Cornwall is home to some of the best beaches in the country, boasting eight Blue Flag beaches and winning the award for ‘Best UK Holiday County’ no less than the last eight years in a row. Synonymous with surfing, scones, and those sandy beaches, Cornwall’s coast is a dream for families.
With its reputation for being one of the world’s best surf hangouts, the town of Newquay, unsurprisingly, has a laidback beachcentric vibe. The high street runs the length of the town, parallel to the coast, with a mix of seaside shops and the odd amusement arcade.
There are plenty of kitsch B&Bs, luxury hotels, like the Headland Hotel, (where The Witches was filmed), and budget family-friendly surf lodges, like Ocean Lodge, in Newquay town, to stay in; as well as eight beaches to explore. The largest, Fistral beach dominates the seafront, with its rows of parked surfboards, and a Rick Stein fish and chip shop, which will more than satisfy those post-sandcastle-building hunger pangs.
But you might prefer to stay in one of the bays just outside, which can be a little less crowded. Perhaps Watergate Bay: a glorious two-mile long sandy beach, which is home to Jamie Oliver’s social enterprise restaurant, Fifteen. It serves up Italian fare with a seafood twist, and isn’t as pricey as you might think – a two-course kids’ lunch is £13.
For days out, Porth (Poly) Joke beach is the local’s favourite spot for a beach BBQ, and there is always a great live music event going on at Lusty Glaze. Head to DairyLand Farm World, for nature trails, cow milking and tractor and pony rides, or to the Zoo, to see monkeys, penguins and big cats. And for rainy days, why not see what’s really lurking under the sea at the town’s Blue Reef Aquarium?
Three of the best places to stay around Newquay
1. Watergate Bay Hotel
The hotel already on lots of family bucket lists for its comfy cool, beachy décor and boardwalk direct from hotel to THAT beach. There’s a 25-metre infinity pool, which is family-friendly until 6pm. Zacry’s serves a kids’ dinner menu from 5pm-6pm. They serve kids portions of main dishes, and can puree food, too. Don’t miss the waffles for breakfast, which you can make yourself! Watergatebay.co.uk
2. Trevornick holiday park
The pre-pitched Eurotents, complete with kitchen area and ‘bedroooms’, mean no collapsing canvas. There are family restaurants on site, as well as a heated pool and nightly entertainment – did someone say, mini disco? Holywell Park is next door, with its go-karts and mazes. But the real selling point must be its location next to Holywell Bay, which has brilliant sand dunes. Trevornick.co.uk
3. Bedruthan Hotel
Perched on a cliff overlooking Mawgan Porth, there is nothing more here than a beach, pitch and putt course and pub – what more do you need? The hotel fills the gaps, with packages including two-hours free babysitting, free baby-related equipment hire, a kids’ club with soft play area, and swimming pools. It’s right next to the Scarlet hotel, one of the best adult-only hotels we’ve stayed in #justsaying bedruthan.com
Our Cornwall – Porth
Kellie, mum to Max, 8, and Stella, 6; thismumbakes.co.uk
“Our family loves visiting Porth: a small town between Newquay and Watergate Bay with a beautiful flat sandy beach, ideal for sand castles, kite flying and games of rounders. My kids cried when we had to leave.
Gwenna Tearoom is brilliant for when only a cream tea will do, and will happily accommodated four sandy slightly damp children straight off of the beach. Or for a coffee or an ice cream, there is the Hole in the Wall cafe on the beach, quite literally cut into the sea wall.
Porth is a lovely walk along the coastal path to Watergate bay, and at low tide you can walk the whole way along the beach via the deserted beaches of Whipsiderry.”