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Watergate Bay In Cornwall – A Complete Guide

Watergate Bay in Cornwall is one of the largest beaches in the area. With a famous hotel, and a huge stretch of sand, here’s all the information for visiting.

How To Get To Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is located around 3 miles north of Newquay Town in Cornwall.

It’s roughly a 15 minute drive from Newquay, or a 45 minute walk. Although this is a strenuous walk with many hills and valleys.

Newquay town itself is easily walkable. However, we recommend renting a car for your entire Newquay trip. That way you can explore the whole region at ease.

Paid parking is available at Watergate Bay car park, from 9am – 4pm, starting at £1.50 per hour.

Watergate Bay Entrance Fee

It’s free to visit Watergate Bay.

Watergate Bay Opening Times

Watergate Bay is accessible all day, every day.

Best Time To Visit Watergate Bay

As with any beach if wanting to enjoy the normal beach activities then the warmer summer months are the best time to visit.

However, this beach does get very busy during peak season so, if you want to avoid the crowds, you need to be there well before 10am or later in the day before sunset.

Please be aware though that the lifeguard cover on Watergate Bay runs daily between 30 April to 25th September, during the Easter holidays and during some half terms and bank holidays from 10am -6pm.

Therefore, if you would like this service available when you visit the beach make sure you go between these times.

The views are stunning from Watergate Bay, especially at sunset with the sun setting in the middle of the bay, so don’t forget your camera!

Dogs are allowed all year round.

What To Pack

Photography Camera


Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle


Lightweight Rain Jacket

Quick Dry Towel


Lifeproof Phone Case

Dry Bag

Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
The cut leading down to Watergate Bay Beach

What To Expect At Watergate Bay

A large, open expanse of golden sand, stretching to two miles of beach at low tide.

With several access paths down to the beach, the easiest way to reach the sand is to park in front of the famous Watergate Bay Hotel and walk through the cut.

The hub of the seafront, Watergate Bay Hotel is so close to the sea that you can watch the surfers from their pool.

This hotel prides itself on ‘The balance in life: getting among the elements, eating and drinking well, and having a good time’.

Aside from staying in their luxurious rooms, they also offer contemporary dining at Zacry’s Restaurant, surf lessons, and numerous massage and body treatments. All of which are open to non-residents of the hotel.

Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
Where to begin at Watergate Bay…
Fifteen Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant at Watergate Bay
Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
The gang exploring the beach

The Beach

Down to the beach itself, and with two miles of golden sand and good surfing waves this is a great spot for surfers of all ages and abilities.

The drive down to Watergate Bay gives amazing views of the stunning coastline and the short stroll down to the beach is extremely easy. 

Surrounded by cliffs and with plenty of rock pools for the little ones to explore this is another great Cornish beach for a family day out.

There are also always plenty of surfers to sit back and watch, trying to catch the waves and perform their amazing moves!

Quite the high-end of the beaches in Newquay, there are other facilities in Watergate Bay Cornwall.

These including cute cafes and trendy restaurants such as Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. Making it a cool place to visit when looking for things to do in Newquay when it rains.

During the winter months the Fifteen restaurant holds farmers markets and food fairs in the car park by the beach which are always very popular.

Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
Plenty of rock pools and caves can be found along the stretch of beach
Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
Lauren shell collecting at Watergate Bay Cornwall
Watergate Bay Beach Cornwall Beaches
When the tide is out, Watergate Bay Beach goes on for miles!

Where To Stay In Newquay


The Headland Hotel and Spa

Overlooking Fistral Beach, this stylish Victorian hotel features a spa, surf school, golf course and a sea-view terrace.

The spacious 4-star bedrooms have free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. All rooms feature a cosy seating area, work desk and a modern bathroom. 

The leisure facilities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools. While the spa includes a steam room, sauna, and hot tub.

Guests can also work out in the fully equipped gym. There are two restaurants on site, where guests can choose between a candlelit restaurant or a beach view terrace.

Afternoon teas are available, and the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Newquay centre. 


Carnmarth Hotel

The Carnmarth Hotel boasts sea views overlooking Fistral Beach.

The hotel is within a 10-minute walk from Newquay town centre. 

Some bedrooms offer views of the sea, and each room has an en-suite shower and a flat-screen TV. 

The C-view bar and terrace serves coffees and cocktails, where guests are able to watch sunset over the Atlantic sea.

Newquay coach station is just 0.6 miles from Carnmarth Hotel, while Newquay railway station is 1 miles away.


Legacy Hotel Victoria

Boasting a majestic location on the cliffs of Newquay looking out over the bay, this hotel has both English and Mexican restaurants and an indoor pool with sea views

The shops of Newquay’s centre are less than 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel.

All rooms feature satellite TV, and guests can enjoy free tea and coffee in the room. There’s a private bathroom, and many rooms boast lovely sea views. 

There’s a sauna, heated pool and a spa bath for guests to relax in. Guests can also exercise in the small gym.

For more place to stay in Newquay, you can check the latest prices on

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

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Watergate Bay In Cornwall Guide