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Newquay Surfing Beaches | A Locals Guide to Surfing in Newquay. 

Newquay Surfing Beaches | Newquay Surf | Newquay Beaches

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SURFING BEACHES IN NEWQUAY, CORNWALL

Looking for a guide on Newquay Surf? Look no further than our guide to the surfing beaches in Newquay. From south Fistral to low tide Lusty Glaze. Here are our best Newquay Beaches to surf.
 
Discover useful information about the most popular surf spots in our detailed guide to the best surfing beaches in Newquay. With over 9+ surfing beaches in and around Newquay, it helps to have a heads-up and some insider local knowledge on where to surf and when.
 
Understanding which Newquay beach works best depending on tides, wave forecast and your surfing ability is key to getting the most out of all Newquay’s famous surf scene.
 
Newquay is renowned for its incredible surfing beaches, each offering a unique experience. From the flat landscapes of Towan Beach, perfect for beginners, to the sun-drenched paradise of Great Western Beach, our guide covers the top spots where you can catch the perfect wave. Find out about wave quality, best surf conditions, and local tips to make the most of your surf sessions.
 You can even book your surf hire or surf lessons!
 
Join us as we guide you through the best Newquay waves & surfing beaches in the area.

Here is a list of surfing beaches in Newquay:
- Fistral beach
- Towan
- Great Western
- Tolcarne
- Lusty Glaze
- Porth & Whipsiderry
- Watergate bay
- Crantock Beach & Polly Joke 

JOIN US AS WE GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE BEST BEACHES TO SURF IN NEWQUAY.

Surf like a local with all the information you need in our ultimate guide to surfing beaches in Newquay. 

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LisaMalone-1

Fistral Beach

All Tides

Suitable for everyone

Popular

The Home of British Surfing

Fistral Beach is possibly the most widely known surf spot in the UK and could be considered one of the better surf beaches on the north Cornish coast. Fistral Beach is home to a range of National and International surfing competitions throughout the year including the Board Masters Surf Festival, Music Festival, British Universities Colleges Surfing Championships and the English Surfing Nationals.

A visit to Fistral is a must to get the true surfing Newquay experience and is one of the most popular surfing beaches in Cornwall. Newquay's Fistral Beach offers beginners and experienced surfers alike a real taste of the surf scene in the UK. 

Fistral Beach is a straight and wide, sandy beach backed by dunes roughly 750 meters long facing west by northwest onto the Atlantic. This west-facing direction like many Cornish surfing beaches exposes Fistral to large Atlantic swell and winds from southwest that provide consistent waves throughout the year.

PERFECT WHEN: Mid tide to just beofre high tide. Spring high tide can be fun if theres enough swell. Low tide or spring low tide at the noth end of the beach. South Fistral when the magic 40 minute left hand wedge works about 2 hours off low tide.

INSIDE INFO: The beach is split into sections South Fistral, Mid, North & Little Fistral. All work differently depending on the tide and swell. The Northern end of Fistral Beach is popular with locals and more advanced surfers. Often slightly bigger waves and more likely to find a rip. Beginners and intermediates would typically find ample room further down towards the middle and southern end of the beach.
 
BEACH ACCESS: The northern end of Fistral Beach provides beach access and paid car parking directly overlooking the beach. There is a large car park at Towan Headland. Paid car parks off Tower rd give access via Golf course. Some free street/beachside parking at the southern end of the beach on Esplanade Road.
 
SURF HIRE NEARBY: Accessible from the town so plenty of surf hire options. Fistral beach surf hire is located directly on the beach itself at the north end.

SNACKS: Plenty of choice of bars, pasty shacks, fish & chips and Fistral Beach Bar!

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The Newquay Bay

Mid - Low

Beginners & Intermediates

Popular

The Bay Of Dreams

The Newquay Bay comprises of four main beaches with two outlying beaches on the northeast fringe of the town. From Towan Beach up to Watergate Bay, each beach shares common attributes as well as possessing its own unique benefits. Towan Beach and the Newquay Bay in general are flat beaches, the natural lea of Towan headland protecting them from the majority of strong currents and winds, helping to keep the sand compact and rip currents to a minimum. Unfortunately, this also means at many states of the tide the quality of the waves breaking at Towan is more suited to beginner and intermediate surfers.

The Newquay Bay is divided up into:
Towan
Great Western
Tolcarne
Lusty Glaze
Porth
Whipsiderry
*Watergate Bay

PERFECT WHEN: Not too high & not too low. Usually anything from two hours after high tide you'll start to see the lines form.

