience, Lewinnick Lodge for seriously good sea views or walk straight off the beach to your table at The Beach Hut, Watergate Bay. 
There are trendy coffee shops popping up all over town…grab a coffee at Box and Barber, Jam Jar Cafe, Pavilion Bakery, Sprout or Fin & Co. 


For a night out, kick things off with a bit of Cornish Moonshine at Rebellion before heading to the popular speak-easy bar Tom Thumb for premium cocktails.

Fistral Beach Bar will take you from post-surf sunset beers through to late night dancing. Or if things take a turn for the crazy, there are plenty of places to party until the early hours of the morning including Whiskers, Dead Famous, Sailors and Belushis.


See what’s on at Lusty Glaze for live gigs on the beach with some of the biggest and most well-loved names in music over the years, as well as featuring local, upcoming talent.

If you time your trip to coincide with Boardmasters Festival (7-11 August) you will need to be quick to book accommodation but will be rewarded with one mega weekend – this year the line-up includes Florence + The Machine, Foals and Wu-Tang Clan. The whole town is buzzing with after parties, beach sessions and busy bars.

Where to Stay

Whether you are looking for a luxury pad, family abode, beach location or somewhere dog-friendly, there are accommodation options for all:

For more information on Newquay and discovering Cornwall, head to