Located in the picturesque County of Cornwall, Newquay is a popular British seaside that has charm and history in abundance. Newquay was originally known as Towan Blistra, which translates to ‘blown sand dune’ in Cornwall’s native language. In the mid 14th century, a New Quay was approved by Bishop Lacey of Exeter.
The construction of a new harbour was welcome news for the town’s fishermen as this meant that the town could now be sheltered from strong winds. The most popular catch for Newquays fishermen was Pilchards. Every time a shoal was spotted, a man known as the Huer would alert the fisherman from his small white hut, which still remains proudly above the harbour.
During the 18th century, the pilchard industry started to wane quite significantly. Newquay’s community realised that it couldn’t rely solely on fish, so they began to use the port for loading local mineral goods such as china clay and lead tin. These days, Newquay is a thriving holiday resort that welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Now that I have provided you with a brief history of the town, read on for a more in depth, travel guide.
Where to stay
With B&B’s, hotels and surf lodges dotted all over the seaside resort, you definitely won’t have trouble finding somewhere to stay in Newquay. If you are visiting Newquay with a group of friends, a surf lodge would be ideal. Most of the surf lodges in Newquay have their own bars, cafes and evening entertainment for guests to enjoy. They are pretty reasonable too!
The town centre can get quite lively in the nights, so if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to stay, its recommended that you stay just outside of the town centre where you will find a number of fantastic family hotels. The headlands hotel is great place to stay, and was also featured in Disney’s hit film ‘the Witches’. In Newquay, there is accommodation to suit all tastes, budgets and requirements. Newquay can get very busy during the summer months, so it’s worth booking a few months in advance to get the best deals.
What to do
Regardless of whether you’re visiting Newquay with your family, your partner, or with a group of friends, there are beaches to cater for everyone’s needs. Take Watergate bay for instance, this beach is great for families, novice surfers and advanced surfers alike. This is an EU designated beach and has been recognised at the highest standard for UK bathing water. But don’t limit yourself to just this beach, there are another 10 to explore!
If you’re visiting Newquay with the family, the Blue Reef Aquarium on the Towan promenade is a must visit. Here you will find over 40 themed habitats that will give you an exact idea of how some of the world’s most famous coastlines look like underwater. If that’s not enough, there is also a 250,000 litre water display that houses everything from white tip reef sharks, stingrays, and moray eels, to rare fish, giant groupers and turtles.
Newquay Zoo is another interesting family attraction. Situated within stunning lakeside gardens, this zoo is home to over 130 animal species including lions, birds, reptiles and penguins. Depending on what time of the year that you visit, it also holds a number of well organised events.
If culture and history is more your bag, take a visit to Trerice Manor, an Elizabethan manor house located just outside of Newquays town centre. With perfectly pruned gardens and stunning interiors, this is without a doubt one of the finest manor houses in Cornwall, if not England! Very little has changed here over the years, so be prepared to take an enjoyable trip back in time!
Where to eat
As you would expect with any seaside resort, Newquay is renowned for its outstanding seafood restaurants. You won’t go far wrong with any seafood restaurant in Newquay, but Harbour Fish and Grill is definitely worth a visit! Not only will you enjoy stunning scenery, but the food is fantastic! Another great seafood restaurant is the Boathouse; here you can enjoy a wonderful harbour location and locally sourced fish.
If seafood isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options available with a number of steak houses in the resort centre. For Cornish food at its finest, pay a visit to Butchers Bistro, a traditional Cornish restaurant with a passion for locally sourced food. On weekdays they have a number of themed European nights, the Italian night is definitely worth a visit!
This article was contributed by David at MOR Lodge