Remember those carefree days when parking was free? Or you just needed a couple of shiny pennies to give to the old fella at the entrance?
Those days are long gone and now, if you’re touring an area, you simply want to stop for 10 minutes, look around and ponder “is this somewhere to explore further?”, or maybe you want to stop and look at your map, or eat a picnic lunch.
Touring an area used to be a popular pastime, when you could drive around and stop off here and there en-route without all the modern-day malarky of wondering if you’re going to be photographed/fined, or towed….. I really miss all that!
But, you don’t want to be sorting out coins, or trying to work out how much parking will cost you, nor do you want to get a surprise “parking fine ticket” in the post 2-3 weeks later! Instead of stopping, you keep driving … wishing there was some free parking where you could just rest awhile and enjoy a view.
Here’s my own little list of free parking in Newquay with a nice view, places where you can simply stop and stare for awhile:
- Aldi supermarket. Aldi has an on-site free car park for customers. “Just to be sure”, I’d always recommend that you do go inside and buy something (there might be small print on the sign). Aldi’s car park gives you a vantage point across Towan Beach, Newquay Harbour, Great Western Beach, the Headland and right out to sea. Parking, as a customer, is probably 1½ hours – check the sign.
Satnav: TR7 1SW
- Sainsburys supermarket. They have a customer car park, again pop inside to buy something from them – there’s a cafe and loos in there anyway. This car park, being close to the town centre, is popular. You should be able to see some open water over the roofs of houses, looking across to Trevose Head lighthouse. It’s probably limited to 1½ hours’ parking – plenty for that sandwich, check your map, work out what you’re going to do … and relax for awhile.
Satnav: TR7 1NF
- The Gannel car park is small and provides a view across the upper reaches of The Gannel estuary. You’ll see wildlife and, if the tide’s in, people paddling kayaks. Dog walkers often start their walk here. There is limited width access in and out, so if you’ve a motorhome don’t try this one.
Satnav: TR7 2AU (approx)
- Newquay Boating Lake. There’s a limited amount of free on-road parking at the Boating Lake. The view here is of Trenance Gardens and the Boating Lake itself. A nice, open, greenspace where you can get that map out … and unscrew the top of your flask.
- Esplanade Road, Newquay is on the South end of Fistral Beach. There is roadside parking here where you can see the whole of Fistral Beach. Slots get snapped up quite quickly, but if you’re in luck it’s a great free parking spot with a great view.
Satnav: TR7 1PS
- Fistral Beach Car Park – this is hit and miss and has had a bad reputation in recent years for unexpected fines/ticketing from people who just “stopped” for a few minutes and left. In early 2015 they announced free early morning parking and free evening parking, but it’s no longer 2015 and (when I just double-checked) the page hasn’t been updated. You can see if they’ve updated that here: Fistral Beach Free Parking. Personally, I CBA to go prowling around looking for small print and still feeling nervous so I always avoid, avoid, avoid this car park…. I even got a ticket myself, even though I had a Parking Permit, simply because I forgot to display it, then returned to the car 5 minutes later to get the Permit out of the glove compartment! An operative had been lurking in his car looking for “people like me” that parked and walked off! Outrageous.
So there you go, some great free parking places in Newquay, with a nice view – but don’t hog them, I want to park there too!