Here’s a funny one, Cornwall’s Crantock Beach may only barely be outside of Newquay but it has the feeling of a different world. Ok, so this stunning strip of a beach doesn’t quite have the waves of some of the other beaches in the area, but that means fewer crowds and that it’s great for practicing while you’re still getting the hang of it. If you arrive at low tide you’ll have a bit of a walk out to the water as the car parks are positioned at either end of the beach but it’s usually well worth the trek with your board.
The westerly corner of the beach is sheltered and you’ll usually catch one or two good peaks, and if you’re experienced you can paddle out along the river to the east side to find some more challenging banks. There can be a worrying rip on the west side at times, so if you’re still learning then bear this in mind when surfing Crantock.
Crantock is a sandy beach, and (as you’ll notice when you make your way from the car park) it’s framed by a looming sand dune that shelters the sun worshippers while they snooze. Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round so if you’re more of a walker than a surfer you can a wander along BBC Coast’s Best British Beach for 2013. There’s a quaint air to the beach that makes it a nice one for families as well as surfers, and as it sits at the foot of the quiet village of Crantock the local pub and some handy shops are within easy reach.
It takes around fifteen minutes to drive from the centre of Newquay to Crantock, and there are lifeguards on hand between the middle of May and the end of September.