Newquay's town beaches are right in the centre of town, within short walk from shopping, entertainment and hotels.
Newquay started as a small fishing village with a small quay. This quay had only one very short pier which could not accommodate many boats. Sadly,it was destroyed by storms and so in 1439 the Bishop of Exeter gave leave for a bigger harbour to be built.
This harbour grew rapidly between then and 1872 when it was very busy and had many facilities. It had two piers and a railway connection and in that same year a jetty was built with a connection to the aforementioned railway.
When the steamships came in the early 1900's Newquay Harbour was of no use anymore. The harbours main use now is for pleasure craft and a few small fishing boats. On the west side of the Harbour is the historical Huer's Hut.
Towan is the closest beach to the town centre and can be very busy in the summer due to it's level access. As it is right next to the harbour entrance, it is very sheltered, it gets little swell. It has a small, sea filled swimming pool. Often referred to as "Town Beach". The Newquay Sealife Centre is situated on the promenade. Newquay is often symbolized by the Island, connected to the cliffs by a suspension bridge, that rises from the beach and is depicted in many picture postcards.
A S.W. wind is offshore at Towan and Western and can produce fast hollow waves with an optimum swell size of 4-6ft. Look out for occasional surfing restrictions.
Accessed by a steep winding road left of the Great Western Hotel, this is another popular family beach. Great Western, which, like the hotel, took it's name from the railway is slightly less crowded than Towan or Tolcarne and has a wide range of amenities. These include refreshments, shop, surf and deck chair hire, toilets and showers. The beach comprises several coves with towering cliffs, which makes it very sheltered from the elements. An unusual feature is the private lift which descends through the cliffs from the Victoria Hotel. The old tram track, now a public footpath, runs above the beach and once carried goods for export, especially tin, from the railway to the harbour.
This beach, backed by 150 foot cliffs, is one of Newquay's most popular family beaches.
It's a short stroll out of town, situated just below the Barrowfields.
It may be a long way down and have about 250 steps, but, it is well worth the descent.
The beach has plenty of space but is nowhere near the size of Fistral.
From the beach and the cliffs above there are beautiful views of the headland and Newquay's Harbour.