Park locator
A couple swimming in the sea off some steps

Explore the beaches less travelled

Your first thought when you think of Cornwall is most likely the idyllic beaches. There’s the famous St. Ives and Kynance Cove. But, for those wanting to avoid the hustle and bustle, where are the lesser-known coastal gems?

We’ve asked long-time local resident, Susan Deakin, Manager of Visit Newquay and her colleague Amy Smith, Senior Assistant, as well as Looe-born Joel Bishop, owner of Westcountry Surf School, for their favourite beaches and ones tourists may not know about.

Quieter beaches in Newquay

The South West Coast Path is home to a vast range of beaches to choose from, Joel says, “Newquay is aimed quite a lot towards families these days. It’s got 15 beaches between Mawgan Porth and Perranporth…so you can pick a different beach every day.“

This 16.7 mile point-to-point trail near Newquay is suggested for experienced hikers, however you don’t have to walk the whole thing - and can simply choose a section of the path to stroll and visit one its beaches.

An aerial view over Mawgan Porth on the Cornwall coast

Amy describes Mawgan Porth Beach as “just a lovely white sandy nice beach that we can just go spend the day down, and they've got a river there as well. So the [kids] can go play in the river and not have to go in the sea.”

It’s important to note, however, that some of the quieter beaches will not have lifeguards, Joel adds, “If people just want to go and enjoy the beach and not go [out] to sea you've got Bedruthan Steps which is really nice.”

The Bedruthan Steps is just a 15-minute drive from Newquay Holiday Park and a 25-minute drive from Crantock Beach Holiday Park.

Surfing beaches in Newquay

Joel also suggests visiting Watergate Bay, this beach is found nestled between Porth and Mawgan Porth, saying “[it’s] really nice way down the end.” Famous for its waves being perfect for surfing, those who love water sports should consider heading to this dog-friendly beach.

Amy also recommends Watergate Bay, adding, “the sunsets over Watergate Bay. They're really stunning. If the tide is out… that is a massive beach where we will go for a good Sunday morning walk with the children and the dog.”

Watergate Bay is also less than a 10-minute drive from Newquay Holiday Park.

Fistral Beach may be one you’ve heard of, but is beloved by locals and surfers alike. Susan describes, “That's our main surfing beach. It's where we hold our competitions and there's two sides of Fistral, the north side and the south side. I think that it would be the place to take a couple of teenagers in the daytime to surf, [there are] big waves, but it’s a lot of fun there.”

Best family beaches in Newquay

Fistral Beach has something for everyone, Amy says, “In the evening, it's a really great sunset spot and you've got a bar on the beach. I've been for a drink and to just watch the sunset. It's great for date night. But again, you can take the children. They can be playing on the beach as the sun is setting so Fistral is just for everybody.”

Fistral Beach is easily accessible from Crantock Beach Holiday Park, Holywell Bay Holiday Park, Newquay Holiday Park and White Acres Holiday Park.

Yellow flowers framing a view over Towan Beach in Newquay

Equally busy, but still a must-visit is Towan Beach in the heart of Newquay, Susan says, “We have another town beach in town called Towan Beach. That's a great family beach, it's where you would take a group of you with a lot of children. There's life barges, so, you've got space where the swimmers or the surfers go, that's a great element of Towan for a family.”

Amy also recommends Towan Beach for families, adding, “[There’s] rock pools and when the tides out it's a really big beach, which also makes it great for dogs as well, if you want to go for a good walk.”

Crantock’s coastal gems

Just a stone's throw from Newquay is Crantock. Also home to stunning coastal views and beaches, Joel says, “There's a beautiful one called Porth Joke which is just south of Crantock…[there’s] loads of seals there and it's crazy.”

Porth Joke, or Polly Joke Beach as it’s sometimes referred to, is just a five-minute drive from Crantock Beach Holiday Park.

He continued, “Crantock is just beautiful. It's got an estuary that goes out through the middle of it. So if you get a sunny day I’d recommend going there.”

“North Watergate [Bay], Bedruthan Steps or Poly Joke are not secret, but way less busier than the main beaches.”

No matter which beach you choose to explore, our Cornwall holiday parks are close to a range of beautiful beaches both quiet and busy. So no matter what you prefer, you can enjoy a coastal retreat with ease.

Local insiders

Susan Deakin of Visit Newquay Susan Deakin


Susan has lived in Newquay for over 50 years, as well as starting her family there and raising her two children.

Susan’s main objective and role with Visit Newquay is to continue to restore the region to its former glory as a tourist destination for families to make memories.

Joel Bishop of Westcountry Surf School Joel Bishop

Westcountry Surf School

Joel has lived in Cornwall his entire life, growing up in Looe. He opened his surf school 10 years ago in Watergate Bay.

Joel has a passion for the Cornish beaches and surfing, describing his business as a lifestyle.

Amy Smith of Visit Newquay Amy Smith

Senior Assistant

Amy was born and raised in Newquay and now lives there with her children, enjoying all the coastal region has to offer.

Amy manages the day-to-day of the Visit Newquay website as well as their social media, encouraging people to share her love of the area.