Little Fistral Beach is a quiet beach that many visitors completely overlook. The access road is along Headland Road, turning right just before you get to the Headland Hotel and following the road down to the end, where the old lifeboat station still exists, with the old launch slip too.
Little Fistral Beach is a much smaller beach than the others and the edges of it are quite rocky. The sand is probably the only gritty sand in Newquay. At low tide you can see the old footings of what looks like an early harbour or landing area, so this was obviously used in the past by fishermen. The waves at Little Fistral can be quite strong – The Cribbar, a monster wave that arrives when the conditions are right – comes from behind Little Fistral. You don’t see many people surfing on this beach, partly because of the proximity of the rocks in the water, the direction of the waves tends to mean they’re not surfing waves that arrive on the beach and also Fistral Beach is just 200 yards away.
There is a public pay and display car park at Little Fistral Beach, with some really good public toilets that were completely rebuilt a few years ago.
There are no cafes or shops at Little Fistral, just an ice cream van parked beside the beach access steps most days during the summer season.
There are no lifeguards on Little Fistral Beach.
Services on Little Fistral Beach, Newquay
- Car Parking: Yes, there’s a pay and display car park that can accommodate 30-40 cars, it’s a great spot to park up and look at the sea, especially when there’s a storm or The Cribbar’s around
- Public Lavatories: Yes, good ones!
- Easy Access for Wheelchairs and Prams: No, there’s a set of 4-6 metal steps leading to a slope that can be quite steep
- Food Available: No, there’s an ice cream van in the summer only.
- Lifeguard: No, there is never a lifeguard on Little Fistral Beach
Rosamund Pilcher Filming Location
Little Fistral was used for filming Rosamund Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers, written in 1987. This was in German, where Rosamund Pitcher has a huge following. The filming of the beach scenes was done in one day in September 2014.
The Shell Seekers is the story of Penelope Keeling, a 64-year-old woman living through wartime. Many years before her father has given her a painting called The Shell Seekers, which became worth a lot of money after her father’s death. Her children want her to sell the painting to make life a little easier; Penelope wants to keep it as it’s a major source of enduring memories of her father. Penelope Keeling’s one, solid, connection to her father and her glorious childhood on a Cornish beach.
Where to Stay Near to Little Fistral Beach, Newquay
The Headland Hotel is right alongside, offering hotel rooms and holiday cottages.
Sea View Holiday Apartments
Just 100 yards up the road from Little Fistral, equidistant between Little Fistral and Newquay town are the Headland Point Flats, these flats have balconies and panoramic, uninterrupted sea views. The area is quiet, yet the full facilities and buzz of the town are just yards away, making Headland Point Flats an ideal choice if you want to spend half your time at the beach and half in town. These flats also come with good, secure, off-road parking.
The alternative is to check out the fabulously well-appointed and luxurious new holiday apartments round the corner, where you’ll get full panoramic views over the whole of Fistral Beach and Newquay Golf Club. These new holiday apartments are built alongside each other, on the same road, so you just have to choose between:
- Zinc and Seashells, Zinc is 5-star and has some penthouses, Seashells accepts pets.
- Pearl, an award winning development, with a penthouse and roof terraces available
remwbay Cornish Hamper
Photography by: Kate Jewell: Little Fistral