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About Newquay  |  Weather  |  Tide Times

This is a brash and tacky tourist town - a schizophrenic cross between a 1970s surf town and a traditional beach resort. Until they moved to Seignosse in France in 1998, the World Surfing Championships were held here each summer.


The surf shops all hire fibreglass boards and wet suits for around 5 each per day. Try Fistral Surf Co on Beacon Rd, or Tunnel Vision Surf Shop opposite the Somerfield supermarket on Alma Place. If you don't know how to surf, contact Offshore Surfing on Tolcarne Beach, for an all-inclusive, half-day beginner's lesson. The Sunset Surf Shop at 106 Fore St also runs in-shop 'soft' tuition.


Fistral Beach, to the west of the town round Towan Head, is the most famous British surfing beach. There are fast hollow waves, particularly at low tide, and good tubing sections when there's a south-easterly wind. Watergate Bay is a 2 mile-long sandy beach on the east side of Newquay Bay. At low tide it's a good place to learn to surf. A mile south of Newquay, Crantock is a small north-west-facing sheltered beach, where the waves are best at mid to high tide.

Little that predates the 19th century survives in Newquay, but on the cliff north of Towan Beach stands the whitewashed Huer's House, where a watch was kept for approaching pilchard shoals. Every Cornish fishing village had a watchtower like this and the netting operation was directed by the huer. Until they were fished out early in this century, these shoals were enormous - one St Ives catch of 1868 netted a record 16.5 million fish.


Newquay is 252 miles from London and 32 from St Ives. National Express provides connections through Plymouth to most places in Britain and has two direct buses daily to London (six hours). There are four buses to Plymouth (1 hours) and one direct service to Exeter. There are four trains a day between Par and Newquay on the main London to Penzance line.








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