There’s year-round surf and seaside fun in the UK's surfing capital.
Camping in Newquay is all about the beach. And when you return from a day at the seaside with blissfully sandy feet and the taste of sea salt on the lips, a tent might be all you need for a good night’s sleep. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or hoping to catch your first wave, you can’t come to Newquay without hitting the water. There are 12 sandy beaches to choose from—head to the surf hub of Fistral Beach, explore the rock pools at Tolcarne Beach, or go snorkelling at Crantock Beach. Hike along the South West Coast Path, cycle along the seafront, or go bird-watching at the Gannel Estuary, then cap it all off with a seafood dinner overlooking Newquay Harbour. Campers have options too—check into a holiday park, go glamping in a luxury yurt, or join revellers at the annual Boardmasters Festival.
South of Newquay, the coastal road to St Ives provides a dramatic backdrop for a road trip. Stop along the way to surf or horseback ride at Perranporth beach, spot dolphins along the St Agnes Heritage Coast, or visit the blue flag beaches around St Ives. Another highlight is a visit to Land’s End, the westernmost point of mainland Britain.
Sea-cliff walks await along Watergate Bay, Trevose Head, and Pentire Point, all worthwhile destinations along Cornwall’s north shore. Campsites and caravan parks dot the coast between Port Isaac and Tintagel, and there’s plenty to explore in the area. Follow in the footsteps of King Arthur at Tintagel Castle; admire the views from the High Cliff, Cornwall’s highest point; or continue north to catch some waves in Bude.
The shores of the "Cornish Riviera"—the south coast between Falmouth and Fowey—are a natural playground of forested headlands and sandy beaches. Stop by Carlyon Bay, Par Sands, or Porthpean Beach to swim and take part in water sports, then head inland to visit the Eden Project or enjoy a beer tasting at the St Austell Brewery. For camping, choose between family-friendly caravan parks or quiet farm campsites away from the crowds.
Newquay is one of Cornwall’s most popular destinations, and it has the crowds to match. Advance bookings are essential in July and August, for everything from campsites to restaurants. Lifeguard patrols run from Easter through early October, and this is the best time to hit Newquay’s beaches. Winters can be wet and windy along the coast, but there are some benefits to an off-season visit, including free parking around town and the best surf.
With 12 stretches of sand to choose from around Newquay, there’s a beach for every type of camper and the place is great for family holidays. If it’s the world-famous surf you want, make your way through the dunes to the cliff-backed sands of Fistral Beach with its surf schools, cafes and regular competitions, or try Watergate Bay or Holywell Bay just along the coast. Central Towan Beach is popular among surfers and families with buckets and spades, but for somewhere a little quieter, perhaps try the horseshoe-shaped bay of Lusty Glaze or Tolcarne Beach, where low tide reveals the perfect places for rockpooling.
Camping directly on the beach in Newquay is not allowed. However, there are several campsites and holiday parks nearby that offer easy access to the beaches. These campsites provide various amenities and are located a short distance from Newquay's beautiful beaches, making them a great base for exploring the area.