The headland next to the present day harbour gave shelter to the fishing community of Towan Blystra, which in Cornish means ‘Sand Dunes’ and ‘Blustery’.
From its name though it was obvious that it still needed more protection and so a ‘New Quay’ was built in the 15th cent.
Several new quays were built until it was able to handle not just fishing boats, but the export of iron ore, china clay and guano!
Today small fishing boats still use the harbour as well as pleasure craft but the export of guano has dried up but I’m not quite sure why.
FreediveUK run a fantastic trip - you get taken round the coast near newquay on Kayaks and are given the opportunity to jump off and have a snorkel at different spots- it's absolutely amazing how much stuff there is to see under the water which was quite a surprise given that its England! We also got up close to a seal, sometimes they see Dolphins and Basking Sharks which would be amazing!
They also run Freediving courses (where you dive without any scuba tanks) and we could have had the day as an introduction to Freediving - we decided to have a more relaxed time but would definitely consider it on a future trip to Cornwall!
We would highly recommend this to anyone.
The Newquay memorial is in the form of a cross atop a rocky plinth and is dedicated to locals lost in Great War, WWII, Falklands Campaign 1982 and Afghanistan War 2006, The inscriptions read: “Erected this cross to bear lasting witness to her son's supreme sacrifice in The Great War 1914-1918” and “To the lasting memory also of those who gave their lives in the World War 1939 – 1945”
The Newquay Tourist Information Centre offers the following services; Accommodation Booking, Surf Lesson Booking, Books, Maps, Tourist Guides, Left Luggage Service, Gift Ideas, Photo-copying Service, Internet Café, and the Newquay First Loyalty Card.
Monday to Friday: 9:15 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Towan is the closest beach to the town centre and is bordered on the western edge by the harbour and at the East by a tall rocky outcrop called 'the Island' which is connected to the mainland by a suspension footbridge. The beach can get extremely busy in the summer due to its level access and it’s proximity to the harbour entrance producing little swell. At low tide Towan links up with the other Newquay beaches to the East of it - Great Western and Tolcarne - forming one long continuous sandy strip.
Newquay Harbour is close to the town centre; the Harbour hosts the annual Fish Festival and is also home to a colony of seals. There has been a small harbour in Newquay since 1439 but it wasn't until 1770 that its importance as a commercial harbour really took off when Richard Lomax, a speculator from London created an enclosed three acre harbour from which mineral ore could be shipped to the smelters in South Wales.
This is an attraction not to be missed if you are into pirates and Cornish history. Situated at the top of a hill in St Michaels Road next to the church overlooking a car park park, is the museum and the Sunken Village of the Damned is their latest attraction. Groups are taken around by Pirate Captain Morgan who speaks in an authentic voice, sounds a bit like my uncle does.
You have to have nerves of steel if you want to do the Sunken Village of the Damned, but it can be avoided if so wished. Scary scenes, heart-chilling sounds, atmospheric lighting and theatrical effects will test you.
Opening times are:
Tuesday, July 6 - 10.30am to 4.30pm
Wednesday, July 7 - 10.30am to 4.30pm
Thursday, July 8 - 10.30am to 4.30pm
Friday, July 9 - 10.30am to 4.30pm
Saturday, July 10 - closed all day
Sunday July 11 - 11.30am to 4.30pm
Admission: Adults (16yrs+) £6.50 Children (5-15yrs) £3.25
Seniors £5.00 Full-time Students (with current ID) £5.00.
It's good to visit on fine days as if their is a group already going round, you can sit in comfortable chairs in their front garden.
Note: The comment deemed most humorous -
Simon & Ava, West Midlands: Excellent - Village of the Damned reminded us of Coventry.
