Newquay Cornwall

by Lejouack

The sun, sea, sand, and surf coastal town of Newquay in Cornwall has another side and a history of a close knit fishing community.

In 2014 Newquay in Cornwall is known as a Surfing and Holidaymakers Mecca. Newquay Bay and the adjoining Fistral Beach are perfectly positioned on the north coast of Cornwall facing out into the Atlantic Ocean, to catch the full awesome force of the waves.

But the often bleak and windswept coast around Newquay has a softer side, and its seven beaches with miles of golden sand attract thousands of families on holiday every year as well as the surfing dudes and dudettes.

Towan Beach

The Beach in the Town
Towan Beach Newquay
Towan Beach Newquay
Photo by Lejouack

Newquay’s History

Go Fish

Up until the later part of the 19th Century, Newquay was little more than a tiny fishing community. A man who was a child in Newquay in the 1850s wrote that he remembered there being about 20 thatched cottages, 3 pubs and a general store that was both a grocers and chemist.

The mail arrived only once a week on a Friday and if anyone needed a doctor it required a visit to St. Columb Major, several miles away.

The first proper church wasn’t built in Newquay until 1858 and then only had seating capacity for 100.

By the 1880s the railway had arrived in Newquay and the town began to grow by leaps and bounds, although some of the older buildings are still there today.


Newquay Town

Newquay Town
Newquay Town
Photo by Lejouack

Old Street in Newquay

The Fort Inn and Old Cottages in Newquay
The Fort Inn and Old Cottages in Newquay
Photo by Lejouack

Flight Over Newquay Beaches

Seven Beaches

one for each day of the week

Fistral Beach and Little Fistral are around the headland from Newquay Bay and this is probably the most popular of the beaches for surfers. Then there is Towan or the Town Beach which is linked to Jago’s Island by a suspension bridge. There is only one building on the island – a house which is now a holiday cottage.

Next in line is Great Western Beach then Tolcarne, Lusty Glaze and Porth. Watergate Bay which is another well known surfing beach is slightly further up the coast.

Fistral Beach Newquay

Popular Surfing Beach

The Harbour

Still Fishing

Because of its popularity as a beach resort, it is often forgotten that Newquay still has a working harbour. These days it is used as much for boat trips for visitors as for local fishermen, but there remains a small fishing fleet.

Grey seals are frequent visitors and can be found basking in the shallow water within the harbour walls.

The Harbour

Newquay Harbour (Harbor)
Newquay Harbour (Harbor)
Photo by Lejouack

Seal in Newquay Harbor

Seal in Newquay Harbor
Seal in Newquay Harbor
Photo by Lejouack

The Church of St Michael the Archangel

Burning the Church

This large church was built to replace the tiny St. Michael’s built in 1858. Unfortunately the new church was the victim of arsonists in 1993 and was gutted by fire.

The outer walls remained, as by some miracle did the lovely stained glass windows which survived due to the fast response of local fire-fighters who smashed some plain glass windows to relieve the pressure on the decorative windows.

The remainder of the church has since been rebuilt.

St Michael the Archangel Church

St Michael the Archangel Church
St Michael the Archangel Church
Photo by Lejouack

Interior of the New Church

Interior of the New Church
Interior of the New Church

Feasts and Festivals

In Summer Newquay is a hive of activity


The second week of August sees Fistral Beach being transformed into a smaller venue for this annual music festival, while Watergate Bay hosts the main event. This year there are 8 stages for the different types of music, along with a huge number of bars, eating places serving all kinds of food and many festival stalls.

The Fish Festival

This is the highlight of the fishing communities year and takes place in mid September for 3 days. Different type of fish is cooked, games played and entertainment provided. 

Updated: 09/02/2014, Lejouack
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
DerdriuMarriner on 09/22/2022

The computer crashed before I could add the other question related to your photographic skills.

Do you recall when during the morning, afternoon or early evening the image leftward of your title was taken? The sky has some rainy-, stormy-looking cloud cover!

DerdriuMarriner on 09/20/2022

Sometimes the computer does not cooperate with the color-, location- and shape-clarity on smaller wizzley images.

Such is the case with your intriguing photo leftward of the title Newquay Cornwall. What is going on in the image, and where is it taken?

DerdriuMarriner on 09/09/2022

Your sub-subheading Boardmasters under the subheading Feasts and Festivals mentions that diverse foods are available through the eating places participating in the annual area music festival.

What would be the most delicious drinks to order at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay bars?

DerdriuMarriner on 07/07/2022

Re-visiting your wizzley brought to mind something I've been wondering about since my first reading.

Is the boating by visitors not sufficient to disturb the sea-life? How is the grey seal population doing?

DerdriuMarriner on 05/09/2022

Are the fish species that fishermen catch what is available in local grocery stores and listed on local menus? Or are local fishermen employed by a commercial concern that exports the catch elsewhere?

DerdriuMarriner on 07/03/2018

Lejouack and FrankBeswick, Thank you respectively for the article and for the answers!

frankbeswick on 04/20/2017

Why did they burn it? Easy. They want to make an impact on life and to do it the easy way. It is far easier to damage something precious than it is to produce a work of art or artifice.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/20/2017

Lejouack, Thank you for the lovely tour of Newquay! Do you speak Cornish? Why would anyone want to burn such a beautiful church dedicated to such a fearless archangel? Was the restoration true to the original or were there significant changes?

frankbeswick on 06/27/2015

Good article. Newquay is on the north coast of Cornwall, whose hard rocks withstand the mighty Atlantic rollers that crash into it, but it is these that provide the surf, which is attractive to surfers along the whole North Cornish coast. Newquay is a nice, well-maintained little town with a range of facilities to attract the visitor.

blackspanielgallery on 06/27/2015

I really like the images you have here.

You might also like

Explore The Thames Foreshore - Find Hidden Treasure

Coming to London? Why not visit the Thames foreshore and discover the fragme...

Some Scenic Areas in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, with its hills and loughs, is an attractive place well wort...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...