Updated: Sep 30, 2020
It’s not very often I get the excuse to visit somewhere more than once. I usually tick a place off my bucket list and then move on to the next – after all, there is so much to see out there. However, because my other half is living in Cornwall for the summer while he is doing a course, I’m flying over every couple of weeks during July and August.
I have fallen in love with the place and can honestly say it is somewhere I imagine I will continue to want to visit for years to come. Cornwall is a must visit in your lifetime.
We base ourselves in the vibrant town of Newquay each time I visit, as it is easy to get to, has lots of great places to eat and accommodation has been easy enough to find. There are also several stunning beaches, a cinema in the centre of town and a busy main street.
If you are thinking about venturing there soon, here are some tips to help you plan.
How to get there
Newquay airport is around 20 minutes from Newquay town, and is the main airport to fly into when visiting. At the minute, AerLingus and British airways are the only flight operators who go from Dublin to Newquay and if you want to visit during the summer months, I would advise that you book as far in advance as possible. Cornwall is a popular family holiday destination for the British and is becoming increasingly more popular amongst Irish people too. (In the last 12 months three people who I work with have visited!) So, book those flights nice and early to avoid being over charged. Flights that were around €150 return a few months ago have rocketed to over €400 now.
Once you arrive at the airport you have a few options for getting around. There is a car rental place on site or a taxi rank right inside the airport door. The taxi company offers shared cabs, which means you can share with other traveller’s and it will cost you less or you can take a private taxi for around £16.
The last option is to take the A5 bus from outside the airport door into Newquay. The bus goes once an hour and costs just over £3. Depending on what time your flight lands, you might have to wait for the next bus, but if you’re not in too much a hurry this is definitely the best option.
When retuning to the airport the same applies, the bus leave Newquay every hour for the airport and has several stops along the town.
Searching for accommodation for trips is actually one of my favourite things to do. I love sussing out the best deals, figuring out where the top locations are and finding hidden gems. On my first visit to Newquay, I booked a little studio apartment at Reef Surf Lodge.
However, after spending our first weekend there, I quickly realised which side of town I preferred. Next time I was booking accommodation I made sure it was somewhere along Fore Street. This street is full of great cafes, surf shops, has a huge Sainsburys behind it and has several access points to the beach.
I found the Cliff House on Booking.com and was immediately drawn to its bright rooms and views of the beach. The price from Friday to Sunday was £230, which is more than we would usually spend on a weekend break, however it looked amazing, was in the perfect location and, compared to other places that were selling for that price, it was a bargain.
I’m so delighted that we went with it. It is honestly one of the nicest places I have ever stayed. The guesthouse is owned by a young couple and you really feel their homely touch the minute you step inside the door. The rooms are exactly how they look on the site and are so clean and comfortable. Breakfast was included in the rate, and the fact that they served vegan sausages blew my mind – not many hotels have caught up with this, so it was such a treat. They even got some soya milk in especially for me, so I could enjoy some tea with breaky. The views from the dining room are breath-taking, you have a bird’s eye view of Towan beach – all in all our stay was a five-star experience.
The dining room – Photo from Booking.com
In fact, I love the Cliff House so much that I cancelled the accommodation I had booked for my next visit and have booked back in with them instead. This time we will have a beach-view suite and I am so excited for it. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Newquay, I cannot recommend staying there enough. (@cliffhousenewquay)
Places to eat
On my first visit to Newquay, I walked into a place called The Good Lyfe, on Fore Street, which is an eco-friendly grocery store. (If you know me, you’ll know this was like a candy shop to me!!) I got talking to the lady at the counter, and she very kindly wrote out some restaurant recommendations for me. I said I was looking for somewhere that did good vegan cake and places that had a mix of vegan and non-vegan food. Here are some of the places both she and I recommend:
The Beached Lamb
I feel like a regular in there already – I’ve been in basically every day I’ve been in Cornwall. They have a 50/50 menu of vegan/non-vegan meals and are a great place for Breakfast and lunch. My favourite things from the menu were: Vegan burrito, overnight oats with yoghurt, chocolate fudge cake and their coffee and chocolate milkshake. They also do great coffee and have lots of art for sale on the walls – I took home a fab picture that is going up in our hall, as soon as I get around to painting it. (@thebeachedlamboffical)
Another vegan place, this is a kind of shop/café. I tried their chocolate and orange cheesecake and it was divine. They have a lovely area out the back if you fancy sitting in the quiet sunshine and enjoying some treats. (@sprouthealthfoods)
Although this place is huge and right on the mainstreet, I’m more a fan of smaller places that are down a side street somewhere, I was pleasently suprised at how quirky and unique it was. The menu was equally impressive, with twists on traditional pub grub as well as a separate full vegan menu. I tried the veggie goyoza and B had a chicken sambo – both of us were suitable impressed. (@concholounge)
The Jam Jar
I liked this place for coffee and they had a couple of vegan options (lots of gluten free stuff for anyone interested in that). They do a selection of unusual cakes, like tumeric and ginger slices, well worth checking out if you want to try something different. (@thejamjarnewquay)
Wet dog pizza co.
This place wasn’t on the list from the lady in the Good Lyfe, however it was one of my favourites. It is a tiny little pizzeria with major things to offer. I ordered the Kinky goat, which was mushroom, rocket, chutney and vegan cheese and B had… I’m not even sure what he had, because I was too distracted by my own glorious pizza. Honestly, one of the nicest pizzas I’ve even had. If you remember me raving about Screamers in New York back in April, then this place is very similar. So so good! Tip: You might want to book a table. (@wetdogpizzaco)
Fish & chips
Yep, that’s what it’s called. There’s a tiny little beach hut on Towan beach that sells fish and chips and you have to try them. Side note: I’ve explained on here before that while I eat vegan food 95% of the time, sometimes I do enjoy fish. And my god, did I enjoy it from this place. Super soft, gorgeous batter and the chips are proper chipper chips. They do a meal deal for £5.50 and that gets you some fish, chips and a side. I recommend the mushy peas and that you also splash out on a spicy curry dip. Drool.
So, there you have it, have you fallen for Newquay yet? There are lots of other things to do there, other than eat – lol. It is a hugely popular place for surfers, although so far I haven’t had a chance to do that there. I’m hoping maybe we’ll get a session in before the summer is over.
Last week, I enjoyed some yoga on the beach, it was the perfect place for it. First thing in the morning or just before sunset is the best time to avoid the crowds. *I really need to invest in a travel mat that won’t soak up the water, if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.
Also, the hotel that featured in the Roald Dahl movie ‘The Witches’ is in Newquay and is well worth talking a walk around. Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, the Headland Hotel is a stunning location. (Tip: There are some quiet beaches on the other side of the hotel if you want to avoid the crowds during the day).
Of course, Newquay is only the tip of the Cornwall iceberg, there are many other places to enjoy in the area. I would love to visit St. Ives at some point and spend some time in Charlestown and Penzance. I imagine a road trip around Cornwall would be pretty epic, so that might just have to go on the bucket list.
Hope this was helpful for anyone planning a trip there. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. You can reach me on Instagram HERE.
Written with love,