Crystal clear waters in Towan Beach and Newquay Harbour

Here’s what locals say you must do in Newquay

Newquay is one of the most popular seaside towns in Cornwall and with all there is to see and do, it’s no surprise. Aside from the obvious attractions like Fistral Beach and Newquay Zoo (the largest zoo in the region), there are a few equally impressive, but lesser known attractions in Newquay that you may not have heard of.

We’ve chatted with resident of over 50 years, Susan Deakin and Manager of Visit Newquay, for her recommendations for must-see hidden gems while on holiday in Newquay.

Historic attractions in Newquay

Susan told us, “We've got a few iconic things like the old Huer’s Hut which is the oldest building here. That belongs to town council and is an iconic building of Newquay.” Believed to date back all the way to the 14th century, Huer’s Hut was used as a lookout point and a man known as a huer would signal the arrival of the pilchards (an oily fish) and direct the fishermen.

Made from white stone, the Huer’s Hut was recently restored in 2014 after damage from the elements. The grade II protected building is a must-see in Newquay, surrounded by the beautiful backdrop of Towan Head.

Huer’s Hut is also less than a 15-minute drive from both Newquay Holiday Park and Crantock Beach Holiday Park.

The Island in Newquay on Towan Beach

Susan continues, “Also, we've got the house on the island on Towan Beach. It's very iconic and a picture-taking opportunity, it's a fabulous thing to see. Ultimately, I like Porth Island, you take a picnic and sit there. They've got a suspension bridge that you have to walk across and a blow hole, if the tide’s right you get a massive spray coming up which is quite exciting.”

The Island in Newquay can be walked to when the tide is out, but requires crossing the bridge when the tide is in - best to wait for the tide if you’re afraid of heights! Perched on 70ft of rock is a house, once lived in by inventor of the spark plug, Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge.

Surrounded by beautiful blue water, the Island and the house that sits there is truly a sight to behold.

Family attractions in Newquay

Fancy seeing some attractions whilst also engaging in a fun activity? Susan recommends “paddleboarding, especially on the Gannel Estuary and if you get any pictures of people paddle boarding on a full tidal at the Gannel Estuary, my goodness - you just want to be there, you just want to be on it because it is such a beautiful vision and it's such a lovely thing to do. It really is amazing.”

Turquoise blue waters of the River Gannel in Newquay

The Gannel is a tidal estuary (where salt water meets fresh water) which flows through the town before eventually reaching the sea between Crantock Beach to the south, and Pentire Head to the north. Offering picturesque views, the estuary is home to a variety of wildlife and birds. Whether you want to join in the fun on the water, or just relax on its sandy banks, the Gannel Estuary is a must-visit.

Newquay has a wealth of things to do and places to explore, the real question is - which attraction are you heading to first?

Newquay attractions near our Cornwall holiday parks

Whether you want to visit a piece of history or take part in paddleboarding, here are our nearest Cornwall holiday parks to the recommended Newquay attractions.

A profile photo of Susan Deakin, manager at Visit Newquay

Local Insider

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.