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Activities in the local area

There are an abundance of things to do in Watergate Bay and the surrounding area. We have provided you with a snapshot of the places we recommend to eat, chill out, visit and of course have offered our insight into the best surf, kite and windsurf spots near No. 17.

Places to visit

The Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is a 17 mile long cycle path from Padstow through Wadebridge to the edge of Bodmin Moor. An old railway, it is level for the majority of its route and is therefore accessible to all. Bikes of all shapes and sizes can be hired in Padstow and Wadebridge - including tandems and trailer buggies for the smaller members of your family. The Camel Trail makes for a great day out, there are a number of places to eat and even a vineyard on route. (www.camelvalley.com, 0120877959)

Tintagel Castle

Located on Cornwall's dramatic and windswept Atlantic Coastline, Tintagel is where the legend of King Arthur was born. An English Heritage site, there is a small entry fee, irrespective of whether you actually enter the castle a visit to Tintagel itself is definitely worthwhile. (www.english-heritage.org.uk, 01840 779084)

Screech Owl Sanctuary

The sanctuary provides care for wild, sick or injured owls within Cornwall and where possible releases them back into the wild once a full recovery has been made. Guided tours and falconry displays with owls and birds of prey take place daily. Tiggy's tea room provides drinks and a variety of hot and cold snacks. (www.screechowlsanctuary.co.uk, 01726 860182)

The Blue Reef Aquarium

Situated on Towan Beach in the centre of Newquay, the Blue Reef Aquarium is a great place to visit on a rainy day. Not only are there local marine species from the Cornish coast, but there are hundreds of tropical species in a gigantic ocean display. (www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk, 01637 878134)

Ten Pin Bowling - Porth

Ten pin bowling at Porth Lodge is another place ideal to visit on a rainy day. Located in a pub, there are not a large number of lanes, so phone up and book one in advance. (01637874483)

Tate Gallery - St Ives

Located above Porthmeor Beach the Tate St Ives hosts an exciting exhibition programme. Family friendly; activity packs, interactive talks and a friendly staff team ensure that Tate St Ives provides ways for children and adults to explore the exhibitions together. The entrance price includes access to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Here you will gain a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important twentieth century artists. (www.tate.org.uk/stives/, 01736 796226)

National Seal Sanctuary

The National Seal Sanctuary is set in the picturesque Helford Estuary, by the beautiful village of Gweek, Cornwall. The Sanctuary is a busy rescue centre, in addition it has a number of Grey Seals, Common Seals, Calafornian and Patagonian Sea Lions, Goats, Ponies and Otters that could not be released back into the wild. Although not particularly close to Watergate Bay, it is certainly worth the drive. (www.sealsanctuary.co.uk, 01326 221361)

Eden Project

The Eden Project is more than just a green theme park. Eden is about connecting plants, people and places. It is a living demonstration of regeneration which aims to reconnect people with their environments locally and globally. It is definitely worth a visit. (www.edenproject.com, 01726 811972)

Newquay Zoo

At Newquay Zoo you will discover hundreds of animals from all round the world set amongst exotic lakeside gardens, ranging from the smallest monkey; the Pygmy Marmoset to 'Ronnie and Conni' the African Lions. There are animal encounters everyday, where you are able to meet some of the keepers and the animals that they care for, like Alvin the Skunk, Oscar the Great Horned Owl, the penguins in their pool and the meerkats on sentry duty. (www.newquayzoo.org.uk, 01637 873342)

Activities

The Extreme Academy, located on the beach at Watergate Bay, and the Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre, located on Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay (01637872444) offer a wide variety of outdoor activities both on land and in the water, ranging from the sedate to the extreme. Mobius also offer a range of activities.

Further information on places to visit and activities can be found at www.cornwalltouristboard.co.uk and www.cornwall-online.co.uk.

Eating out

Pheonix

A perfect venue for an after surf beer, the Pheonix caters for all. Upstairs a restaurant provides a high standard of food at a reasonable price. The burgers and hand cut chips are particularly good. Downstairs, pizzas are served until late for those who do not want a formal meal. The bar regularly has live music during the summer months. Dogs are allowed downstairs and in the outside seating areas.

Watergate Bay Hotel Brasserie logo

Watergate Bay Hotel Brasserie / Living Space

The Brasserie is theWatergate Bay Hotel restaurant, it provides a very high standard of food created with fresh local ingredients. The menu changes daily and is always mouth watering. The Living Space is a bar within the hotel that opens out onto a large terrace. With excellent views of the beach it is a good spot to unwind with a coffee and watch the waves roll in.watergatehotel

The Beach Hut logo

The Beach Hut

The Beach Hut offers contemporary cuisine at a price slightly higher than the Pheonix, but still substantially cheaper than Fifteen. Located directly underneath Fifteen, the sea views are impressive. It serves burgers, seafood and great nachos, you can't eat closer to the beach and at high tide the water is only a stones throw away.. The “Extreme” hot chocolates are outstanding. Dogs are allowed.thebeachhut

fifteen logo

Fifteen.

