Millions of visitors flock to Newquay every year for dozens of reasons – the beauty of the north Cornish coast, the sweeping sand beaches, the amazing walks ¬– but the primary lure for many is the promise of some of the best surf in the UK. Fistral beach, whose kilometre long stretch of golden sand is less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Pentire Hotel, is one of the most famous surfing spots in Britain, attracting beginners and experienced surfers alike.
Located right in the heart of Newquay with dozens of surf schools to choose from, Fistral Beach offers an action-packed day of surfing, and Newquay offers keen surfers access to a whole range of other fantastic surfing beaches including Crantock Beach on the River Gannel estuary, Mawgan Porth Beach and Watergate Bay Beach just a couple of miles down the coast.
Despite its association with sunshine and beaches, the best surfing in Cornwall is generally agreed to be in the autumn rather than summer. So while the hottest months may be behind us, here in Newquay the surfing season is reaching its zenith. There are many reasons why autumn is the best surfing season in Cornwall – here are just a few:
1) The seawater temperature is warmest right at the end of summer after being steadily heated throughout the hottest months. The sea both absorbs and loses its heat more slowly than the land which means our summer-warmed coastal waters retain their milder temperatures right through to late November.
2) The famous beaches like Fistral or Watergate are less busy in autumn than during the peak summer holiday season when every inch of sand and sea can end up teeming with people. Autumn is much easier for the surfers to enjoy uninterrupted swell and catch more waves, and all without the worry of collisions or competing for space. If you are really lucky you may even find you have a beach to yourself for a few hours.
3) Autumn is when the best surfing waves hit the north Cornish coast. As the year progresses towards winter, Atlantic storms kick up bigger seas which send more dramatic waves rolling towards the UK coast to be enjoyed by the waiting surfing fans in Newquay and other popular Cornish surfing spots.
4) With the sun lower in the sky, casting long shadows across the golden sands and the leaves falling rust red to the ground, autumn is arguably the most beautiful time of year in north Cornwall. It is also the season that heralds the most beautiful red sunsets westwards over the Atlantic ocean.
5) You can drive to explore other surf beaches further along the coast without sitting in traffic jams for hours and easily find spots to park.
6) You can book surf lessons and if you are a beginner it will be much more pleasant learning without the stress of crowds of other surfers getting frustrated in the water around you. The air temperature may be cooling and the evenings shorter but when the sun shines, it is still easily warm enough to enjoy the beach through much of autumn. But if the weather turns for a day or two or sea conditions become too violent, there are plenty of other fun ways to spend a few days in Newquay. Enjoy a stunning walk along the South West Coast Path, visit one of the other lovely nearby coastal towns or famous sights such as Padstow, Falmouth or the Eden Project (pre-booking required), or go inland for a trudge around atmospheric Bodmin Moor. Then head back to the Pentire Hotel and warm-up with a boozy hot chocolate or unwind and ease any aching muscles in our indoor heated swimming pool (pre-booking required). Sandwiched between Fistral beach and the tranquil Gannel Estuary, the Pentire Hotel is a perfect base from which to enjoy Cornish surf, everything Newquay has to offer or explore further afield, so why not come and pay us a visit this autumn.