The town that is now Cornwall’s biggest resort and Britain’s foremost surfing centre grew up around a ‘ new quay’ whose building was sanctioned by the Bishop of Exeter in 1439.
Beautiful beaches and the spectacular coast have made Newquay Cornwall’s number one resort. There is always plenty going on during the summer months and it is an ideal venue for all ages. Nowadays, regular flights from London to the local airport make the town highly accessible.
We are the only specialist full service inbound tour operator and DMC for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly catering for groups large and small, as well as luxury travel for individuals.
Fishing and smuggling became important sources of income, but local ships also traded with ports as far afield as North America. Gigs powered by teams of oarsmen raced out to pilot vessels safely into the harbour – and gig races held during the summer months still rank high among Newquay’s many holiday attractions. One of the craft, named after the town, was built in 1812 while two of her rivals also date from 19th century.
Another link with the past is provided by the small, quaint, whitewashed Huer’s House which stands on a cliff above the harbour. In the 18th and 19th centuries, when the sea often seethed with immense shoals of pilchards, a lookout was posted to keep watch for the fish and to guide boats to them by shouting instructions through a horn a 1m long. One memorable catch in the 1860’s is said to have been worth £20,000 – a fortune in those days – and there were enough fish to load 1,000 carts.
The arrival of the railways in 1875 was the most important event in Newquay’s history. Although built to carry minerals and clay to the thriving harbour, the line also brought the town within easy reach of Victorian travellers at a time when seaside holidays were becoming increasingly popular. Large hotels were built on the high cliffs above the series of beaches whose sands, surf and safe bathing are the main reasons for Newquay’s enduring popularity.
The town’s other great natural assets is the fact that its beaches face in every direction other than the east, making it easy to find shelter on blustery days. Towan Beach, Great Western Beach, Tolcarne Beach and Lusty Gaze are washed by the waters of Newquay Bay and reached by steps or ramps cut int the cliffs. By contrast, Fistral Beach faces due west and is backed by low dunes which lead to a golf course. Another change of mood is provided by low-tide sands which fringe the River Gannel’s estuary on the town’s southern outskirts.
Seaside attraction include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a museum, a zoo and an aquarium. There are boats for hire on a boating lake, fishing trips for sharks, bass, pollock, and dishing from beaches for bass. Surfboards may be hired and there are sub-aqua and sailing clubs.