Fistral beach

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path Dog friendly RNLI lifeguard cover October half term, Easter weekend and July 6 - September 8 Beach cleaned regularly Good water quality for swimming

Season: summer

Dawn was breaking just behind the dunes.  The beach was in shadow, but the hotels on East Pentire were brightly lit.  A high tide pushed early morning walkers up to the higher reaches of the beach and the car park was empty.  My interviewee Simon looked down on his favourite beach from the comfort of the gardens at The Headland Hotel, evoking dreams of times gone by and times to come.

Summer season photo gallery


Childhood memories and future family times for Simon.


Early morning, above Fistral beach in the summer.

Season: summer

A long spell of high pressure continued. Crowds had flocked to this magnificent beach to enjoy the ongoing fine summer.  Surfers, sunbathers and walkers mingled by the sea.  There are plenty of facilities behind the beach and in the town beyond.  Fistral is often referred to as the surfing capital of Cornwall, but it’s also a wonderful place to paddle or swim, framed by Towan Head, East Pentire and the dunes behind the beach itself.  Highly recommended.

Summer visit photo gallery


The fun of the beach for Lindsey.


A summer day at Fistral beach.

Season: autumn

You may be tired and find yourself at Fistral beach on a stormy morning like this.  It’s low tide.  You’re close to the wild waves and the apocalyptic sky, with the sand shining like glass.  You’re going to return home completely rejuvenated.  The energy in a North Cornwall beach on a stormy day lifts the soul.  It’s a chaotic harmony, odd and wonderful.  Fistral beach always has and always will attract thrill seekers, adventurous spirits who travel miles to immerse themselves in some of the best surf in these islands.  As a town beach in Newquay, there’s an exuberant side to Fistral and it hosts most of the national and international surfing legs that visit Cornwall. 

Autumn visit photo gallery


Kite surfer Andy at Fistral beach, about to commune with nature…


and here he is, among the waves.

Season: winter

The sun was slipping below East Pentire on arrival at Fistral beach in Newquay.  The Headland Hotel still caught the sun, as did Towan Head and the white lookout post that sits above Little Fistral to the east.  On the beach, there was a sense of a Scottish gloaming, countered by the roaring surf of the ebb tide.  A big Atlantic storm was forecast, time to get home before dark and light the fire.

Winter visit photo gallery


All that the beach gives to Andy.


The scene by the water, on an ebb tide at Fistral beach, as a winter day draws to a close.

Season: spring

This early evening visit was a chance to see Fistral beach relatively empty, before the seasonal crowds arrived.  The tide was out and a few couples and dog walkers were pottering along the water’s edge.


Two sisters, with their thoughts on the appeal of the beach.

Season: winter

I visited the magnificent Fistral beach on this occasion during the Festive Season in December 2011, approaching from the parking at East Pentire on the road above the western end of the beach.  You can also park at the town end in a Pay & Display car park, which has toilets, other facilities and shops.  The beach is renowned for its surfing waves and surf culture, so if you want to see it when it’s quiet, visit early in the morning or off-season.


A chat with Andy on his way back from a surf, with the majesty of the Atlantic breakers on Fistral beach behind.


A fine panorama at Fistral beach in Newquay, seen from above the western end of the beach.

One thought on “Fistral beach

  1. Matt

    Fistral beach is great because it epitomises the best of what Newquay can offer – a relaxing beach environment with world class surf and some great places to eat. You’ll experience some of the most majestic sunsets you’ll ever see there in the evening and picturesque views during every other part of the rest of the day. At low tide it offers the opportunity to explore and at high tide there’s not much more relaxing than watching the waves crash in from a vantage point in the dunes.


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