Cornwall is blessed with some lovely branch lines, one of them being the Atlantic Coast Line that runs between Par and Newquay.
It was originally run by the Cornwall Minerals Railway for transporting China Clay from the pits around St. Austell to the harbours at Fowey, Par and Newquay where it was then exported.
From Par the line travels through the lovely Luxulyan Valley and then over China Clay country to Goss Moor Nature Reserve.
The journey from Par to Newquay takes around 50 minutes.
Located in the Heart of Newquay just off the popular Bank Street, this is an open air ground level car park.
Pay and Display
Capacity: 246 cars
Sunday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
2 Hours: £2.40
Manor Road, Newquay TR7 1PD
When you come by car from the east, take the A30 and then the A392. Coming from the west, take the A30 and then the A3075. There are several car parks in the town which are well signposted. We took the one near the golf course in the Tower Road which was convenient to reach when coming from the west and just a few minutes from the harbour. The prices of the car parks vary, we paid 1£ per hour/ 3,50£ for 4 hours.
You also can reach Newquay by train, there's a train station near the centre. Newquay also has an airport that is situated in the east. It serves quite a lot of destinations within the UK, but also some outside (like Dublin, Düsseldorf and Zürich). For details see the Newquay Airport website.
A good way to tour Newquay is to use the land train, which costs about £4 all day, £2 one-way. It picks up from by a church (I can’t remember the name, & I can’t find anything about the land train on the pc). It stops at such places like Tunnels of Time, Newquay Zoo and the boating Lake.
I was slightly torn over whether to put this under "transportation" or "tourist trap", but in the end I decided that kids would love this fun way of getting around Newquay, so transportation it is!
Starting in the town centre, this little train that runs along the roads, does a 45 minute tour of the town, stopping at beaches, the zoo and waterworld. To be honest, it'd probably take you less time to walk it, but where's the fun in that?
They offer a hop-on-hop-off service to those purchasing day tickets, (£4.00 for adults, £1.00 for children under 12 years) and they also offer one-way tickets.
Trains depart from the town centre (Bank Street, in front of the Reformed Church) on the hour, every hour from 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Newquay airport is fast becoming a popular way of getting to Newquay and other parts of Cornwall. Flights go to many cities throughout the UK, including London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Leeds with 6 different airlines. Local bus services run between the airport and Newquay town centre, and Europcar and Hertz offer car rental services at the airport.
As far as public transport options to Cornwall go, I would say that this is the fastest and most convenient, that is if everything goes to plan. Reliabilty seems to pretty poor, I've heard many people travelling to Cornwall complain that their flight was delayed, diverted or even cancelled. Indeed when I flew here (or should I say was supposed to fly here?) from London Stansted at the end of April 2006 my flight was at first delayed by 4 hours and then they cancelled it altogether due to fog in Newquay. There wasn't another flight until 7pm the following day, and by the time I'd queued to get a refund on the ticket I'd missed the last coach and the last train so was stranded in London for the night.
Therefore, as tempting as it is to opt for the hour long flight over the 7 hour bus ride, bear in mind that, even if you're lucky enough to take off on time, who knows where you may land!
The Newquay branch line joins the main line between Penzance and Plymouth at Par and takes about 45 minutes. During the summer, trains run fairly frequently, about one every hour with the last one leaving at approximately 5-6pm. From Par connections can be made further into Cornwall, or up country to Bristol, Birmingham, London, Edinburgh and many more destinations. Details of timetable and prices can be found at the website below, or call the National Rail Enquiry Line.
Western Greyhound run a bus service throughout the majority of Conwall, and buses running to and from Newquay go to a variety of destinations including Truro, Plymouth, St Austell, Bude, Wadebridge, St Ives... Generally speaking buses run about once every 1 to 2 hours, although more popular routes can be more regular. Prices are affordable, and they do a day tickets that give you unlimited travel on all routes for £5. In fairness, aside from a limited train service this is pretty much the main form of public transport around Cornwall. Although recently I've had no trouble with the service, last winter there were a couple of occasions when buses didn't show up and I was left waiting in the cold for an hour for the next one, I think that's probably less of a problem during the summer months.