INSIDE INFO: The Bay is procted from nealy all winds apart from a northerly. Surfers in Newquay ultimately enjoy an increased amount of surfing days due to the shelter the Newquay Bay provides from the larger swells and wind. The most amount of shelter is on the inside left of the bay at Towan beach next to the harbour. So if you're looking for sheltered surf near Newquay this is the best place to start.

The further northeast towards (Great Western, Tolcarne, Lusty Glaze) the more exposed to the southwesterly the beaches become thus reducing the amount of shelter from the expanse of the open Atlantic swells and winds.
 
BEACH ACCESS: Being surrounded by the town parking can be a nightmare and time consuming. If you can suit up and run down, there are multipule access points to the various beaches depending on the tide.
 
SURF HIRE NEARBY: Accessible from the town so plenty of surf hire options.

SNACKS: Good options directly on the beaches or within a short walk.

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Towan Beach

Mid - Low

Beginners & Intermediates

Popular

Towan Beach

Towan meaning “sand dune” in Cornish is a Newquay beach located in the centre of Newquay town. Stretching from the harbour to neighbouring Great Western, Newquay’s Towan Beach is the saviour for many surfers when large swells and high winds prove too much on the coastlines west-facing beaches. Often nicknamed 'Town beach', Towan is the "beginners bay" of Newquay and the most sheltered of all the beaches in the area. We are proud to call it home as one of only 3 surf schools with a licence to operate on the beach.

Landmark Island: Towan Beach features a small private island known as Towan Island or Newquay Island, accessible by a suspension footbridge. The island is a distinctive landmark and adds to the charm of the beach.

Click here to find out more about Towan Beach

PERFECT WHEN: Not too high and not too low. Spring low tide lefts from behind the harbour wall can be good but tricky to navigate beginner surfers on the inside. Towan beach is surprisingly surf'able much of the time throughout the year. It may not be the worlds best quality wave and can close out if the tide isn't quite right, but if you are wanting to surf in Newquay, at some point you'll be contemplating surfing Towan beach.

INSIDE INFO: Towan Beach having a local bylaw that does not permit surfing at certain stages of the tide.  The general rule of thumb is, ‘When the tide is below the rocks at the base of the Island on the east side of the beach, surfing is 'permitted’.

Typically this stage of the tide occurs roughly 2.5 hours after a Spring Tide and 2 hours after a neap tide. We recommend you check the surf forecast or pop into our surf school or Towan Beach lifeguards before suiting up and heading down.

BEACH ACCESS: Depending on the stage of the tide you can access Towan Beach and neighbouring beaches, from the harbour steps, Beach Rd or from the Killacourt.

SURF HIRE NEARBY: Surf hire options all around. Our surf school is opposite Fore Street Short Stay Car Park.

SNACKS: Cracking options on the beach and the cafes on Fore street.

NEWQUAY BEACHES

Newquay's beaches collectively offer a diverse and enchanting area to explore. From the iconic Fistral Beach, renowned for its world-class surfing conditions, to the central Towan Beach, perfect for beginners, each stretch of sand has its unique Cornish charm. Great Western Beach provides a sunbather's paradise, while Watergate Bay, stands out with its golden sands, breathtaking views, and excellent amenities. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or simply seeking a relaxing day by the sea, Newquay's beaches cater to every preference, making it a fantastic place to enjoy a surfing holiday in Cornwall.

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Beaches - Newquay area - Great Western - 19 July 2016 - 1.  Matt Jessop

Great Western

Mid - Low

Beginners & Intermediates

Popular

Great Western Beach

Squeezed in between Towan Beach and Tolcarne Beach- Newquay’s Great Western Beach derives its name from the Great Western Railway and the Atlantic coastline which in the initial boom of beach tourism between 1876 – 1960 served tourists from all over the UK. Located at the northeast end of Towan Beach, Great Western Beach at high tide is nestled within a snug bay which transforms into a sunbather's paradise when the tide rises. The small sandy beach, embraced by cliffs, creates a natural sun trap, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a leisurely sun-soaked afternoon.

For a quick surf check pull into the Aldi car park above Great Western. From this vantage point, you can overlook the beach and Bay, Towan to the left and Tolcarne, Lusty to the right. Whether you're soaking up the sun or venturing into the surf, Great Western provides a little more size and quality to the collective Newquay Bay.
 