Just down the road from the Harrington and over the road from the zoo by the viaduct bridge is the boating lake. If you like plants, flowers and nice walks then this is for you. It's name is Trenance Gardens and the lake was dug out during the Depression by unemployed men who were given a pasty, dole money and tobacco; while their wives received a free packet of tea at the end of the week. There's also a riding stables in the corner, although its a bit concealed, you wouldn't know it was there. Very wheelchair friendly, there's 2km of park to explore including the rose garden, the scent of each flower is strong and would make great perfumes.
There are benches with names of people on who have passed, some of them are quite young. There are many dog walkers as well.
The lakeside cafe is a must with views across the lake towards the fountain which lights up at night. People can hire paddle boats and zoom round the lake, the baby birds were cute. There's a couple of boarded up cottages which would make a great guest house, shame to see them all covered up but there's probably a reason; it's probably haunted!
We were lucky enough to go out one morning to see around thirty basking sharks who were in the area.
We had tried to go out in a boat on the day before but there weren’t anymore heading out. Luckily we left my mobile number with them and they were nice enough to give us a call.
I was the cameraman on the boat trip, as I had hurt my foot and am not the most confident of sea swimmers at the best of times. Nicola, my wife, donned the wetsuit and joined the others in the sea with some of the biggest sharks we’d ever seen.
Fortunately basking sharks are strictly vegetarian.
When you take the South West Coast west of Holywell, you will reach Penhale Point. There you are pretty close to the Gull Rocks (also called Carter's Rocks). And again the views are great! The coast path there goes along a military area and there are several signs that urge you to not leave the path. We walked along the path until we saw the beach of Perranporth. That's really a large beach! We took the same way back, unfortunately you couldn't go inland because of this military area. But seeing the coast from the other direction was great also! And we just were back in time for enjoying the sunset from Penhale Point which was nice also, it only was very very windy!
When walking along the coast north from Holywell, you will reach a small cove called Polly Joke. It's a lovely beach, with rock pools and caves! It's pretty remote and there are no lifeguards or toilets, but a car park is somewhere nearby. You also can park in West Pentire and walk from there. West Pentire is close to Crantock, and from here you can reach Crantock beach (a much larger beach than Polly Joke) or just enjoy the view on that beach, with the Gannel River in the north that separates Newquay from Crantock.
Fistral Beach probably is the most popular beach of Newquay. It's situated below the golf course and seems to be perfect for surfers. It has been the place where we saw most of them. The beach even has its own website: www.fistralbeach.co.uk.
North of Fistral Beach, there's another beach called "Little Fistral" - a small beach with rocks and caves. A bit more north is Towans Head with a little hut, from where you have a great view on both Newquay Bay and Fistral Bay. There's also a small car park at Towans Head.
Holywell is a small village about 15 minutes drive from Newquay, with a campsite, holiday apartments, and a few small shops. The beach there is very nice, with sand dunes and a small stream, and a great view on the two rocks in the sea called Gull Rocks.
Also the coast around is absolutely stunning. We did a fantastic 3-hour-walk from Hollywell Bay along the Southwest Coast Path to Kelsey Head and Pentire Point West, then from West Pentire inland back to Holywell - really great!
There's also a good restaurant in Holywell called St Piran's Inn. The Chicken Kiev was great! We only hat to wait a bit, it seems to be well frequented. There's a car park in front of the restaurant that can be used by beach visitors also, but the National Trust car park nearby was a bit cheaper.
Huer's Hut is a small white painted building that dates from the 14th century. It was used as a lookout by a huer. This is a person who looked out for shoals of pilchards or herrings and alerted the fishermen with a horn or cry ("hue") as soon as he saw them. The fishermen then could get into position and encircle the shoals. The hut may have been home of an hermit earlier who was in charge of lightening the beacon fire.
In a small park above Towan Beach you'll find a really interesting sun dial. At first I didn't realize that this is a sundial. There's a slab on the ground that shows the months, with some small slabs around with the hours. All you need to do is to step on the current month and then your shadow will show you the time.
This little park is also a very nice place with beautifuls view on the coast with its cliffs and beachs, and the headland.