Watch a game of polo, eat at a famous chef’s restaurant and surf the impressive waves of this scenic bay.
Watergate Bay is an attractive stretch of golden sand at the foot of rugged coastal cliffs. Choppy waves make the beach popular with surfers, while families enjoy the fashionable restaurants with sea views. Take photos of vivid sunsets as the sky turns red above the crimson-tinged water.
Arrive at the beach via one of the access passages that lead from higher ground. The easiest access path is by the hotel. Walk the entire length of the 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch and admire the dramatic line of imposing cliffs that loom over the bay. Feel free to bring along your family dog; this beach is canine friendly.
From mid-May to late September, lifeguards patrol the beach. The waves here can be fairly rough, as the exposed bay faces directly onto the Atlantic Ocean and surfers are drawn to its volatile swell. Observe them riding the waves alongside stand-up paddleboarders and kitesurfers. If you are keen to try it yourself, book in for lessons with a surf school.
Many events and competitions are held on the bay. Dine at one of the upscale restaurants and cafés facing the sea. Among the establishments here is a restaurant owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Arrange to attend the annual Polo on the Beach ceremony in mid-September. Every year, thousands of people come to see the horse-based sport being played during the free festival.
Stroll through the undulating hills and grassy meadows of the Cornish countryside for excellent views of the cliffs and the sea. Follow the South West Coast Path, which leads off from the beach in both directions, to get a sense of the area’s varied terrain.
To get to Watergate Bay from Newquay, drive north along the coast for just over 3 miles (5 kilometers); the journey should take less than 10 minutes. Pass Cornwall Zorbing Park, Porth Beach and Lusty Glaze Beach on the way. Leave the car in one of the two parking lots beside the beach. The beach is also accessible from Newquay via bus.