Guide To Culture And Art in Newquay, Cornwall’s Surprising Gem

Photo of David
14 October 2016

Newquay is one of Europe’s most popular seaside resorts and attracts families, couples and groups. Behind its abundance of charm, beautiful beaches and seafood restaurants, Newquay also has a rich and fascinating history. We explore the city’s arts scene, cultural offering and attractions.

© Kosala Bandara/Flickr

Art Galleries in Newquay

There is more to Newquay than its beautiful beaches and seaside charm; the city is also home to a number of fine art galleries, where a diverse selection of paintings, portraits and prints can be found, all at reasonable prices. Because Newquay has such fine scenery, painters and artists are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing their next project.

The majority of art galleries in and around Newquay specialise in drawings and paintings of coastal scenery, with a strong focus on art inspired by nearby areas. All the exhibition spaces here welcome visitors who can to enjoy the arts at their own leisure.

Art spaces, such as Crantock Gallery and Lorna Wiles Studio, are highly recommended.

© Steve Simmonds/Flickr

Newquay’s Beaches and Surfing Culture

Newquay is renowned for its surfing culture, and is even referred to by many as the capital of British surfing. Take a walk around the town centre and you will instantly notice the town’s dedication to this sport. With a number of small surfing boutiques and surf lodges, thousands of surfers flock here every summer in the hope of catching some of the finest waves that the resort has to offer.

But it’s not just surfers who enjoy Newquay’s beaches. Every year, countless families visit Newquay to visit its family-friendly beaches. These are two of the most beautiful:

Lusty Glaze Beach

Located on Cornwall’s dramatic north coast, Lusty Glaze beach is a little cracker. There is always a lot going on here with something to suit everyone, be it live music, sporting events, or surfing lessons. There is also a beach restaurant that treats its visitors to spectacular views of the Newquay coastline, and makes for a perfect way to spend warm summer evenings.

Porth Beach

Porth is a large beach with bags of charm, and what makes it even better is that it has a river flowing right through it. Porth Beach is perfect for families with young children due to its shallow waters, and even at high tide the sea stays shallow for a considerable distance, making it ideal for swimming. This beach is also known for its gully that connects it to neighbouring beach Whipsiderry; the gully is accessible at low tide and is definitely worth visiting.

Towan Head | © A Pillow of Winds/Flickr

What to visit

Bluereef Aquarium

Home to an impressive collection of marine displays, Bluereef Aquarium recreates a number of underwater habitats such as the Mediterranean, Caribbean waters and Cornwall’s famous coastline. At the aquarium, visitors can expect to see sharks, stingrays, turtles, and thousands of rare fish.

Newquay Zoo

Set in charming lakeside gardens, Newquay Zoo is home to around 130 different animal species. Here you will find everything from penguins and reptiles, lions, snakes and birds. This is the perfect place to enjoy a family day out, with great things to see and do for both children and adults.

Huers Hut

Perched proudly above the sea at Towan Head, Huers Hut dates right the way back to the 14th century when it was used by the Huer, an important figure in Cornwall’s fishing history, to watch out for shoals of fish arriving in the bay. To alert the town of their arrival he would yell ‘Heva, Heva’. The views from here are incredible and offer an amazing panoramic view of the Cornish coastline.

Trerice Manor

Trerice Manor, now managed by the National Trust, is a wonderful Elizabethan manor house located just outside of the Newquay town centre. If you enjoy gorgeous interior and stunning gardens, Trerice manor is definitely worth a visit. The antique furniture, stylish décor and a sense of nostalgia that pervades the house are wonderful ways to experience Newquay’s heritage.

© Ennor/Flickr

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