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Beaches in and near Newquay

Known as the surfing capital of Cornwall, Newquay is pretty much synonymous with hitting the waves. The winds and tides on the north coast of Cornwall are perfect for a swell you can always count on, while the long sandy beaches are ready and waiting to provide a truly unforgettable family holiday full of sandcastles, swimming and picnics. 

The beaches around Newquay are among the best and most popular in Cornwall, with many of them appearing in our top 20 beaches list so you know, whichever stretch of sand you choose, you’re in for a great day.

Beaches in Newquay

Fistral Beach

Looking out over Fistral beach as people enjoy the waves

Lifeguards: Seasonal (Easter Bank Holiday to end of October)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Large car park at Fistral

Facilities: Surf centre, toilets, café, surfboard and wetsuit hire

Accessibility: Easy access to the beach and sand chair available to hire from Fistral Surf Hire Shop

Home of British surfing, Fistral beach needs no introduction as the sweep of sand and awesome waves are known far and wide. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more well-known beach in all of Cornwall. It’s deserving of its acclaim though as the beach offers some of the best and most consistent surfing in the UK (and arguably Europe). Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete newbie, Fistral is a great place to soak up the surfing scene. Hire everything you need from the local surf hire and finish your day with a wood-fired pizza overlooking the waves from The Stable or one of Newquay's best cocktails at Fistral Beach Bar.

Crantock Beach

A number of colourful windbreaks next to the water at Crantock beach

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Car park adjacent to the beach or you can park at Pentire Headland car park

Facilities: Toilets open at weekends, refreshments from Cargo Coffee

Access: Uneven coast path with kissing gates to access beach

Situated on the mouth of the River Gannel, Crantock beach is a far cry from the busy sands of Fistral. Backed by dunes and nestled in between the Pentire and West Pentire headlands, Crantock feels like a very secluded beach, perfect for family days out. The cliffs at the southern end of the beach provide some shelter from the wind, creating a little oasis of calm on the north coast. One of the many dog-friendly beaches in Newquay, Crantock is ready and waiting for excited paws and sniffing noses so pack up the pups as well as the kids for a fun-filled beach day for the whole family. 

Check out some of Newquay’s best dog-friendly properties here.

Great Western Beach

 The headland and the end of the golden beach at Great Western in Newquay

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Two car parks on either side of the train station

Facilities: Toilets, cafés, surfboard hire

Accessibility: Steep winding path

Although still in the heart of Newquay, Great Western beach is often on the quieter side, making it ideal for anyone wanting a more peaceful day at the beach. Being on the quieter side, this is a great spot for novice surfers to play about in the waves, getting to grips with the board. If you’re more of an explorer than a surfer, caves set into the high cliffs offer ample opportunities while rock pools provide endless enjoyment for kids and dogs alike. As the sun begins to set, dust off the sand and clamber up to the Great Western for a meal with a simply cracking view.

Watergate Bay Beach

Looking down across the sweeping sands and steep cliffs at Watergate Bay

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Two car parks towards the centre of the beach

Facilities: Café, restaurant, toilets and shop

Accessibility: Fully accessible for wheelchair users with sand chairs available from Watergate Bay Hotel

Golden sands that reach out for almost two miles at low tide and steep cliffs make Watergate Bay instantly recognisable. Throw in some spectacular waves and you’ve got a beach that perfectly represents the rugged coast of north Cornwall. The size and tidal patterns at Watergate Bay make it a firm favourite with surfers as well kite surfers, who provide mesmerising displays of sea-based acrobatics. This sandy wonderland is also dog-friendly all year round so the whole pack can make the most of the sand and sea. There are plenty of sea view restaurants and cafés in Watergate Bay for when the post-swim hunger pangs hit or you can make the 45-minute walk into Newquay to make the most of restaurants in Cornwall’s premier surfing town.

Porth Beach

The white sands and blue sea at Porth Beach

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog restrictions (15 May - 30 September, 10am - 6pm)

Parking: Car park next to the beach

Facilities: Shop, café, toilets and pub

Accessibility: Easy access from the car park

While Porth Beach itself is a very pretty addition to Newquay’s beaches, the real eye-catcher is Porth Island with its unique narrow footbridge providing access. The beach is actually set in a deep inlet, providing a welcome degree of shelter from the north coast’s winds. While, like most beaches around Newquay, there is good surf to be had, it’s worth noting that there is a ban on surfing during the summer season, which makes this a fantastic beach for swimmers. You can break your beach day up with visits to the perfectly positioned pub on the beach, The Mermaid.

Whipsiderry Beach

The large outcrop in the middle of Whipsiderry Beach

Lifeguards: None

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Porth car park

Facilities: None at the beach, but there are plenty at neighbouring Porth beach

Accessibility: Steep steps down to the beach

Tucked in between Watergate Bay and Porth beach, Whipsiderry is one of Newquay’s best hidden gems. Included in the Sunday Times’ list of 20 of Europe’s Best Beaches, this sheltered yet wild beach shouldn’t be overlooked during your visit to Newquay. Low tide is best when visiting Whipsiderry as the sheltered nature of the cove and the dry sand make it perfect for a spot of sunbathing. You can also explore the collection of rockpools and caves that are unearthed by the low tide, though always be careful not to be cut off.

