Darwin Escapes

Top 5 Things to do in Newquay

Newquay is one of Cornwall’s most popular destinations, and the award winning Piran Meadows Resort & Spa is the perfect location to make your base and explore…

If you are spending some time at Piran Meadows Resrot & Spa, or around Newquay, I have found some great places to visit! Family friendly and fun places, as well as relaxing gardens to lose yourself in too.

Located only a few minutes drive from Newquay, Piran Meadows is the perfect place to base yourself when exploring the sights and sounds of the Cornish countryside and golden sandy beaches! If you’re looking to spend time on park you’ll find there is lots to offer too, from the relaxing Serenity Spa to the fun kids Splash Zone and play areas, as well as the beautiful accommodation and luxury indoor tropically heated swimming pool.

Here are my top 5 places to visit on your Newquay adventure…


1. The Japanese Garden – tranquil, beautiful and peaceful

The Japanese Garden combines the beauty of nature with an artistic refinement by shaping and styling the plants and natural elements. A Japanese Garden will traditioinally strive for perfection and balance with a combination of man made and natural elements, making it a place of tranquillity and peace, containing a variety of breath taking plants and calming water features. The garden was built as a meditative space, a place to calm the mind and let go of any unwanted stress through contemplation and reflection in the wonder of nature. Reopening it’s doors on March 1st, Spring is the perfect time to visit while the garden is awakening from its winter slumber, so drop in and calm your mind and marvel at the beauty of the garden and peace around you.


2. Kingsurf Surf School – water sports fun and beautiful beaches

Newquay is known for it’s golden sandy beaches and beautiful scenery, as well as being the epicentre for UK surfing. Kingsurf is a fantastic surfing school with its own base, including warm and dry changing rooms. The facility is located opposite the stunning Mawgan Beach that the Kingsuft school has a private licence for ensuring uncrowded perfection in a unique, unspoiled location. The school has been going for 19 years, and caters to all abilities, whether you are looking for a one lesson taster, or a week long progression course with fun and professional, qualified coaches. The beach is one of the best for beginners learning how to catch their first wave, and with plenty of cafés, shops and even Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant just a short walk away you can grab a bite to eat on your way home. Why not try out a lesson with people that will make you fall in love with the waves in Newquay, with the best kit, approachable and friendly coaches and the natural amphitheatre style cliffs?


3. The Lost Gardens of Helgian – beauty and history in one

With outstanding gardens set in an historical estate, The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a wonder to behold. They were resurrected from a lost part of history in the Cornish countryside, the 200 acre estate is a fascinating story through the ages, starting with the Thunderbox Room, and the wonderful inscription from August 1914 etched into the lime stone “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” by the gardeners at the time. There are beautiful gardens to marvel at, a working productive garden where you can see how they would have farmed back in the day, as well as gorgeous farm animals too (who doesn’t love a cute pig?). With magical woodlands to offer, exotic flowers that have been planted on the grounds centuries ago, and 400 years of history the Lost Gardens will capture your imagination and your heart.


4. Holywell Bay Fun Park – family fun in Newquay

Ride, slide, splash and spin in fun at the wonderful Holywell Bay Fun Park, it has something for every age (even the big kids!) to enjoy. They have a unique ‘your day, your way’ approach which means that it is free to enter the park, and free parking is available too – which is always a bonus! And then you pay as you play, meaning you only pay for the rides you actually go on, how cool is that? They have an great diner to fuel up when your energy levels get low, and a new ice cream parlour for that tasty in between rides treat! The rides and attractions include, adventure golf, bouncy castles, the classic arcade and the hill billy shooting range, along with the Italian Job where you control 8 remote control cars, including a new mini, to recreate the all time classic movie! Or try your hand at the Merlin’s Magical Maze and enter at your own peril, dodge the waterfall, enter the caves unique labyrinth of paths and tunnels, there will be decisions to make and tricks to avoid, think you can get out? There is also the fantastic Sand and Digger Pit for the little’uns, where they can move mountains with the mechanical diggers while you watch from the picnic area and recharge your batteries. And then move on to the fantastic F1 Go Karts, where the adrenaline pumping experience will have you laughing with delight, while going up to speeds of 25mph in the high performance karts! There is also an option of the Whizz Kids and other karting rides for the littler ones in the group, that is just as much fun hearing their screeches of delight! A great family fun filled day out!


5. Quiksilver Surf School – Sun, Sand and Surf

Newquay has the well deserved title of the UK’s epicentre for surfing, and with beaches like Fistral Beach with the waves and golden sand it is easy to see why. The Quiksilver Surf School overlooks the famous Newquay beach and offers surf hire, surf lessons and group bookings, as well as the infamous Roxy, all girls surfing weekend and fantastic Coasteering. The school has hot showers, lockers and up to date kit, with cracking views, as well as a great surf shop where you can pick up fantastic surfing kit, as well as the latest Roxy and Quiksilver clothing ranges. The Roxy weekend takes place once a year, it is an all girls weekend and it’s jam packed with fun fitness events, yoga classes, spa treatments to relax those aching muscles, buffet lunches, of course surfing and loads of Roxy goodies too! It’s an extremely popular weekend every year, catering to both newcomers catching their first wave and intermediate surfers looking for some more advanced coaching to hone those fantastic surfing skills. I would love to have a go and end up looking like I was Blue Crush (that Paul Walker movie?) but I know it would be more like Jaws knowing my luck!

…for the adventurous type!

I might try my hand at Coasteering, exploring the beautiful and rugged Cornish coastline from an new and intriguing angle, free falling off rock faces into the sea. This adrenaline-filled adventure will take you from secluded beaches to smugglers coves and secret caves, all inhabited by stunning and fascinating sea life, such as fun loving seals, playful dolphins and even basking sharks! Coasteering is one of the UK’s fastest growing sports, with a mix of sea swimming, wildlife watching and cliff jumping with qualified instructors who take everything into account, you will get hooked on the buzz from free falling!

And those are my top 5 things to do in Newquay! The place is buzzing with nightlife, wildlife and all kinds of life! (what other kind of life is there?) You will never be short of family fun, adrenaline-junky sports and outstanding views, visit Piran Meadows and have the adventure of a lifetime!

Happy Adventuring Ladies and Gents!

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Photo Credits: Scott Hamilton, Duncan Rawlinson, Pierre Terre.