If you want to take a holiday in Cornwall the most cost effective way is to rent one of the many holiday cottages in Newquay. You don’t have to pay for every cup of coffee, drink or meal in a restaurant, café or bar – and let’s face it you don’t always feel like getting cleaned up and going out after a busy day walking or exploring.
I have been to Cornwall many times and one of my favourite places is Newquay on the Atlantic coast. The town has a lively nightlife, lots of good restaurants, quaint inns – but it is also very close to lots of quieter beaches, beautiful walks, and dramatic scenery, something for everybody really.
Last year I went to Cornwall with friends and we rented a couple of cottages in Newquay in the grounds of a working farm. They were stone built and inside there were exposed stone walls and traditional wooden beams. They had very well equipped kitchens – perfect for whipping up those gourmet meals. Our cottages in Newquay were heated by log burners and the owner provided a complementary starter bag of wood. We lit the fires on several evenings – it wasn’t really necessary, but it made the cottages feel much cosier.
On the evening of our arrival we decided to stroll into the town centre to find some food and sample the famous night life.
We started off at the Fort Inn in Fore Street. It is owned by the St Austell Brewery who has been brewing a selection of delicious real ales since 1851. Spoilt for choice, we all opted to try a pint of ‘Tribute’ the prize winning premium Cornish ale. We had a look at the menu but decided we would rather explore Newquay a bit more, to work up an appetite. We thought we would return to the Fort Inn for lunch one day when we could take advantage of the beautiful garden overlooking the bay.
Next stop the ‘Griffin Inn’ with its extensive bar menu including fresh fish, honey roast duck, steak and ale pie and much, much more. Suddenly we all had an appetite – the aromas coming from the kitchen were overwhelming. We ordered and when the food arrived it looked as good as it smelled.
Several glasses of wine later and barely able to move, we decided to leave the rest of the town’s night life for another time and slowly made our way back to our cottages in Newquay.
St. Austell Brewery
Next morning we were woken by the sun streaming through the cottage windows. We had a leisurely breakfast in the cottage garden and made plans for the day.
We eventually decided to drive across Bodmin Moor to St. Austell and take a tour of the famous brewery, which incidentally owns nearly 170 pubs in the south west. The tour was very interesting and the ticket included a couple of half pint samples. Having tried ‘Tribute’ the night before, we were left to choose from ‘Proper Job’, ‘Black Prince’, ‘Trelawney’, ‘HSD’ and ‘Dartmoor’ among others. We all chose different beers and passed them around in an impromptu beer tasting session.
On the way back to our cottages in Newquay we decided to visit the famous Jamaica Inn high on Bodmin Moor to sample the cuisine and check out the ghosts and the museum. Well the food was excellent but we didn’t encounter any ghosts! The smugglers museum was of great interest – apparently in the 13th century it was considered to be perfectly acceptable to smuggle goods such as brandy, tea and tobacco into the country. The new customs dues were considered an infringement of personal liberty and largely ignored. Most goods in Britain were smuggled into Cornwall – its numerous secluded coves (and caves) making it the perfect place for this activity.
Tired but happy, we made our way back to our cottages in Newquay, stopping to pick up supplies and have a nice night in with a bottle of wine and a good DVD.
Newquay Town Trail
Next day we decided on a gentle stroll around Newquay following the interesting and informative town trail. We picked up a leaflet from the Tourist Information Office and completed the trail in a couple of hours, picking up an interesting selection of historical facts about the town.
We ended our walk at Fore Street (the main shopping street in Newquay) at the Fort Inn and sat in the garden overlooking the bay while we ate a delicious lunch from the Inn’s extensive menu.
After lunch we returned to our cottages in Newquay and spent a relaxing afternoon lazing in the sunshine on the lawn.
Suitably rested after our lazy afternoon in the garden we were determined to try out the nightlife. We started out at the Sailors in Fore Street – one of the biggest clubs in Newquay. After a few drinks on the outside decking area, with its fabulous views, we moved on to the more intimate Chy Bar which had a live band. A great time was had by all, but I’m afraid none of us had the stamina we had a few years ago, and shortly after midnight we returned to our cottages in Newquay.
Newquay Lazy Days
For the rest of our stay we were fortunate enough to have a heatwave and spent most days on one of the many beaches along Newquay’s fantastic coastline – watching the surfers and occasionally strolling along to one of the many beachside bars for a cold drink or a snack. On our return to our cottages in Newquay, we would light the BBQ and have dinner on the terrace, or if we were really feeling lazy, stick some huge Cornish pasties in the oven and wash them down with a few local beers.
All too soon our holiday had come to an end and it was time to pack the cars and leave our cottages in Newquay – can’t wait till next time.