If you’re looking for the best days out from Newquay, here’s my list of the best day trips and places nearby!
Have you ticked off all of Newquay’s beaches and other attractions?
This list of the best places to visit near Newquay will help you explore more Cornwall destinations in the area!
With kilometres of dazzling coastline, a funky surf culture, and plenty of bars and restaurants in the evening, Newquay screams holiday like no other place in Cornwall, if not the entire UK.
But it’s only a small town, and although there are lots of things to do, if you’re spending a week or longer in town you might want to explore more of the surrounding area.
So, I give you the best day trips from Newquay!
Best days out from Newquay
The best days out from Newquay include nearby beaches like Perranporth and Watergate Bay, bustling harbour towns like Padstow and St Ives and historically significant places like Bodmin (home to Bodmin Jail) and Truro (Cornwall’s only city). Whether you fancy nature, culture, history or food, you’ll find it on a Newquay day trip!
How to get there from Newquay: Bedruthan Steps is around a 20 minute drive from Newquay.
One of the most epic viewpoints in the country, Bedruthan Steps is a collection of striking stacks jutting out in the ocean.
If you visit on a sunny day, the sea will glisten with a beautiful turquoise colour that wouldn’t look out of place in the Mediterranean. Hiking here is undoubtedly one of the best things to do near Newquay.
If you have a National Trust Card, you’ll get free parking at this car park. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the coast from here. It’s worth it; this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Cornwall.
You can make a day trip out of visiting Bedruthan by heading to nearby beach towns like Mawgan Porth and Watergate Bay, or taking a hike along this particularly beautiful stretch of coastline!
Perranporth and St Agnes Heritage Coast
How to get there from Newquay: The 87 bus links the two towns and takes around half an hour, or it’s a 15 minute drive.
Perranporth is a quieter town with an expansive beach, famous for its dunes and great surf.
From Perranporth, you can walk a section of the South West Coastal Path known as the St Agnes Heritage Coast; this hike offers some spectacular views over the dramatic north Cornish coastline.
Perranporth is small, but there is still an excellent array of restaurants, cafes and bars, making this one of the best day trips from Newquay.
Trevibban Mill Vineyard
How to get there from Newquay: It’s a 25 minute drive from Newquay to Trevibban Mill.
It’s no Bordeaux, but there is a bit of a Cornish wine region – and a tour around Trevibban Mill Vineyard is one of the best things to do near Newquay!
Here, you can take a tour to learn about Cornish wine and try some of their delicious wines in a tasting session!
You can pop in for a tasting session or book a tour in advance (they only run on particular days, so be sure to check the website for details!).
How to get there from Newquay: Port Isaac is around a 40 minute drive away – unfortunately public transport routes aren’t very reliable!
If you’re a Doc Martin fan, you’ll already know all about Port Isaac! It’s the setting of the fictional village of Portwenn, which is where nearly all of the show is set.
For a small village, there are plenty of things to do in Port Isaac. You can do a Doc Martin tour around the highlights, as well as see some of the sights independently.
If you aren’t into Doc Martin, you can still enjoy the fishing village’s tranquil atmosphere and climb up the nearby hills to take in the epic views.
It’s a quintessential Cornish seaside village, and is one of the best places to visit near Newquay.
Fancy spending the night in Port Isaac? Here’s my where to stay in Port Isaac guide.
How to get there from Newquay: It’s around a 30-minute drive, or the 91 and 93 buses both link Newquay with Cornwall’s capital.
Truro is one of the best days out near Newquay with no car as they are connected by the 93 bus.
Truro is the capital of Cornwall and its only city.
There are plenty of things to do in Truro; the Cathedral is well worth a visit, as is the Royal Cornwall Museum – and Healy’s Cyder Farm is just down the road as well! It’s one of the best Newquay day trips if you want to see somewhere a little more urban.
Fancy spending the night in Truro? Here’s my where to stay in Truro guide.
How to get there from Newquay: Bodmin is around a 30 minute drive from Newquay, although unfortunately there aren’t any direct buses.
Bodmin is a central Cornish town with a few interesting attractions.
The Bodmin Keep details Cornish military history, and some epic viewpoints are walkable from the town.
Bodmin Jail has recently been redone, and it is now a completely immersive experience.
Then, there’s Bodmin Moor – with endless grassy terrain, beautiful waterfalls and moorland ponies, hikes here are among the best in the country.
The Eden Project
How to get there from Newquay: It’s around a 30 minute drive, or you could take the train to Par (about 50 minutes) and then a taxi.
The Eden Project is one of the best things to do in Cornwall with kids – but it’s great for big kids too!
It contains two large biomes which replicate two different climates: rainforest and Mediterranean, and there are also exhibitions of Cornish plants.
The project offers education about these climates and the importance of taking steps from the UK to combat climate change.
