What to do in Newquay this autumn
You’d be forgiven for assuming that Newquay is primarily a summer holiday destination. And, while the summer is certainly the most popular time of year to visit the north coast surfing capital, those who spend autumn here know just how special it can be.
Autumn in Newquay spells fewer crowds, better swell and crisp blue-sky days with a still-lingering warmth – not to mention autumn sunsets which set the entire sky ablaze. If you know, you know.
Below, we’ve rounded up what there is to see and do in Newquay this autumn.
Swim and dine at The Esplanade Hotel
The Esplanade Hotel at South Fistral recently underwent an extensive refurbishment, which has seen it add an impressive 30-seat cinema and adults-only cocktail bar alongside the revamped Cove Restaurant, serving up fresh, local produce, Mediterranean-inspired mezze and panoramic views of Fistral Beach.
As well as new additions, the hotel boasts an indoor heated pool (and children’s splash pool), hot tub and sauna – making it an ideal place to visit on a rainy day. Make a day of it with Afternoon Tea (they even do a kid’s version), lunch or dinner in Cove Restaurant post-swim. Cove Restaurant has its own soft play and games area, if swimming didn’t tire the kids out enough. If sans children – a tipple in Elements cocktail bar, featuring live music and entertainment on the weekends.
If you’ve got a little one’s birthday coming up, the hotel also hosts kids’ birthday parties with a variety of themes to suit, including an Afternoon Tea theme, Build-My-Bear and a cinema party package.
Adults £6 per swim, children £4 and under three’s go free. Monthly and annual memberships also available. Kids’ party prices start from £9.50 per child www.esplanadehotelnewquay.co.uk
Catch a show at Lane Theatre
The Lane Theatre is Newquay’s only live theatre venue and counts Philp Schofield among its honorary patrons. Celebrating its 90th birthday this year, the 138-seat auditorium hosts a diverse array of theatrical and musical performances. This year’s autumn-winter line-up includes Floyd in the Flesh – an eight-piece Pink Floyd tribute band - Beauty & The Beast and stand-up by comedian Johnny Cowling.
Tickets from £7 with shows generally starting at 7:30pm. www.lanetheatre.co.uk
TEDx at Newquay Orchard
Newquay’s first-ever TEDx event will be taking place at the beautiful Newquay Orchard in November. With “Renewal” as the theme, expect to hear from inspiring live speakers on the subject that’s bound to spark conversation. Tickets include food prepared by Canteen using organic produce grown on the site.
The urban green space in the heart of Newquay is well worth a visit in general; explore its seven acres, which include a forest garden, traditional orchard and community hub (currently hosting an art exhibition until April 2022), as well as food by Canteen and a plethora of wellbeing and educational activities.
Browse independent boutiques
Newquay’s boutique game is strong, and nothing spells a perfect grey autumn day than perusing independent and artisan shops interspersed with coffee and cake (of course). Some of our favourites include MMW, Sand & Palm, Northshore and Tide & Seek, all of which are within a stroll of one another.
On the outskirts of Newquay town centre, you’ll find the new town of Nansledan with a burgeoning independent scene of cafes and homeware boutiques, including Teylu and Home Nansledan. While over that way, it’s worth popping into neighbouring Porth to check out Roo’s Beach, home to select pieces by brands such as Free People, American Vintage and Nümph.
Dive in at Blue Reef Aquarium
A great rainy-day activity for families, Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium is located on Towan Beach and is home to 40 underwater habitats ranging from Cornwall’s coastlines to exotic shores around the world. Look out for loggerhead turtles, mini caiman crocodiles and blacktip reef sharks and get up close and personal to angelfish, pufferfish and a variety of sharks in the underwater tunnel.
Adult tickets £12.50, children 3-12 £9.50, under-threes free entry. www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/newquay