If you like to be wined and dined after your beach day, you can check out Newquay’s amazing eateries and fine dining restaurants.

Tolcarne Beach

The beach and layered beach huts at Tolcarne beach

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog restrictions (15 May - 30 September, 10am - 6pm)

Parking: None at the beach, but it’s a short walk from the town centre where there are plenty of car parks

Facilities: Shop, surf school, toilets and café

Accessibility: Over 200 steps to access the beach

Soft sand, easy-going surf and plenty of space for beachy activities put Tolcarne near the top of our list for family-friendly beaches. Although the steps down put some people off, those that make the trek are rewarded with a beautiful, west-facing beach that’s always ready to welcome eager beachgoers. Colourful beach huts line the back of the beach, offering space for changing and storing belongings while sunbathing platforms provide the perfect place for lounging in the summer sun. 

Lusty Glaze Beach

Looking out over the sandy beach at Lusty Glaze towards the cliffs

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog restrictions (15 May - 30 September, 10am - 6pm)

Parking: Large field car park at the top of the cliff

Facilities: Restaurant, shop, surf hire, showers, changing rooms

Accessibility: Lots of steep steps down to the beach, alternatively you can access from the neighbouring Tolcarne beach

Another beach with its own beachside restaurant and sheltered position, it’s very easy to while away the summer months on Lusty Glaze. Stretch out on the sand to soak up the sun, splash around in the sea (which also benefits from great waves) and potter up to Lusty Glaze Beach Café for a refreshing glass of something bubbly. At low tide you can walk around to the neighbouring sands of Tolcarne beach, just be careful not to let the tide cut you off as it’s a steep trek to get back to Lusty Glaze over the cliff! 

Newquay Towan Beach

People paddling in the water at Towan beach in front of the cliff with houses on

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Newquay town centre is a few minutes away

Facilities: Café, toilets and much more in town

Accessibility: Steep hill down to the beach. Sand chairs are available on the beach from Blue Reef Aquarium

Here on this beach in the heart of Newquay, you’ll be spoilt for choice with glorious things to do. Aside from your usual beachy activities like running across the sand and surfing the day away, you can discover what life is like under the sea at the beachside Blue Reef Aquarium or get the heart pumping with some watersports with Newquay Activity Centre, both of which are on our list of top things to do on a rainy day in Cornwall.

Mawgan Porth Beach

People walking along the sheltered beach at Mawgan Porth

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Car park next to the beach

Facilities: Toilets, shops and refreshments

Accessibility: Easy access from the car park

Slightly outside of Newquay, Mawgan Porth enjoys the best of both worlds with its beautiful coastal setting that manages to avoid the summer crowds. Another brilliant addition to the child and dog-friendly logbook, Mawgan Porth benefits from everything you could hope for from one of the area’s best beaches. A host of facilities ensure nothing is too far away and along the coast path lie the famous Bedruthan Steps.

Beaches near Newquay

Polly Joke

The caves and cliffs at Polly Joke

Lifeguards: None

Dog-friendly: All year (although sheep do graze in the dunes behind the beach so make sure to keep dogs under control)

Parking: National Trust car park at West Pentire, 15 minute walk away

Facilities: Nearest toilet and refreshments at Bowgie in, quarter of a mile away

Accessibility: A 10-minute walk from the car park with some steep slopes in places

Although Polly Joke is on the more remote end of things when it comes to beaches around Newquay, it’s well worth the extra walking. In the spring and summer months, wildflowers add a burst of colour to cliffs and the northwest-facing cove often remains relatively peaceful – a welcome break from the busier beaches closer to Newquay. Rockpools, caves and reliably exciting waves ensure visits are never a dull one, while the surrounding coastline provides a great stretch of the legs.

Perranporth Beach

The stretching sands at Perranporth beach with the headland in the background

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year (dogs must be kept on leads between July and August, 9am to 5pm)

Parking: Next to the beach in the town

Facilities: Surf hire, bar on the beach, toilets

Accessibility: Easy access to beach, sand chair for hire

We all love a beachside bar, but what about a bar actually ON a beach? While its stretching sands and enviable surf are fantastic, Perranporth is perhaps most well-known for The Watering Hole, a relaxed bar on the beach that hosts lots of great live events throughout the year – can you think of a better place to catch some live music? And if music and seaside refreshments don’t do it for you, there’s always the miles of sand and sea to satisfy your appetite.

Holywell Bay Beach

Looking down through the sand dunes at the sand and sea at Holywell Bay

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May – September)

Dog-friendly: All year

Parking: Next to the beach

Facilities: Toilets and café

Accessibility: Uneven walk to the beach

With sand dunes behind (perfect for walkies) and the iconic Gull Rocks looming out to the sea, Holywell Bay is one of those beaches where you can happily sit and watch the world go by. Storm watching and coastal walks are just as popular as beach days at Holywell thanks to its stunning setting. Only six miles from Newquay, a refuel at one of the town’s many restaurants is always in the cards, especially if you’ve been hitting the coast path hard with one of Newquay's staggering walks.

Ready for a sand and sea holiday? Check out our selection of cottages in Newquay.


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