From 9 – 13 August, the country will once again descend on Cornwall’s sandy shores for a full festival summer weekend.
At the Watergate Bay site you can fill your boots with the biggest names in music, but there is also a lot to explore out-and-about in Newquay, a town known worldwide for its sandy beaches and surf scene.
It does get busy but there is plenty for all as festival-goers descend on the town to enjoy the trendy cafe scene, foodie favourite restaurants, booming nightlife and stunning beaches.
Here are some of our favourite places to hit up during your Boardmasters extravaganza …
Eats & Takeouts:
The town’s food scene is thriving with restaurants to suit all tastes, from day to night, eat in or take away, beach to town-centre. However there isn’t a main street which hosts all the restaurants in one place, they are instead spread out across town. So rather than wandering, we recommend checking them out online first and then heading straight to the place of choice.
Fresh Australian style sushi, and Asian fusion dishes such as bao buns, gyozas and poke bowls. Located on Fore Street.
A small chain specialising in delicious sourdough pizza and pints. Located on the iconic Fistral Beach with mega beach and surf views.
Great Western Surf Cafe:
Gourmet burgers, loaded fries, vegan dishes, buddha bowls, tacos and more. Smack bang on Great Western beach.
Artisan pizzas, organic wine, cocktails, local Cornish beers, gins and ciders as well as the best view in town, overlooking Great Western beach.
Modern Mexican grub such as delicious tacos, burritos and nachos. Seriously yummy plus there’s an onsite mini golf! On Tower Road.
Coffee & Brunch:
Trendy independent cafes have been popping-up left, right and centre in Newquay over the last few years, and we’re here for it! Top coffee, the yummiest of cakes and some very cool, Bali-esque interiors.
Located in the heart of Newquay, Jam Jar specialise in great coffee, organic teas, superfood smoothies, healthy breakfast bowls, freshly baked cakes and bagels.
Nalu Coffee House:
A small coffee house with very chilled vibes serving healthy bowls, delicious wraps and smoothies. Gorgeous interior with major Canggu vibes. Cliff Road.
Sprout Health Foods:
A health food shop and cafe offering ethically sourced food, coffee and goods. The vegan healthy treats are delectable and the courtyard a hidden oasis. Tucked off Bank Street.
Box & Barber:
An award-winning independent coffeehouse serving artisan coffee, fresh foods, cakes, açai bowls, smoothies and more. An ideal pre and post-surf stop off located on Fore Street.
Situated directly above the harbour on Fore Street Pavilion serves English and Sri Lankan brunch with freshly baked goods and speciality coffee. A great option to grab a beach picnic from.
The Roasting Room Coffee:
A speciality coffee shop and roastery located on Bank Street overlooking Towan Beach. One for the big coffee lovers as grounded specialises in sourcing and serving many different coffees, all single origins.
Serving your daily fix of Monmouth coffee, homemade cakes, breakfast and lunches. Vegan banana loaf, granola bowls, Roti boxes, ciabattas, nasi goreng and more. Tower Road.
As the country’s most famous surf spot, it’s no surprise that there are one-or-two pretty cool surf shops in Newquay. Now these are just a few of the clothing and apparel stores but there are plenty of surfboard shops if you are after the full set-up.
The Beach Boutique & Carve.shop:
Ok so not actually a physical store in the town but make sure you get online pre-Boardmasters to get all your festival and beachwear clothing and accessories as it’s a treasure chest of beach essentials.
MMW at Revolver:
This achingly hip homeware, clothing and jewellery shop sells everything from hand shaped surfboards and stunning Native American blankets to limited edition Japanese Aloha shirts. Not for those on budget! Fore Street.
One of the largest surf shops in town with a massive selection of wetsuits, surfboards and clothing from the top surf-brands … Roxy, VANS, Volcom, Billabong, Teva, Reef and more. Fore Street.
Slide & Glide:
If you’re here for the surf then Slide & Glide have got you covered with their selection of surfboards, SUP-boards, leashes and wetsuits. Avqailablek to buy or to hire. On Fore Street.
Bars and clubs:
Surf scene aside, Newquay is also pretty well known for a lively night out. From cocktail bars to large night clubs, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs to suit a wide range of party-goers. Although the bars a little spread out, the main nightclubs are all pretty close to each other so you can easily bounce from club to club to find your scene.
Newquay’s premium independent cocktail bar with over 120 bottles of hand chosen spirits to choose from. The cocktail menu is epic and the interior is very stylish. Located on East Street, start here before heading further into town.
The Dead Famous:
A rock inspired, L.A. style liquor-fuelled late lounge with epic live entertainment, hard liquor and great cocktails. Head over to Beach Road to party hard here.
The beating heart of the live music scene in Newquay, bringing you incredible live music events, bangin’ DJ nights and an excellent full bar. Expect cool AF tunes and fun party vibes. Gover Lane.
Rebellion Roast House:
Located on Cliff Road, this roast house and ‘Moonshine Bar’ serves up burgers, ribs and brisket alongside an array of cocktails from a Cornish Moonshine Mojito to a Moonshine Mary.
A 1600+ capacity nightclub hosting busy club nights every weekend. Located on Fore Street with a decked terrace and bay views.
If you want to dance the night away to the biggest club classics then head to Berties. Lazers, LED lighting, foam parties, 3 club rooms, VIP area – it has the lot!
Although a lot of energy will be spent dancing away at the festival itself, if you want to get away for a few hours to spend time in the sea and do something adrenalin filled then Newquay has a great selection of other watersports and actives on offer. For activities run by professional companies and instructors, check out the following …
Join this award wining coasteering company to jump, swim and club as you explore the beautiful Newquay coastline. Three-hour sessions which take place on Towan Head, a short walk from the Fistral Beach base.
Newquay Activity Centre:
Located on Fore Street a short walk from both Towan and Fistral beach, this activity centre offers surfing, coasteering, stand up paddle boarding, bodyboarding, kayaking and much more. Individual hire, come as a group or sign up as a group.
Newquay has an abundance of golden beaches and on a sunny day the sea is as turquoise and clear as the oceans of Barbados. Once you’ve grabbed some food from town, head to the following for the full beach-bum experience.
Newquay’s iconic beach and home to the surf comp side of Boardmasters. Long sandy beach with the most consistent and best surf. Surf hire available from Fistral Beach Surf School.
This is a popular and often busy beach, right in the centre of town and next to the harbour. Identifiable by the island and house linked up to the mainland by a suspension bridge. Surfboard hire available from Towan Surf Hire.
Great Western Beach:
Access from behind Great Western Hotel and at low tide this beach joins with Towan and Tolcarne to create one super beach. Good surf spot with a great cafe on the beach. On beach surfboard rental available from Great Western Beach.
A crescent shaped bay surrounded by cliff front. Soft sand, a good swimming spot and plenty of amenities on site. The beach shop rents out bodyboards and surfboards.
If you haven’t got the energy to make it to Newquay town then just down the road from Watergate Bay is Porth beach where you can enjoy a swim and an icecream. No surfing here but plenty of sand to flop down on with a book.