The summer’s here and it’s great to take a picnic to a beach. However, beach picnics aren’t for everybody! Some people prefer a grass picnic area, where they’re free to enjoy a sea view without sand in the sandwiches!
For those lovers of grass and sea, here are five picnic areas in Newquay where you can still enjoy the beach and be beside the seaside, but sitting on a sand-free grassy spot instead!
Be aware that a lot of Newquay open spaces prohibit the drinking of alcohol in public, so if you are planning on a spot of afternoon Pimms, then that’s something to check!
Right in the centre of town, Killacourt can be a great place for a picnic, but as it’s often very crowded, I’d suggest you head off round the corner, to the top of the steps by the access route to The Island. This is a great spot for people watching as you’re right in the centre of all the town buzz, but overlooking The Island, Newquay Harbour and Towan Beach. Satnav TR7 1DZ.
To find this location, just find the Island in the middle of Towan Beach and head towards it – the grassy areas that are quieter are beside the steps going from beside the Island down to the beach.
- Buying Picnic Food: As you’re right in town you’re not short of options for street food, but if you’re planning a picnic then you can’t just pop into Ben & Jerry’s as that’s cheating! There are 2-3 pasty shops close by, but not much in the form of “corner shops or supermarkets”. I’d recommend taking your picnic essentials with you and picking up some pasties and baguettes within 100 yards, either in town, or from the food vendors on Towan Beach.
- Tips: This is probably the most popular spot for seagulls due to the volume of people eating in the open, so guard any picnic food well as they’ll be watching you!
- Nearest car park to Killacourt: The nearest is St Michael’s Road car park (Manor Road car park, access only from St Michael’s Road). Satnav TR7 1BD
Fly Cellars, Newquay Harbour
Just beyond the fly cellars is a nice grassy area, with a great view across Newquay Bay. It’s a great picnic area to watch the boats arriving at and leaving from Newquay Harbour. This is a great vantage point if there are any gig races or harbour events going on and you want to tuck yourself away a bit, but still take in the action. Satnav TR7 1HE.
To find this grassy picnic area, start at the Harbour Hotel (overlooking Newquay Harbour) and walk down the lane behind it (North Quay Hill); after 25 yards, when the lane branches off, take the left hand branch, walk about 50 yards and you’ll see the grassy area on your right.
- Buying Picnic Food: The closest supermarket to here is Sainsburys, where you can pick up lots of great picnic foods from the deli counter, the chilled sections and the fruit department.
- Tips: A great stop off point for a picnic if you’re walking the South West Coast Path. You get to either reflect on where you’ve just walked through, or take in the geography of where you’re about to go!
- Nearest car park to Fly Cellars: The nearest car park to the Fly Cellars is the Belmont Car Park, off Tower Road, Newquay. Satnav TR7 1HG. Almost the same distance is Dane Road car park, Satnav TR7 1HL.
South Fistral, Pentire
On the southern end of Fistral Beach, Newquay, there’s a lovely grassy area where you can sit with a view of the whole of Fistral Beach; this area is called Pentire (not to be confused with West Pentire, which is the other side of the Gannel). If you arrive early enough you might even be lucky enough to claim a free roadside parking spot for yourself, enabling you to picnic alongside your car; ideal for those with a camper van. There are public conveniences at the edge of the grass too. Satnav TR7 1QA.
- Buying Picnic Food: The nearest supermarket to Pentire is Sainsburys, but it’s quite a long way just to pick up a few picnic items. If you’re driving from outside of town, then you might consider stopping off at Morrisons on the main road on your way in. You’re away from Newquay town at Pentire and Fistral Surf Centre’s a bit of a hike across the length of the beach. There is a small convenience store at Pentire Post Office (TR7 1NZ). There’s a Spar shop on Tower Road (about 100 yards from Atlantic Road Car Park). You’re best off taking all your picnic food with you. There is a small cafe half way down the steps onto Fistral Beach, but the range is limited and it can get quite busy, so buying from there is something you should probably do only as an exception.
- Tips: Get your picnic all packed up the night before and get down there early hoping to get yourself a roadside free parking spot!
- Nearest car park to South Fistral: Atlantic Road is the closest, just off the Gannel Road. Satnav TR7 1QJ, if you don’t manage to grab yourself a free spot alongside the grass.
Barrowfields is an extensive grassy area that goes from Tolcarne Beach to Lusty Glaze Beach. You’re at the top of the cliffs, with views out to sea.
- Buying Picnic Food: The nearest supermarket to Barrowfields is the Tesco Metro, on the corner of Hillgrove Road and Narrowcliff. There are other food choices to be found at Chester Road, where there’s a Spar shop and more.
- Nearest car park to Barrowfields: The nearest council run car park is at Albany Road, near the Station, TR7 2NQ. Until the site is built on, there is a temporary car park directly above Tolcarne Beach, which charges ~£5/day, it’s on the site of a demolished hotel (Satnav TR7 2PJ). As this area is out of town you might find some free on-road parking in nearby roads.
Porth Island, Trevelgue Head.
You get to Porth Island on foot, walking along the cliff path, then over a narrow access footbridge. The site contains prehistoric defensive earthworks, an important cliff castle and the remains of an ancient Iron Age settlement – you will see public information boards about the history of Trevelgue Head as you approach it. At the end of the Island is a blow hole (mind you don’t fall in!). As you’re so far from the road and services, this is a wild picnic spot for those who want to be away from the bustle of the town and beaches, yet it gives you fabulous panoramic views across Newquay Bay to the Harbour and along to Watergate Bay. Porth Island is where I chose to experience the 1999 solar eclipse!
- Buying Picnic Food: There are a couple of small shops at Porth Beach where you can get some food and drink supplies for your picnic, although the range will be limited. The nearest supermarkets to Porth Beach are not within walking distance
- Tips: This is an unsheltered spot, so if it’s windy then it is not a good picnic spot! It’s not the best of spots as a destination in its own right, but could make a great stop off point if you’re walking the South West Coast Path.
- Nearest car park to Porth Island: The nearest car park is opposite the beach, at the entrance to Porth Beach Caravan Park (TR7 3NH). You’ll have to walk up the slope above Porth beach for the public footpath. There is a Cornwall Council car park on Porth Beach, but this is space-limited and you have to be aware of the tide times as the sea can cover the car park.
I hope you enjoy your picnic!