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Newquay hotels 

If you're not sure what Newquay is all about, simply check out the shops in the party and surfing capital of Cornwall: you'll find buckets and spades for the kids; designer surf togs for those who get their kicks on the swells; delicious local produce from the surrounding countryside; and pointless but pretty souvenirs - typical of any holiday destination in England.

This pretty little fishing port, with a population of around 20,000, bursts into life when the sun and warm weather arrives in this part of Great Britain every summer. And with the sunshine comes the people, as the population swells to beyond 100,000 between May and September.

Don't worry; the town can cope with this influx of visitors as there is a huge range of Newquay hotels, self-catering holiday parks, B&Bs, holiday rentals and camping opportunities.

Newquay is known for its stunning string of beaches, including surfing paradise Fistral Beach, Crantock Beach, Great Western Beach, Towan Beach, Lusty Glaze Beach, Tolcarne Beach, Whipsiderry Beach and Watergate Bay, where you can whet your appetite at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, which is only one of a great selection of quality restaurants around Newquay.

The town is also known for surfing, sunsets and a thriving social scene, with bars, pubs and clubs aplenty. But hotels in Newquay also cater for an upmarket crowd, though it's not quite in the same league as posh Padstow, some 30 minutes up the road.

Newquay features a fine array of top-class luxury hotels, ranging from modern, boutique-style pads on the beach, to grand old resort hotels of the past and fantastic spa hotels. There's also a great supply of mid-range accommodation in former coaching inns, family-run villas and chain hotels that might be bland but offer everything needed during a short break.

At the budget-hotels end of the market, there are quite a few options, with converted homes providing many of the cheaper rooms in town.

If you are looking for well-known names in Newquay, you'll struggle. Other than Premier Inn and Travelodge, the only other major name in town is Best Western. All other hotels are locally run and managed.

You might be required to book Newquay hotels for at least two nights during summer weekends and Bank Holidays. You are most likely to bag a bargain at hotels in Newquay when you visit at either end of the peak summer season, outside of school holiday dates or during winter.

Top five attractions

Beaches

The white-sand beaches of Newquay are the undeniable draw for many to this lovely stretch of English coastline. Pound the surf, swim in the shallows with kids, or simply lounge and enjoy an ice-cream.

Tunnels Through Time

Cornish history is alive with folklore and legend, and this museum brings the tales to life - perfect for a rainy day. 

Newquay Zoo

Open every day except Christmas Day, this family attraction will have kids begging to leave the beach to see the animals.

Blue Reef Aquarium

See the creatures of local seas as well as more exotic species in another perfect rainy-day destination. Book online in advance to save money.

Trenance Gardens and Boating Lake

It's tempting to hit the beach every time the sun shines, but consider Trenance too; this beautiful town park is the place to pack a picnic, spot local wildlife and hire a boat.

Events

English National Surf Championships; May: Fistral Beach is the place to be to catch surf legends in action on Newquay's waves. If you get the surfing bug, hire a coach in Newquay to teach you the basics.

Run to the Sun Festival; May: VW enthusiasts arrive in their droves in their shiny Beetles and campers for this town-wide party, which thousands attend.

Newquay Fish Festival; September: The taste of the sea is celebrated in the harbour in late summer, with lots of samples to try.