When it rains in Cornwall, it really rains - but if you're on holiday you need to find something to do! Rainy day activities can be great fun, so where can you go in Newquay when it's raining?
Rainy Day Activities in Newquay
There are quite a few things to do in Newquay when it rains and this will point you in the right direction.
One idea is to grab the bull by the horns and try out some water sports when it rains, if it's raining already then you won't get wetter if you're in the sea. If there are people in your party who don't want to go in the water, then you can either buy a pop up beach shelter down the town for under £10, or check out the beach huts available for hire on Tolcarne Beach or Lusty Glaze.
There are lots of water sports you can try. From simply wild swimming in the sea, to buying a body board and just riding the waves on a 3' length of foam - or what about taking some surf lessons? But it's not just body boarding and surfing, in Newquay you can also have a go at kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or go on a waveski.
The Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay provides most water sports, or head to Fistral Beach to get some surf lessons.
Learn to Surf in Newquay
There are dozens of surfing schools that where you can learn to surf in Newquay, but if you've not pre-planned, then most beaches will have a surfing company on site, where you can learn to surf for about 3 hours at prices of £25-45 per person.
Having lunch at a beachside restaurant in Newquay is another way to keep out of the rain, although for some of them you might just get soaking wet reaching them. If it's absolutely tipping it down I'd avoid those that didn't have an on-site carpark.
The alternative is to just choose a restaurant with a good sea-view, but that's not actually ON the beach. Perhaps the Lewannick Tavern at the end of Pentire, which has good food and great views, although the car park does get filled up pretty quickly. If that's full, then check out the Bowgie on the Pentire Headland the other side of the estuary (through Crantock) - it has a much larger car park, but less window space!
Rainy Day Activities, Newquay 2017
Indoor Events In Newquay
Although most events in Newquay are outdoor based, there are some local events sometimes being held that are indoors. Check out the Newquay Events Diary for Indoor destinations
Indoor Attractions in Newquay: For When it Rains
The New Lighthouse Cinema opened in Newquay in 2011. Located right in the town centre, directly behind the Central Inn, you'll always find a choice of films on offer.
Blue Reef Aquarium
Located at the top of Towan Beach, which is where The Island is, you'll find the aquarium. Once inside you're down below the tanks which hold fish, lobsters, crabs and even a shark - so you can watch them through the glass. There's a giant wrasse, some reef sharks and shoals of colourful fish. At times you'll also find feeding displays. There are also plenty of entertaining talks, so you can watch, enjoy and maybe go home having learnt something new!
There's a small gift shop and a cafe on site too.
Visiting Blue Reef Aquarium is one of the more popular things to do in Newquay when it rains as it has such a high visibility, so you can expect it to be a little crowded perhaps.
Buccaneer Bay: Now called Pirate's Quest
This indoor visitor attraction was massively overhauled in 2009 and had a launch with Dragon's Den's Duncan Bannatyne, who worked closely with the team to re-launch their piratey adventure. Previously known as "Tunnels Through Time", then Buccaneer Bay, this is now called Pirate's Quest and has a new story and theme every year. As seen on TV series Duncan Bannatyne's Seaside Rescue. There's a huge pay & display public car park just across the road too.
Address: Pirate's Quest, St Michael's Road, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1RA
The Heron Tennis Centre, down near the Zoo, has a couple of options that might be a great way to pass some time when it's raining, if you're keen on tennis.
Visitors are welcome to hire an indoor tennis court for an hour for £16-20/hour (season depending). And for the kids, there's a KidZone Court Hire, which includes a racket and ball hire, for just £5 for half an hour.
Address: Heron Tennis, Trenance Park, Edgcumbe Avenue, Newquay, TR7 2LZ
10 Pin Bowling in Newquay
- 10 Pin Bowling at the California Bowl, Newquay
10 pin bowling is a popular pass-time if it’s raining in Newquay. It’s indoor, with plenty of on-site parking, has everything you need and even has new Glow in the Dark bowling.
There are three local venues for indoor bowling:
- California Hotel Ten Pin Bowling on Pentire.
- Porth Lodge Hotel, close to Porth Beach.
- Atlantic Lanes, at Trevarrian, near Watergate Bay.
California Hotel has had their bowling lanes for some years, and even installed glow-in-the-dark computerised bowling which seems all the rage right now. Atlantic Lanes is Cornwall's newest bowling centre and is just beyond Watergate bay at Trevarrian.
Porth Lodge Hotel has four 10 pin bowling lanes, this is based close to Porth Beach.
Atlantic Lanes is 3-4 miles outside of Newquay and is the home of Cornwall's Men's Bowling Team. There are four lanes with some glow in the dark bowling nights, an on site diner, free wifi and computerised scoring.
