Fistral beach is very much the home of British surfing – the rolling Atlantic breakers provide some of the best surf conditions in England. It’s also a brilliant beach for families and friends of all ages as there’s always something going on and, no matter how busy it gets, you can always find a secluded spot to make your own. Whether it’s long, hot summer days with sandy toes or cosy winter walks with hot chocolate and marshmallows at the end, Fistral beach provides all year round fun and looks beautiful whatever the weather.
Fistral is the home of some of the UK’s premier surf competitions, including the UK Pro Surf Tour, the British National Surfing Championships, the UK Schools Surf Championships and the English Adaptive Surfing Open. The World Surf League also holds qualifying series at Fistral with the very best international and local surfers attending, all keen to join the World Championship Tour. However if you’ve never laid hands on a surfboard, don’t know the nose from the deck and have no clue why all surfers refer to each other as ‘dude’ then Fistral very much has room for you too. So grab a foamie, join the grommets and hang loose at Fistral – you may even catch a perfect 10.
Things to do at Fistral
For water-based action of all kinds, head to Fistral Beach Surf School – with surfing lessons for all levels this is your first port of call before heading into the ocean. You can get all your gear here, from wetsuits, boots and gloves to rash vests and boards of all kinds as well as beach wheelchairs. Lesson-wise, Fistral Beach Surf School caters for those of you who’ve never surfed in your lives as well as for advanced surfers hoping to get a shot at The Cribbar, Newquay’s infamous big wave only surfed by the very good and the very brave. You can also learn to bodyboard (great for younger children or those who are a bit dubious about standing on a surfboard) or have a go on a SUP (stand-up paddleboard) – this is the perfect thing to do when the waves have temporarily disappeared and a great opportunity to explore the coves and shores near Fistral. With hot showers, changing rooms and opening hours all year round, Fistral Beach Surf School have a really skilled coaching team dedicated to making sure you stay safe and enjoy your ocean activities. If you have some budding maritime experts in the family then wander over to South Fistral and spend the day rockpooling – don’t forget the buckets for your specimens and a magnifying glass to see your finds close-up. There’s so many mini-creatures to be found in the pools, including anemones, fish, crabs and crustaceans, sea urchins and starfish. If you’ve never been rockpooling before then you’re in for a treat and there’s some top tips to help you here. If you want to pick up some coastal clothing and ocean-inspired accessories, pay a visit to Ann’s Cottage, Fat Face and Animal and give your wardrobe a Cornish makeover.
Food and Drink
You’re bound to get a bit peckish after a long day in the water. Luckily Fistral beach has lots of choices for you to get your teeth into, literally. If it’s cider and pizza that you’re craving, then The Stable Fistral is just what you need. With panoramic views out to sea and a log fire inside to huddle up near after a winter walk, The Stable delivers great pizzas with a modern twist and a very plentiful supply of ciders of all kinds. Right next door is Rick Stein Fistral if fish and chips with fresh aioli or Indonesian and Indian-inspired curries are what your tastebuds are demanding. Try the fish chilli burgers or nasi goreng while sitting on the balcony overlooking the beach for the perfect evening stop-off. For the best silent discos in town, head down to Fistral Beach Bar – one of Newquay’s most popular bars, their sunset sessions with saxophones on the decking and great DJ’s will make this a night to remember for sure. Or just chill with a coffee or hot chocolate after a morning surf or long beach walk – dogs are very warmly welcomed at the Beach Bar. Across the beach to South Fistral you can find Sea Spray Fistral . Serving traditional breakfasts (including vegan options) as well as sourdough toasties, luscious burgers, seafood and giant salad bowls, this tucked-away café has sublime views right across the beach and is dog friendly too. And if the freshest seafood, caught locally at Newquay harbour, is your bag The Fish House Fistral is where you need to be – a big bowl of mussels on the terrace makes a gorgeous lunchtime feast and for evening the grilled monkfish with a glass of Prosecco goes down a treat.
Every August, Boardmasters comes to Fistral with the Surf Village, Beach Sessions, pop ups selling carefully curated surf gear, hand-made jewellery and clothing, and adrenaline-fuelled skate and BMX competitions. The beach draws people in from all over the UK to watch the best international and home-grown surfers compete and there’s try-out activities of all kinds, including morning beach yoga, skating and BMX-riding (don’t forget to bring your helmet). The CANNA ramp has the top UK pro-skaters competing as well as the ‘Young Guns’ and with a backdrop of crashing waves this is a great way to spend a few hours watching the riders showcase their awesome skills. The Cornish Market is perfect for trying out the best of local produce, including heavenly ice cream, delicious cheeses and, of course, a plentiful supply of Cornish pasties.
So the next time you’re in Newquay pop over to Fistral beach and add it to the list of your most favourite places to go – it definitely won’t disappoint.