Newquay may be known as the surf centre of Europe but it is also a firm setting for family staycations, having been listed as one of the nation’s best-loved seaside towns in ‘Which Holiday Survey’.
Summer for me is officially over; my kids are back at school and the last nine weeks feel like a distant memory. After the last-minute rush of organising pencils cases and gum shields, I finally have a little time on my hands and have been thinking about October half term.
Anyone who knows me would concur that I am mad about Cornwall, so with the weather predicted to stay mild until at least November, I intend to book a Cornish holiday home. I’ve drawn up a list of possible activities and am eagerly looking forward to the small interval we get between now and Christmas.
After taking a closer look at Newquay, I’ve found some great ideas for a fun family break this October half term.
Surfing, coasteering and bodyboarding
PHOTO: VISIT NEWQUAY
Where better to embrace the ocean than on one of Cornwall’s awesome surf beaches? My boys have been surfing since they were strong enough to pull a board into the sea and the sport furnishes them with hours of entertainment and exercise.
PHOTO: NEWQUAY ACTIVITY CENTRE
To learn to surf properly, lessons are essential; Newquay Activity Centre offers a range of lessons from taster to developer sessions or private one-on-one tuition. The iconic Fistral Beach is renowned as one of the U.K’s best surfing spots. With expert instruction and fantastic conditions you’ll be riding the waves in no time.
If surfing doesn’t float your board, how about coasteering or body boarding? Once again, lessons are available to suit all abilities. October may seem an odd time to be out in the water, but with long wetsuits, a warm rug and a flask of hot chocolate it really is exhilarating.
Sticking with the littoral theme, our next trip takes us to the mesmerising world of Blue Reef Aquarium.
PHOTO: BLUE REEF AQUARIUM
Located by the popular Towan Beach in the heart of Newquay, Blue Reef Aquarium is a magnet for visitors of all ages. It’s home to a plethora of fascinating marine life from, with species plucked from Cornish waters as well as more exotic seas. This half term, the aquarium takes on an eerie feel with a special Halloween event, “Sea Monsters, Myths and Legends”, running from 25th October to 2nd November.
PHOTO: BLUE REEF AQUARIUM
Embark on a journey of discovery, unearthing the secrets behind myths and legends that have terrified seafarers for hundreds of years. Cornwall has its very own sea monster – ‘Morgawr’ – which has been spotted many times over the years; learn the fascinating story behind this local legend. Halloween pumpkins and a terrible test all add to the spooky fun, while those who dare turn up in Halloween costume will enjoy discounted entry. Sounds like a winner to me.
From sea to land
I have experienced the beauty of Cornwall’s coast and countryside in every season, and autumn is always a stunner. I’ve cycled, walked, boated and enjoyed a few road trips over the years but I’ve yet to explore by horseback. If I’ll be honest, I haven’t ridden in years, but would love my first foray back into the equestrian world to be in Cornwall.
Newquay Riding Stables are BHS approved and ideally situated to make the most of the exquisite surroundings. All abilities are welcomed by experienced local instructors, with different options available including pub rides, longer rides for more experienced visitors and group rides. I am currently negotiating with my boys for permission to take them on a coastal ride this half term.
Just as the summer has passed in a flash, half term will swiftly be upon us. Take the opportunity now to book a break for October half term and enjoy a chilled week before the Christmas frenzy starts.
For ideas from the local experts, check out Visit Newquay’s website where you will find a full list of what’s on and when along with oodles of ideas for great days out.
Family Fun in Newquay
Half term family fun
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