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We have picked 6 top things to do in Newquay to help you plan your next break to North Cornwall!

Newquay lies on Cornwall’s north coast, and is known for its many beaches and lively atmosphere. The best Newquay attractions range from animal encounters to incredible aviation heritage.

Family friendly and with most of these attractions within walking distance of each other, you’ll never be stuck for things to do in Newquay!

So if you’re enjoying a short break to Cornwall, you can easily pack a few activities into one day. Or for longer stays, build a relaxing itinerary around these fabulous days out!

Read our guide to find out the best things to do in Newquay…

1. Newquay Zoo

lion at newquay zoo cornwall

Get up close to some of the world’s most endangered animals in one of the best places to visit in Newquay! This amazing zoo spans 13 acres and rests just outside the centre of Newquay. Expect to find lions, zebras, monkeys, red pandas, meerkats and penguins among the residents here.

Newquay Zoo is a registered charity and supports a host of conservation projects all over the world. You can enjoy a great day out knowing your money is going to a fantastic cause!

Make your visit even more special by adopting an animal, or book an animal experience.

Discover several eating outlets around the zoo to refuel or indulge in a tasty Corish ice cream. Once you’ve completed the fascinating route around the zoo, stop in the gift shop to pick up a souvenir too.

Things to know before you go:

  • It is essential to book online before your visit.
  • Newquay Zoo is open from 10am every day (except for Christmas Day).
  • Chester Zoo Annual Pass Holders gain free entry to Newquay Zoo. For further information, click here.
  • Parking is available in the council-owned Trenance Car Park.

  • 2. Blue Reef Aquarium

    fish in blue reef aquarium newquay cornwall

    The Blue Reef Aquarium offers a great Newquay day out. Sitting on the edge of Towan Beach, the aquarium is home to a variety of sea creatures.

    Pick up a creature checklist from the reception and enjoy venturing around this aquatic environment, ticking off each ocean marvel as you spot them!

    Throughout the day there are talks and feeding times to enjoy from the knowledgeable staff. It’s a day of fun and learning for children and adults alike!

    Pop into the gift shop at the end of your visit to get a souvenir, before heading onto Towan Beach or visiting nearby Newquay Harbour.

    Things to know before you go:

  • It is essential to book your visit online before you go.
  • Parking is available in one of the many public car parks in Newquay. The closest are Manor Car Park, St Georges Road Car Park, and Mount Wise Car Park.
  • Opening times are from 10am to 5pm, with last entry at 4pm.

  • 3. Trenance Gardens & Leisure Park

    boating lake in trenance garden newquay cornwall

    One of the best places to visit near Newquay town centre is Trenance Gardens & Leisure Park. The picturesque gardens make the perfect picnic spot, with lots of flowers and greenery to explore, as well as being one of the best free things to do in Newquay.

    Pick up a Tree Walk booklet from the Tourist Information Centre to spot the trees and flowers around you.

    Children will love the fun playgrounds and parks here, as well as the miniature railway! Whilst adults can look forward to crazy golf, the Heron Tennis Centre, or the Boating Lake.

    Choose a pedal or row boat to cruise along the water in this delightful setting.

    Things to know before you go:

  • The gardens are around a 10-minute walk from Newquay centre.
  • The nearest car park is Trenance Car Park (the same one for Newquay Zoo).
  • There is a tearoom in the gardens called Trenance Cottages serving food and drinks, including Cornish Cream Tea.

  • 4. Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre

    aeroplane in cornwall aviation heritage centre newquay cornwall

    Newquay aviation museum is the perfect attraction for those with a passion for history and engineering!

    Climb into real jets dating from the present day all the way back to the 1940s. Situated on the outskirts of Newquay, this amazing museum is based in a huge ex-RAF aircraft hangar.

    As well as a large collection of full-size aircrafts, it is also home to over 1,500 model aircrafts too. Visitors can even enjoy a ride in the in-flight simulator, virtually taking off from Newquay Airport!

    Things to know before you go:

  • The museum is home to a café serving hot and cold drinks and snacks.
  • Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on the lead.
  • Booking in advance is not required, just turn up!

  • 5. Waterworld Leisure Centre


    One of the best things to do in Newquay in the rain is visit Newquay water park! Waterworld Leisure Centre is packed with exciting activities whether rain or shine.

    The leisure pool has a host of water features and flumes, including a bubbly volcano and Happy Hippo flume. Parents can enjoy swimming lengths in the 25-metre pool, or enjoy a workout in the large gym. Choose from fitness classes or the top quality gym equipment.

    The centre is also home to a trampoline and soft-play park, ideal for tiring little ones out with fun!

    Things to know before you go:

  • Membership is not required; the centre offers day passes and tickets. Visitors can also book in advance.
  • Open Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 9:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 7:00am to 6:00pm.

  • 6. Newquay Beaches

    towan beach newquay cornwall

    Newquay is known for its multitude of beautiful beaches seemingly around every corner. A trip to Newquay wouldn’t be complete without several days spent enjoying the golden sands.

    Enjoy a surfing lesson on the famous Fistral Beach to catch all the best waves. Or relax on Newquay Harbour Beach before stand-up paddle boarding amongst the boats.

    Take a stroll along Towan Beach and at low tide walk beneath The Island House Bridge. Or enjoy dinner with a view on the idyllic Lusty Glaze Beach.

    Several of Cornwall’s dog-friendly beaches can be found in Newquay, so bring your pet pal along!

    Things to know before you go:

  • At almost every beach you’ll find surfboard and wetsuit hire available.
  • All Newquay beaches are dog-friendly, with the exception of Lusty Glaze Beach and Porth Beach enforcing seasonal restrictions.

  • For a memorable experience, why not choose a unique day out in Cornwall for a special occasion? Or find plenty of free things to do, like cycling in Cornwall and visiting the many charming Cornwall fishing villages.

    Experience all of these 6 things to do in Newquay on a break with Cornish Cottage Holidays.

    Image attribution: AirwolfhoundCC BY-SA 4.0; NilfanionCC BY-SA 4.0Alan Wilson – CC BY-SA 2.0; Nenad StojkovicCC BY 2.0; Hardo MüllerCC BY-SA 2.0; Paul HudsonCC BY 2.0