Newquay: not just for summer

Newquay in the autumn

I always think October half term is a brilliant time to get away. A break gives you something to look forward to and aim for after the first bit of the new school term. Plus, autumn is a lovely time of year to be outdoors walking through crisp leaves and letting the cobwebs blow away on a gusty beach.

A few years ago we spent a wonderful October half term in a little apartment in Lymington as a mini honeymoon before we went abroad a few months later. It reminded me the seaside is certainly not just for summer. In fact, it can be an even better place to visit once the hordes of tourists have packed up and gone home. Which is why Newquay would definitely be on our list of places to return to out of peak season.

We’re no strangers to this part of Cornwall. We only live an hour and a half away, up the road in Devon, plus I spent a year down there doing my Journalism Post Grad training. But we’ve also had two wonderful holidays in Crantock, just a mile or so outside of Newquay. These were both August breaks, so the place is a very different one to visit just a few months later. 

Things to do in Newquay in Autumn

There are so many things to do in Newquay that a holiday there doesn’t need to be confined to the summer. Here are some of my favourites:

Crabbing on Crantock Beach

Crabbing is a fun activity at any time of year, and Crantock Beach, just a mile or so outside of Newquay, is a brilliant destination for it. Wrap up warm and make the most of the beach not being full of sunbathers at this time of year. Afterwards, you can wander up into the pretty Crantock village or head to The Bowgie Inn and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat overlooking the headland.

This is Crantock Beach in the summer – in the autumn it’s far quieter…

Crantock Beach

Emma at Emma and 3 also recommends a spot of crabbing off a harbour wall, “It’s great fun for children and so easy to do!”.


If you’re a hearty outdoorsy family then you might be up for a spot of camping, even if the weather is a bit more chilly. There are so many different campsites around Newquay that you’ll be spoilt for choice, but our favourite is Trevella Park in Crantock for its laid-back, family vibe. We spent a lovely week there back in August.

Cosy pubs and pasties

Anyone who’s been to Newquay in the summer knows it can be pretty hectic. If you want a guaranteed parking space you need to get there bright and early. And the queues outside of the best pasty shops can stretch for miles! But in the autumn it takes on a more relaxed atmosphere. Check into one of the many hotels – you can find the perfect hotel via Hotel Direct – and spend a few days wandering along one of Newquay’s various beaches, enjoying a pint in any of the many pubs, a meal in a restaurant and, of course, a pasty overlooking the sea.

Days out

This part of the world is geared up for day trips so even if it’s raining, there are still plenty of things to do with the family. We love Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, which is a great place to spend a morning before heading out for a walk on Town Beach, right outside.

Newquay Blue Reef Aquarium

Another great place to visit is Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm a short drive away in Penhallow. It’s free entry, but if you want to take a tractor ride through the orchards or have a tour of the distillery you need to pay separately. There’s also a cute little farm area, jam shop and a shop selling all the ciders, brandies and other goodies that they make on the farm. Plus, there’s a lovely restaurant which does delicious cream teas.

If you like going to the zoo then Newquay Zoo won’t disappoint. Or for little ones then a trip to the Lappa Valley Steam Railway is a must.

According to Gemma at Helloitsgemma you can’t beat a day trip to Perranporth, just eight miles or so down the road from Newquay. “Perranporth has great cafes,” says Gemma. “There’s also an expanse of sandy beach. Keep an eye out for the swan that nests in town – sometimes she walks down the high street!”


Have you been to Newquay in the autumn? What would your top tip for a day out, event or place to visit be? 


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Hotel Direct. 


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