Have you ticked off all of Newquay’s beaches? 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 in Newquay, if you’re spending a week or longer there you might want to explore more of the surrounding area and the best day trips from Newquay.
As well as other epic beaches, there are interesting places to visit near Newquay to learn about Cornwall’s culture. Here’s our full list!
Best Things to do Near Newquay
Bedruthan Steps is around a 20 minute drive from Newquay, and it’s one of the most epic viewpoints in the county. It’s 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.
Perranporth and St Agnes Heritage Coast
If you want a day out of Newquay, Perranporth is an excellent option – and you don’t even need a car. The 87 bus links the two towns and takes around half an hour.
Perranporth is a quieter village 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
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!).
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.
Truro is one of the best days out near Newquay if you don’t have a 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.
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. Bodmin is around a 30 minute drive
The Eden Project
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.
Located on the other coastline of Cornwall, but 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 the crowds.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
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 the 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
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 fran 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.
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.
Heartlands is a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, and is a great place to visit if you want to learn about this side of Cornish history. On site is a museum and exhibition, and 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.
The Best Day Trips from Newquay
Newquay is a wonderful place to visit. Although it is quite touristy, there are some wonderful places to stay in Newquay and it has beautiful beaches and a fun local culture, suitable for couples, groups, and families.
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!