Beach holidays at Watergate Bay
Located on the north Cornish coast with golden sand reaching out into the blue Atlantic sea, Watergate Bay is one of Cornwall’s best known beaches.
Introducing Watergate Bay
Two miles of golden beach, great food and a laid back surf culture come to mind when you think of Watergate Bay. The sheltered arched bay is blessed with smooth fine sand and clear blue sea. Rocky outcrops towards the steep rugged cliffs make for great rock pooling. Situated on the North Cornwall coast, the beach is West facing and catches the swells from the Atlantic, earning it a well deserved reputation as one of the top surf beaches not only in the UK but in the world. Whether it’s mid-winter or the height of summer, there’s always something to do. Watergate Bay beach is also rated “excellent” by The Good Beach Guide Marine Conservation Society.
Making the most of the beach
There’s a lot going on at Watergate Bay where you’re guaranteed to see surfers getting to grips with the waves all year round. As well as all the water activities, competitions for Surf, Beach Polo, Paddleboarding and Thundercat Racing take place on certain dates. Kite flying and kite surfing are also popular.
All ages enjoy the beach and buckets and spades can be bought readily. RNLI lifeguards watch the water from May through to September from 10am until 6pm as there can be strong rips in either direction in the water. Lifeguards are usually on duty during Easter Bank holiday weekend as well. It’s usual to see surf instructors on the beach and in the water all year round. Westcountry Surf School, The Extreme Academy and O’Neill Surf Academy are situated on the beach and offer tuition in surfing, paddle boarding, kite surfing, waveski and hand planing as well as equipment and wetsuit hire.
Eating out at Watergate Bay
Jamie Oliver’s apprentice restaurant, Fifteen, sits directly on the beach, offering uninterrupted views of the Atlantic. Offering an Italian inspired menu with a Cornish twist, it’s worth booking ahead. Fifteen also hold farmers markets in the car park, showcasing local artisan producers and the best Cornish fare.
Also situated on the beach is The Beach Hut, a relaxed restaurant offering seasonal menus and a great Extreme hot chocolate! The Watergate Bay Hotel is also open to non residents and serves a classic brasserie style menu at Zachry’s, and a seasonal menu at The Living Space.
The Phoenix Pub is situated only about 200 yards from the beach where there are also kiosk style cafés, great for an ice cream or freshly baked brownie.
Watergate Bay is situated between Newquay and Padstow, being around 3 miles from Newquay and 12 miles from Padstow taking the South West Coast Path. At low tide it’s possible to walk from Watergate Bay to Newquay via the beach. The south west coast path route can be challenging to walk with steep gradients in some places but offers spectacular views with many beaches and bays on the way. Stop off at BEST WESTERN Porth Veor Manor for a cream tea on the way to Newquay or head to Padstow, a well known foodie capital of Cornwall where Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth have restaurants. Maps are readily available from Bestwalks, the price comparison site for books and maps on walking in Cornwall and throughout the UK.
Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round and will enjoy the surrounding walks. Choose our dedicated dog friendly accommodation, Tregurrian Villas, should you wish to bring your pet.
Newquay airport is 2 miles away where a taxi can be pre-booked or check the First Bus timetable which offers a regular bus service. The beach is easy to access by car with plenty of pay and display car parking space and toilet facilities including shower areas.
What else to do
Take a look at our Attractions near Watergate Bay page for ideas on places to visit. It’s worth checking out Destination Cornwall, a daily information source for weather and life in Cornwall. Tickity-boo – Newquay’s Online Guide is also a good source of information for the area.
For beach advice, Cornwall Beach Guide, is an unofficial guide to Cornwall’s beaches. The North coast of Cornwall is ripe for surf and there are many places to hire equipment should you want to try other beaches. Heading towards Padstow The Pit Surf Shop St Merryn, Cornwall is a 1-stop surf shop, for sales and hire, 1 mile from 7 great surf beaches.
Companies such as Hot Rock Coasteer offer coasteering trips and Active-8 Cornwall is a simple to use website for some of the very best holiday activities in Cornwall: horse riding, canoeing, wet & wild days, coasteering, surfing, deep sea fishing and much more. You can check availability, book on-line and you will be sent vouchers with details and directions.
For boat based activities, Camel Ski School in Rock, Cornwall provide waterskiing, wakeboarding, inflatables and boat charters. If you’d like to explore the south coast of Cornwall then Specialised Charters on Obsession provide trips for fishing, photography or sightseeing. It operates on the Lizard Peninsula and in the Falmouth Bay area. The boat can accommodate a maximum of 2 passengers, so personal attention from the skipper is assured at all times.