Top 10 things to see in Newquay, Cornwall

The surf culture is alive and well in Newquay; you’ll often spot groups of teenagers sporting surf ponchos practicing their bottom turns near Fistral Beach before sunrise. Yet there’s much more to the British surf capital than the coastline.

Newquay is bustling with youthful vibrance and inland adventures. The dynamic culinary scene draws an international crown hoping to sample local delicacies such as the Saffron bun and Stargazy pie.

Check out our Top 10 recommendations of things to see and do in Newquay.

Soak up the sun at the Tolcarne Beach


When the sun shines in Newquay you feel as if you are in the French Riviera. The beautiful crescent-shaped bay of Tolcarne offers sandy beaches and azure waters and is a perfect spot for some well-deserved relaxation. Work your way down the glistening coast, find yourself a cozy spot in this sun-drenched region, and unwind. Try your hand at sea fishing, before heading south to Tolcarne wedge for some boogie boarding.

Befriend a penguin at the Newquay Zoo

Even though the beaches in this town attract a major crowd, Zoo is perfect for exploring the lesser-known inland wildlife. Head to this 13-acre compound inside Trenance Leisure Park where, in addition to more than 130 species of animals, you can also visit the tropical house exhibit showcasing rainforest flora species, sloths, and several tropical birds. The zoo reopened in April and is currently offering one-way tours to maintain social distancing.

Enjoy tailor-made surfing lessons on Fistral beach

The Newquay surfing experience is a wildly popular activity for visitors. it is also ideal for social distancing. Sign up for a surf lesson to learn the basics and get up close and personal with the swells of the Atlantic. Newquay offers on-site lessons throughout the year and is currently operating a small staff. More centrally located.

Shop and people watch near Central Square

The Newquay town center is a tourist corridor that is home to some of the most popular sidewalk eateries, cafes, and souvenir stores. Experience Cornish culture at pop-up shacks that serve classics like fish stew and salt pollock, serving up authentic recipes that have been passed down by generations. Your way down the artistic street’s mix of surf shops and supermarkets, stopping to watch and listen to the skilled buskers, perfectly complementing an evening of people-watching.

Hop on a steam train to Lappa Valley

Winding its way through scenic grooves, past beaches, and wildlife, the Lappa Valley steam railway is a family-friendly ride that takes you towards some stunning scenery. This is one of the best ways to end your weekend trip in Newquay, bringing together a countryside display of everything that makes this town special.

Make a small detour to visit the Eden Project

Situated near St Blazey, almost 20 miles from Newquay, the Eden Project is a series of futuristic tropical biomes that recreate environments to discover the agile magic between mankind and nature – all tucked inside craters that resemble giant football-like structures. With an exhibition of more than a hundred thousand plants, representing approximately 5000 species of vegetation, and also the largest indoor rainforest in the world, this fascinating institution at the intersection of science and agriculture attracts more than 80,000 visitors every year.

Hike through the Newquay Discovery Trail

This decade-old cultural institution is the epicenter of Newquay’s many walking routes that take travelers through a panorama of countryside walks. Follow a series of fourteen slate plaques that will fork into two routes —The Hetty Trail and The Ada Trail. Roam through rural southwest Newquay on a new self-guided walking trip to find 14 carved messages.