How to get there from Newquay: Mevagissey is ocated on the other coastline of Cornwall, but is still only a 40 minute drive from Newquay.
Mevagissey is a picturesque fishing village with a long history; it was a famous place for boat building in the 18th century.
Because of this historical prosperity, many of the buildings in Mevagissey date back from that period.
Mevagissey has a couple of museums – the Folk Museum and the World of Model Railways Exhibition – as well as epic views from nearby Polkirt Hill.
Mevagissey isn’t as popular with tourists as other Cornish seaside villages, so it’s one of the best places to visit near Newquay to avoid crowds.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
How to get there from Newquay: Situated near Mevagissey, the Lost Gardens of Heligan are also a 40 minute drive from Newquay.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan were quite literally, lost gardens.
The area was a country estate for centuries (side note: I have recently discovered, thanks to ancestry, that my eighth great-grandfather actually owned the estate in the late 17th century!), and the gardens were expanded and beautified by successive owners throughout the years.
However, at the outbreak of WW1, the estate was abandoned and the gardens were effectively ‘lost’.
In 1990, the gardens were cleared and restored to their former glory. They are now a fusion of traditional gardens and more contemporary features. They’re certainly one of the most unique things to do near Newquay!
The Eden Project, Megavissey and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are all located in the same part of Cornwall, so you could visit all of these on one Newquay day trip.
Padstow and Trevose Head Heritage Coast
How to get there from Newquay: You’re looking at a half hour drive or about an hour on the Atlantic Coaster bus.
Padstow is a traditional fishing village, located on the South West Coastal Path. As well as beautiful beaches, there is an atmospheric harbour.
If you’re a fan of Rick Stein, he has a seafood restaurant, cafe, and shop in this village – it’s got Stein’s mark on it so much some people call it Padstein!
There’s also a lobster hatchery, which seeks to raise awareness of the danger faced by the local lobster population.
From Padstow, you can hike around the beautiful Trevose Head Heritage Coast.
How to get there from Newquay: It’s about a 40 minute drive.
Polzeath is one of the best places to visit near Newquay if you want beginner waves to surf, as well as calmer swimming than elsewhere on the coast. It’s also great for pro surfers – just watch out for local seals and dolphins!
There is also a 2 mile walk to Daymer Bay and Rock, which is right by the Camel Estuary.
Redruth and Camborne
How to get there from Newquay: buses operate between the towns, or it’s around a half-hour drive.
If you’re searching for some lesser-known Cornish spots to really get involved with the region’s heritage, head to Camborne and Redruth.
My family’s from this part of Cornwall, so I know it very well, and while I’m slightly biased, I believe that it’s one of the best places you can visit to get to know the tin mining industry.
Redruth is a town steeped in history, with a rich mining heritage that can be traced back to the 16th century.
While here, explore the town’s past on a town’s trail, or head to one of the nearby historical sites like East Pool Mine.
Camborne, located just a few miles from Redruth, is another historic mining town with granite cottages lining the roads. Another mine, King Edward Mine, is nearby and also worth visiting.
In the middle of Camborne and Redruth, you’ll find Heartlands, which is home to a museum and exhibition about Cornish mining, along with the Cornish Diaspora Gardens where you can learn a little about Cornish immigration over the years.
It’s one of the best things to do near Newquay with kids – there’s also a huge adventure playground.
Entry to all of these is free of charge, and there is also a soft play (chargeable) and cafe and shop on site.
How to get there from Newquay: it’s a one-hour drive or around two hours on the Atlantic Coaster bus.
A picturesque seaside town on the north coast of Cornwall, St Ives is known for its stunning palm-lined beaches, turquoise waters, and bustling harbour.
A day trip to St Ives is a must for anyone visiting Cornwall; its tranquil coastal scenes are legendary and have attracted numerous artists to the town over the years!
Once you’ve finished exploring the town’s winding streets, lined with independent shops, art galleries, and cafes, check out the Tate St Ives art museum which boasts a collection of contemporary art and stunning views of Porthmeor Beach.
St Ives offers two very different but particularly beautiful sections of South West Coast Path; the route towards Lelant Saltings via Carbis Bay is easy, and you can take the train on the way back (which is one of the most beautiful lines in the country), whereas the St Ives to Zennor walk is much more challenging, but offers incredible views over rugged cliffs.
Back in town, you can take a boat out to Seal Island to see a friendly colony of seals, enjoy the many beaches, or grab a pasty from St Ives bakery and eat it on the harbour (just watch out for seagulls!).
The Best Day Trips from Newquay
Although it is quite touristy, there are some wonderful places to stay in Newquay, making it an idyllic holiday destination.
But there’s so much else to see in Cornwall as well, so make sure that you check off some of these amazing day trips from Newquay when staying in the town!