PERFECT WHEN: The surf is 3ft and just before mid-tide. Avoid surfing here at high tide. Typically 1-2 hours after a high tide is best. Waves can close out frequently around the lower tides. Can be fun with a light northeasterly wind.
 
INSIDE INFO: Jump in at Towan and make the 10-minute paddle over to Great Western catching waves along the way.
 
BEACH ACCESS: You can walk to Great Western Beach from the majority of Newquay within 15 – 20 minutes. Access is gained from Cliff Road which leads down to the beach.

SURF HIRE NEARBY: Newquay Surfing School have great facilities on the beach.
 
SNACKS: Check out the Slope bar for all your refreshments. 

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Tolcarne

Mid - Low

Beginners & Intermediates

Popular

Tolcarne Beach

Tolcarne Beach sits in the heart of the Newquay Bay and provides a fairly large stretch of sand for surfers, sunbathers and holidaymakers. Encompassed by dramatic cliffs Tolcarne Beach is slightly more exposed to the open ocean and marks the halfway point to where the beaches further along the Newquay Bay coastline become more exposed and draw in more swell.

INSIDE INFO: The best time to surf at Tolcarne is 1-2 hours after high tide. Small headlands on either side of the beach create the ccausing the waves to become disorganised and rebound, no good for stand-up surfing during higher tides. High tide is reserved for the local bodyboarding community. Don’t expect many waves if the wedge is working!

BEACH ACCESS: To reach the golden sands of Tolcarne visitors will need to tackle some 200 steps. A real test after a tough day on the beach. Main access to Tolcarne Beach is down a long steep set of stairs on Cliff Road. An access road typically reserved for guests staying at holiday accommodations is at the far end of the beach opposite the Hotel Bristol. Pedestrians are welcome to use this.

SURF HIRE NEARBY: Directly on the beach but can be seasonal.

SNACKS: Tolcarne Beach is its own ecosystem with everything that you could want for a day or week at the beach within a stone's throw. A variety of accommodation options, beachside facilities, restaurants and cafes, everything is catered for.

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Watergate

Mid - High

Intermediate - Advanced

Popular with local crew

Watergate Bay

One of our favourite Cornish beaches, Watergate Bay is a great option to check when surfing in the Newquay area. With roughly 2 miles of clean golden sands backed by huge dramatic cliffs the mid to low tides offer plenty of space for beachgoers and surfers to spread out. However things can get cramped at the high tide mark.
 
 Watergate enjoys the same consistent Atlantic swell as Fistral Beach and being a slightly larger beach can often have waves slightly bigger than Fistral beach. That said it is also more open wind and rip currents, especially if the tide is rushing out. Watergate Bay is a big beach at low tide and at times, connects with Whisiderry Beach and even parts of Porth Beach. Also known as Tregurrian Beach after the nearby village of Tregurrian.
  
Watergate Bay is situated approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall. The surrounding cliffs and coastline provide excellent opportunities for walking and exploring. The South West Coast Path, a long-distance trail, passes through Watergate Bay, offering scenic great views of the coastline towards Newquay and Padstow.
 
INSIDE INFO: Usually there are plenty of peaks to choose from. The south end of the beach (left when looking out to sea) Mid, North & the North Corner all typically work just off the high tide. Avoid dead low tide unless you like steep and fast closeouts.
 
BEACH ACCESS: One main access path between the hotel and the car park. Cheaper parking can be found up on Grass Hill if you come from the Newquay side.
 
SURF HIRE NEARBY: Directly on the beach.
 
SNACKS: Facilities include beachside cafes, restaurants, toilets beach shops, hotels and pubs.

NEWQUAY BEACH SURF CONDITIONS

As the UK's surfing capital, Newquay offers consistent waves suitable for surfers of all levels. With eleven picturesque beaches around Newquay, there's always a perfect wave waiting for you. To make the most of your surfing experience, it's essential to understand the factors that influence the surfing conditions in Newquay. Here's a breakdown of the key considerations:

1. SWELL CONDITIONS:
Autumn (September to November): For experienced surfers, this is the best time of year. Expect larger swells during this season, generating consistent and powerful waves. Atlantic storms contribute to sizeable waves, making it ideal for experienced surfers.

Winter (December to February): Similar to autumn, winter brings substantial swells, providing plenty of surfing opportunities if you are willing to spend the time looking for sheltered spots. Often on the south coast of Cornwall.
  
