Headland Road, Newquay TR7 1HY
Fistral Beach is located on the west side of New Quay, on the other side of the Newquay golf club. It is also one of Newquay’s largest beaches.
Fristal Beach is known as Porth an Vystel in Cornish, which means “cove of the foul water”. This doesn’t mean the water is dirty, it refers to the fact that it is a terrible landing site. This is because of the waves the come crashing into the beach. On the plus side, this makes it ideal for surfing.
And surfing is what this beach is best known for. The “foul water” is caused by swell in the Atlantic that is caught by the west-facing beach. This creates consistently predictable waves that are perfect for surfers. Today, the beach hosts a variety of surfing competitions.
A reef at the north end of the beach, called the Cribbar, causes waves to break when the swell is high, creating 30ft high waves! It is no wonder it was called The Widow Maker by early Cornish sailors.
Visitors to the beach will often spot the local surfers enjoying the waves. Wandering up the beach watching them tackle the waves is a pleasant diversion for any day tripper to Newquay.
If this sounds a bit too dangerous for you, don’t worry. Fistral Beach has an extensive RNLI lifeguard presence from April until October, with busy weekends at the start of winter still patrolled.
The RNLI have a dedicated centre at North Fistral and also a base at South Fistral which is open during the school summer holidays for people to visit. They are dedicated to protecting visitors, so you have nothing to worry about at Fistral Beach!
Whether you are visiting for the surfing, a festival or just to watch the waves, Fistral beach is one of New Quay’s best beaches.