"About Newquay" Newquay by leafmcgowan

Newquay Travel Guide: 144 reviews and 301 photos

About Newquay

One of Cornwall's vacation hotspots, Newquay is known for its partying, beaches, surfing, and tourism. A small town and seaside resort that is also a civil parish and a fishing port, Newquay attracts visitors from all over England and the world - especially for its surfing and beach events. With a small population of approximately 19,500+ citizens, the town thrives on fishing, surfing, and tourist income that can boost its temporary season populace to 100,000 in no time at all. Newquay is located on the north Atlantic side of Cornwall roughly 20 miles east of Bodmin and 12 miles north of Truro. Surrounded by a marsh and the River Gannel on the west with Porth Valley to its east. Historically rich, Newquay has prehistoric burial mounds and an embankment that is known as "The Barrowfields" 400 meters from Trevelque. Excavations of the few remaining barrows (once upwards of 15) uncovered charred cooking pots, coarse pottery burial urn containing the remains of a Bronze Age Chieftain (3,500 B.P.). The first settlement of the area appears to be a late Iron Age hillfort that was attracted to the area for its natural defensive position, abundant resources, and climate. This occupation is believed to have continued from 300 B.C. to approximately 500 C.E. The area was active during the Medieval period again for its resources and natural protection from foul weather which evolved into a small fishing village. By the 15th century C.E. the village was named "Towan Blystra" after its natural sand dune features. In 1439 a local burgesses applied for leave and funds to build a "New quay" here, after which event, the town took on the name "Newquay". By 1801, Newquay had about a population of 1,300 and was formed as a parish by 1882. A Catholic mansion, castellated tower and private tower was built for the Molesworth family in 1835 which later became a golf club house through time. Once the railway came into town in 1876, the village took a growth spurt seeing construction of major hotels including the Victoria, the Atlantic, and the Headland. By 1901 several churches were constructed. Hotels, hostels, and bed & breakfasts started taking over as tourism prospered in the area. 1903 the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity was built that saw much traffic from Bodmin monks. 1911 saw construction of Newquay St. Michael's - a large Anglican Church designed by Sir Ninian Comper. Newquay then became the "Blackpool of the West Country" as it became a thriving party center for tourists and surfers based on attraction to its coastline and nine long and accessible sandy beaches. Newquay has become the surf capital of the UK and is well known for its Boardmasters Tournament and festivals. Newquay is also notorious for its nightlife ranging from bars, pubs, to clubs with organized party pub crawls. Stag and Hen parties are notorious in the area. While I enjoyed the beaches, the scenery, and the town - it was too much of a party-town for my tastes in a mainstream sense. It was like a Fort Lauderdale for Brits. But I'll be back I'm sure.

  • Last visit to Newquay: Jun 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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