A restaurant that needs little introduction. An innovative menu of the best seasonal and local produce, a relaxed atmosphere and a magnificent view of the 2 mile beach combine to provide an unforgetttable experience. Expect to pay £50.00 per person for a tasting menu and an addtional fee for the accompanying wine tasting menu. If you wish to dine there at the weekend you will have to reserve a table well in advance.fifteencornwall

Headland Hotel Restaurant

The restaurant has impressive views over Fistral Beach, watch the waves roll in whilst you enjoy excellent service and incredible food. A three course meal is approx £40 per person The wine list is extensive and the waiters are incredibly clued up when it comes to recommending the right wine to accompany your meal. There is often Live Music to go with your meal from a skilled pianist and vocalist. You may need to book in advance.headland hotel

Stein's Fish and Chips Padstow

TV chef Rick Stein not only has a restaurant and a patisserie in beautiful Padstow, but he also has a fish and chip shop. Expect to pay approx £8 per head. A little expensive but worth it. Expect to queue during peak summer periods. steinsfishandchips

As well as those places mentioned above, there are many more inspiring places to eat in the surrounding area - The Blue Tomato (Polzeath), Lerwinnick Lodge (Pentire, Newquay), Ripleys (St Merryn) and Smugglers' Den (Cuthbert).

Oour quick surf guide

Watergate Bay Surfing

A beach suitable for all ability levels. The three mile exposed sandy beach faces W and picks up any SW to NW swell. Winds from the NE to S are offshore. The wave closes out in anything bigger than 6ft. At high tide the banks just infront of the car park and hotel can be good. At low to mid tide there are a large number of peaks to choose from, so you can always find your own space. There can be strong rips in both directions, so if you are inexperienced or new to the beach seek advice before you jump in. There is a much more chilled out atmosphere than at the Newquay beaches.

Constantine

Constantine picks up any swell in the Atlantic so it can be busy when everywhere else is flat. The wave has more power and punch to it than Watergate. Workable at all tides, except at high tide (unless it is bigger 4ft plus). Slightly further North is Booby's Bay, a classic beach break peak - access by a long walk round the beach. Rips can be strong in both bays, whilst there is lifeguard cover during the summer the red flags are often flying - so you enter at your own risk.

Fistral

The standard of surfing is high, particularly at North and Little Fistral. Beginners tend to stay in the centre of the bay. E through to S winds are offshore, it becomes choppy in a SW, but South Fistral is sheltered to a limited extent by the cliffs. It is best at low tide, but can be surfed at any tide state. The legendary Cribber is just to the right of Fistral so if the swell is huge its worth watching the pros tow in here!

Towan Beaches

Towan, Tolcarne, Great Western and Lusty Glaze all face N / NW so they pick up less swell than Fistral. S to SW winds are offshore and it is best from mid to high tide. Beginners should go for Towan, the further East you paddle the more powerful the waves become.

Harlyn

The spot to head for when everywhere else is blown out and big. Sheltered by the headland it is offshore in a SW. The down side is that it closes out regularly, it does so most ferociously at low tide.

Our quick kite surfing and windsurfing guide

Watergate Bay

Can be sailed on a SW, W, NW or N wind. It regularly provides good surf to ride. Should not be sailed two hours either side of high tide or when the tide reaches the prominent strip of rocks because of the cliffes. Launch to the N of the of rocks. A classic kitesurfing spot.

Daymer Bay

Works best in a NW, although the river can be sailed on a N. Daymer provides flat shallow water and waves on Doom Bar. It is a great spot for both beginners and experts. It cannot be sailed two hours either side of high and spring tides should be avoided. Kite flying is not permitted from 1000 - 1800 in July and August.

The Bluff (Hayle)

Located in the bay of St Ives, many rate this as the best kitesurfing spot in Cornwall. It can only be sailed in a N, NE and NW, it is too gusty on a W wind. There are strong currents so life is easier if you stay within your depth so that you can stand up to relaunch your kite and retrieve your board.

Gwithian

Works in a N, NW, W and SW. On its day it can provide surf of mammoth proportions, it is a great spot for wave riding. Park on the cliff top and walk down to the beach. Note that a big tide can come all the way in to the cliff base and that there are two large rocks below the high tide line. There is parking at the Godrevy Lighthouse end of the beach, however there are usually more tourists and surfers in this area, so it is best avoided during the summer months.

Marazion

A drive to the south coast will provide a spot that you can sail in SE, S and W. The swell is generally smaller than the N coast, but this can be an advantage on big days. Marizion should not be sailed two hours either side of high tide. When the tide reaches the shingle bank there can be a be a ferocious shore dump if there is a large swell.

Bigbury/Bantham

Of the two Bantham is usually the best beach to head for in a S, SW, W wind. A SE is normally very gusty, but can be good for wave riding if there is a swell as it is cross shore. Surfers normally stick to the area at the N of the bay close to the rocks, this area is best avoided. Close to the beach there is plenty of flat water in the estuary and between the waves, further out the waves can be scarily big when there is a swell running. In a NW Bigbury is the spot, but it is only sailable 2 hours either side of high tide.

The Mobius Kite School in addition to the Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay provides excellent kitesurfing instruction packages for both beginners and experts. Mobius Kite School is able to use a number of beaches across Cornwall, selecting the best one for the conditions on the day. This means that their cancellation rate Is significantly lower than schools at fixed sites. The standard of kitesurfing instruction is excellent, and they have packages for both beginners and experts. (www.mobiusonline.co.uk, 08456 430630).