HALF TERM BEACH ACTIVITIES
The sun’s out, the surf’s up and there’s stacks to do in and around Newquay this half term. Whether you’re looking for family fun or secluded shores, here are some of our favourite things to do on our local beaches:
Take the plunge and explore the nooks and crannies of our sea-lashed territory on a coasteering trip. Be prepared for an adrenalin hit as you swim through gulleys, ride whirlpools, explore sea caves, scramble up cliff faces, leap from rocky ledges and come nose-to-nose with marine life – all in the safe hands of King Coasteer’s experienced guides.
Many of the UK’s pro surfers cut their teeth on Newquay’s world-famous Fistral Beach, making this surfing Mecca one of the most popular places to hit the waves. However, hop just north of Newquay to lesser-known Mawgan Porth and you can score some less-crowded waves and get to grips with surfing under the tutelage of Kingsurf Surf School. With high-spec equipment and expert instructors, they’ll have on your feet and riding waves like a pro in no time.
Crantock and the River Gannel
The calm and sheltered River Gannel, hemming Crantock Beach, offers the ideal territory to get to grips with stand-up paddleboarding. Whether you’ve got your own SUP or hire one for a day, it won’t take long to nail the basic techniques and glide up-river from Crantock to Penpol Creek. Spot birdlife, soak up the scenery and you can even stop off and buy fresh crab from the Fern Pit ferry pontoon. Just make sure you time your trip with the tides, so you don’t end up having to paddle back against the strong current.
If you prefer to ride the waves without grasping the skill level that stand-up surfing requires, try hand planing. For this turbo-charged version of the ancient art of bodysurfing, all you need to do is strap a mini surfboard (about 30cm) to your hand and swim out into the shore-break. It’s quick to learn so you’ll be catching the breakers on your belly within minutes.
Wait for the tide to ebb and head down to Little Fistral for a rockpooling ramble. Take nets and buckets, and pocket a sea life guide, so you can identify the anemones, blemmies, crabs, starfish, sea slugs, limpets and other sea life hiding in the rock pools. If rain stops play simply hop over to Towan Beach and continue your exploration of the underwater kingdom at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium. Here you can come face-to-face with all sorts of marine life from clown fish and sea cucumbers, to stingrays and reef sharks.
Known as Polly Joke to the locals, this stunning cove is nestled between two rugged headlands jutting out from Crantock and Holywell Bay. A sheltered spot with cobalt waters backed by the rolling heathland of Cubert Common, here you feel a million miles away from the lively vibe of the nearby surf capital. When the swell rolls in it’s a cracking spot for bodysurfing, and when the sea is flat it’s hard to resist diving in for a swim between cave-studded headlands.
Not only famous for it’s starring role in the recent BBC adaptation of Poldark, Holywell Bay is well known for it’s towering sand dunes that rise and fall beyond the beach. These giant mountains of sand make the perfect terrain for sand boarding – which is basically snowboarding on sand. Grab a sandboard from the local beach shop, hike to the top of a dune, strap the board your feet and off you go. At least it’s a soft landing on pillows of pearly sand!