2. WIND CONDITIONS:
Spring (March to May) and Summer (June to August): These seasons typically experience cleaner lighter winds, creating manageable waves. Lighter winds are ideal for surfing. Any wind with south or east in it is when the north coast becomes a surfer's paradise.   Avoid Onshore Winds: Cornwall is known for its winds, and onshore winds can ruin a surf. If it's onshore, try the Newquay Bay or south coast of Cornwall.

4. TIDES:
Incoming / Outgoing Tides: Tides play a huge part in what to expect in terms of surf conditions. You can read more in our Guide to Tides. Check tide schedules and what they mean for the beach you are surfing!
 
*Always check the surf conditions are suitable for your level and only surf to your ability.

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Porth
PORTH BEACH

Porth Beach is characterised by its narrow and shallow topography. The beach features a long tidal drop and an expansive stretch of golden sand at low tide. Typically this beach is off-limits to surfers during the lifeguard hours 10am - 6pm due to an old bye-law.
  
At low tide the beach is exposed to the winds and swell similar to its neighbours Lusty Glaze and Whipsidery. But as the tide comes in, the narrow beach is sheltered by headlands on either side and can produce some fun easy-going waves.

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Whipsy
WHIPSIDERRY BEACH

Access to Whipsiderry Beach is currently available only via Porth Beach, due to a rock fall around the steps steps. It's important to note that access via Porth is highly tidal and you can find yourself cut off from any exit points.
 
 The main peak which draws the crowd is the far left peak which sucks off the submerged rock, and wedges into a steep and quick wave.  Followed by a second decent peak further down this is also a wedge which again is a left. Further down the beach, you'll find right-hand peaks but these are not as good as the lefts. Expect rips and dumpy inside banks. 

mawgan-porth-beach
Mawgies
MAWGAN PORTH

Mawgan Porth is a northwest-facing beach situated in a picturesque cove with awe-inspiring cliffs providing the quintessential backdrop to surfing in Cornwall.  Roughly 6 miles from Newquay.   This hidden gem enjoys the same consistent Atlantic swell and perfect surfing conditions of better-known North Cornwall beaches but without the summer crowds.
 
The surf here is known for picking up whatever is out there, creating ripples even on days when waves are modest in size. Typically the far left peak works the best, but as with many Cornish beaches, there are good options further down the beach. 

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Crantock
CRANTOCK BEACH

Crantock Beach, situated at the mouth of the River Gannel estuary, offers an expansive sandy shoreline bordered by sand dunes, cliffs, and rocks. With a convenient National Trust car park near the river, the beach is easily accessible. The southern end, flanked by high cliffs, provides shelter from the wind, while the northern end meets the tidal River Gannel, a popular spot for families with its sheltered bathing. Easily reachable, Crantock Beach is a 15-minute drive from Newquay.
 
Crantock is also accessible from Pentire Headland. Park up a the paid parking lot, suit up and walk down the headland and jump off the rocks. There will be a strong rip around high tide when the tide is going out. Be careful.

Perranporth2_Matt Jessop
Perran
PERRANPORTH BEACH

Located just six miles south of Newquay, Perranporth Beach is a breathtaking stretch of Cornish coastline, extending two miles and bordered by expansive sand dunes and cliffs. As with many beaches along the North Cornish coast, Perranporth faces due west, making it exposed to the powerful Atlantic swells. If the surf is small then typically Perranporth will pick up the most amount of swell.

For low tide try Droskyn Corner, park up on the hill and use the steep stairs to get down. For mid tide surf's try anywhere along the main beach or anywhere further right - there's two miles of beach! Just watch the tide and that you don't get cut off!

SURFING NEWQUAY WITH CORNISH WAVE


Here at Cornish Wave we have been a surfing and and enjoying the beaches in newquay for over a decade. from surf lessons to paddleboarding, coasteering and kayaking we love nothing more than pgetting out on the water. We are here for all your surfing advice be it througfh lessons, surf equipment rentals or to simly k advice about the best condiotns in the area, feel free to pop in to the surf shop and we can tell you where the best beaches are.

RNLI LIFEGUARD SERVICE Whether you are a beginner or more advanced surfer, if you are visiting Newquay Cornwall, surfing being aware of when the lifeguards are on duty can potentailly save yours and others lives. Before surfing any of the beaches near newquay you can check the patrol times for each beach at the RNLI website.
 
 You can also find more information about the lifeguard flags, how to spot and deal with a rip current and beach safety guidence here.

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