Newquay's western beaches are open to the Atlantic. Many of the big surfing events happen here.
One of the best well known beaches in the UK. Nearly a mile of golden sands, it is backed by steep dunes which allow some shelter. It faces west and, therefore, enjoys some of the best surfing conditions in Europe. Fistral has made Newquay world renowned surfing and many national and international competitions are held here each year.
At the northern end of the beach is a good right hander with many other waves breaking along its length on the various banks. High tide tends to get a bit full but can still be rideable. At the Southern end of the beach is Little Fistral which when conditions are right can be classic. Fistral holds up to 10-12ft swell and S.E. winds are offshore, but there can be hassles with the crowds.
The Cribber is situated on the northern side of Newquay Headland. It is a big wave spot which needs a large swell of 10-15ft and S.E. winds. It breaks into the headland and is definitely not for the inexperienced.
Above Fistral Beach is the famous Headland Hotel, location for the comedy film "The Witches". The west facing side of this area forms a natural ampitheatre. It is home of the annual BBC Radio One Road show and plays host to several other special events held throughout the year. This also overlooks the site of the original (and unsuccessful) harbour. The old Lifeboat house now contains an art gallery. At the furthest part of the Headland, on a clear day magnificent views can be afforded over Newquay Bay right along the coast as far as Trevose Head Lighthouse.
Holywell's holiday homes and caravans are hidden from the delightful bay by high dunes. A broad but shallow river meanders seawards past the southern end of the dunes. Good to average beach break, sand banks shift around frequently. Wreck in middle of beach usually produces a good wave at low tide. Northern end of beach is sheltered from North winds. Good when 3-4ft and S.E. wind.
This attractive little bay, known locally as Polly Joke, amply rewards the 10 minute walk from the car park at West Pentire. The sandy, stream washed beach nestles between low cliffs. Small beach break. Needs a big swell to work. A fast, short ride best an hour after low tide or high tide. Sheltered from most winds except Westerly. Good when elsewhere is too big.
A long, peaceful beach. It is named after the tiny village above, which is full of old world charm and home to a couple of welcoming, traditional inns. Walk there along the coast path for 2 miles or drive from Newquay's town centre. The north end of the beach, nearest the village, is opposite the Pentire Headland and is separated from this by the Gannel estuary. The main stretch is over a mile long and is backed by a mass of dunes. It is very popular with the locals, being "Far from the madding crowd." There is a car park, run by the National Trust, which has toilets and level access to the beach. A small kiosk serves refreshments during the peak season.
Good quality beach break, best from low to mid tide. Sheltered from S.W. to N.W. winds, works best on S.E. On large days the Southern end of the beach produces good hollow lefts.
An extension of the coastal path; a lovely area for walking with views across Fistral Beach and Crantock Beach on the other side of the Gannel Estuary. There is a nine hole pitch and putt course, a refreshment kiosk plus a Public House and Restaurant enjoying a very unique location.