Newquay is one of the UK’s most celebrated seaside resorts. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the resort to enjoy its wonderful scenery and famous golden sandy beaches. But there’s a lot more to Newquay than this, in this article I will give an insight into Newquays rich heritage and explain what makes it one of the UK’s most popular summer destinations.
A history of Newquay
The curve of the headland around Newquay provided a natural shield from bad weather conditions; because of this a small fishing village was established in the area. The date that the village was first occupied is unknown, but it is widely known that it hasn’t always be known as Newquay. It was formerly known as Towan Blystra until a New Quay was built in 1439, this is where its name derives from.
The first national British census of 1801 indicated that around 1,300 inhabitants had settled in the village. In 1876, the arrival of passenger trains meant that the village become a very popular place to visit. Following this, several large hotels were built around the turn of the 19th century. Soon after 1901, three churches were built.
Up until the early 20th century, the fishing port was renowned for pilchards. From a small white hut overlooking the harbour, a huer would cry “Hevval” to alert the fishermen everytime he had spotted pilchard shoals. The hut (Huers Hut) is still there and has become a very popular tourist attraction.
A surfing culture
As well as possessing a fascinating heritage, Newquay is also one of the UK’s most popular surfing destinations. From the moment that you enter Newquays town centre, you will know how passionate the locals are about surfing. With many surf stores, surf lodges and hire shops in the town; it’s widely regarded as the surf capital of the UK. Newquays surfing culture creates a unique feel good atmosphere that is hard for other British seaside resorts to compete with.
A lot of its surfing reputation can be attributed to its superb beaches that feature consistently good waves. Fistral Beach is one beach in particular that has contributed a lot to Newquays surfing status. Fistral beach has been host to some of surfing’s most prestigious competitions, most recently the world renowned Rip Curl Boardmasters.
Attractions to suit everyone
Perhaps what makes Newquay such a great destination is the fact that the people who go there are so diverse. Not only is it ideal for families, but it’s also perfect for groups and couples. For families there are attractions such as Newquay Zoo and the Blue Reef Aquarium. There is plenty to do at both of these attractions and probably enough to make a day of it. For history lovers there are fascinating attractions such as Huer’s Hut, Trerice Manor House and the Classic Air Force museum.
An array of beaches, all with charm in abundance
Newquays beaches are one of the main reasons why people return there year after year. What’s amazing is that all 11 of Newquays beaches have their own unique charm. If you see a picture of one of Newquays beaches on a sunny day, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s somewhere in the Mediterranean. 3 beaches that I would highly recommend are Watergate Bay, Tolcarne and Towan.
Watergate bay has plenty of activities to keep you occupied; it also has good shops and a restaurant that is perfect for watching the sunset. Tolcarne is a large sandy beach that is ideal for families. Due to its plethora of different coloured beach huts it has a truly distinctive appearance; it also has a roadside promenade that overlooks the spectacular Cornish coast. Towan is a personal favourite of mine; it’s located next to the Harbour and is complete with a sea water pool. The sea is a lot calmer at Towan, making it ideal for bathers and families.
This article was written by MOR Surf Lodge