- California Hotel 10 pin bowling: Pentire Crescent, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1PU (an AA 3 star hotel)
- Porth Lodge Hotel: Porth Bean Road, Newquay, Cornwall. TR7 3LT
- Atlantic Lanes: Trevarrian, Newquay, TR8
Further Afield for Days Out When it Rains
Rainy Day Activities
If you've got a car and fancy a drive out, then why not head West.
At Callestick Farm you can watch them making ice-cream; they've put in a special viewing gallery so you can look right into the ice-cream factory and watch real ice-cream being made. There's also a small shop and cafe on site. A great way to spend an hour when it's raining. And it's free. (Note: during winter months it's only open Wednesday to Saturday)
Address: Callestick, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9LL
Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm
Practically next door to Calestick Farm, so it makes sense to do these two together, is a genuine Cornish Cyder Farm. It's absolutely free if you take a self guided tour of the press house, the bottling room and the jam kitchen, although they do try to sell you a Guided Tour at £6.50 for adults and £4.50 for children. If the budget's tight .... then just look around for yourself for free. The paid for Guided Tour does take you to other parts of the Cyder Farm though, including a museum, distillery, the underground cellars - accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will talk you through all the processes. With the Guided Tour you also get a ride on the tractor and trailer ride round the orchards. The finale of the Guided Tour is a tasting session.
Address: Penhallow, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9LW. It's easy to find, with very prominent signage on the road just outside.
Cornish Goldsmiths and Gold Centre
Go further West and you'll find the Cornish Gold Centre. Most of this is indoors and there's almost unlimited free parking on site. Free Entry, the Centre houses a collection of jewellery, exhibits, kids' activities and places to eat.
There's always a special car there, in the past I've seen a Mini covered in pre-decimal pennies, the Bond Aston Martin and the Back to the Future De Lorean car.
Exhibits include £1million in £5 notes, the Cornish crown jewels and mannequins of Marilyn Monroe and other stars dotted around the cafe area. For kids' activities there's panning for gold. make a teddy bear or paint a pot.
If you're after buying something shiny, a reminder of your holiday, there are a lot of gold, silver and pearl jewellery displays, all to buy. Cornish Pearl, who used to be sited near Newquay, are now at the Cornish Gold Centre.
Address: Tolgus Mill, New Portreath Road, Portreath, Cornwall, TR16 4HN
For things to do when it rains in Cornwall, the Gold Centre is a large site, that caters for coach parties. You do have to go outside from the main building to get to the smaller shops on the site, but it does give you quite a few places to wander to.
- Markets in Cornwall
A list of Markets in Cornwall - Discover the Hidden Markets of Cornwall.
- Factory Outlet Shops in Cornwall
Discover all the local bargain shopping venues, the factory outlets of Cornwall.
Indoor Markets and Factory Outlets in Cornwall
If it's raining, you'll want to head for some shopping, but if you're on holiday then you might not want to just go into a regular town, but to look around Cornwall's nooks and crannies instead. Finding places that create holiday memories is what it's all about - not shopping for knickers in M&S!!
Cornwall doesn't have many indoor markets, or factory outlet shops similar to what you're used to, but there are a few to be found. If you've headed West and reached the Cornish Goldsmiths, then there's a couple not far away: Cornish Indoor Markets and Factory Outlets.
- Eden Project, Cornwall
The Eden Project's been described as the 8th Wonder of the World - with it's two gigantic glass domes housing tropical plants in one hot steamy biodome and cooler, fragrant Meditteranean plants in the...
The Eden Project
Some people might have wondered why I left the Eden Project off this list. It's an indoor attraction, been called the 8th wonder of the world ... so why leave it off a list of Indoor Attractions in Newquay when it's just about 15 miles away?
There are a couple of reasons. Firstly, when it rains everybody heads for the Eden Project in peak seasons - so if you're not first at the door then you can even find it's closed its doors as it's full. So, if you want to go to the Eden Project and it's peak season and the forecast is heavy rain - get there early!
Then there's the location. Firstly you park your car in a car park, then you can walk or catch a bus down to the entrance/visitor centre. Then you can take a free train down to the bottom and you can be inside the biomes, out of the wet. But Eden's more than the biomes and it'd be a shame to just go on a rainy day because you'll miss the experience of the landscaping, the outdoor sections, the plants - and the strolling around the site. Go on a dry day and it'll cost you the same, but it'll be less crowded and you can really make a full day of it.
However, if you're determined to go to the Eden Project then I won't stop you, I'm just feeding you alternatives!
Address: Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
Alex Hemsley on June 24, 2012:
I would really love to go to Callestick farm it looks really fun to do
melodyandes on September 21, 2011:
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on September 23, 2010:
I'm itching to visit Callestick Farm - rainy day or not!