History of Newquay
Newquay in Cornwall is now one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK and is ideal for a fantastic vacation, but Newquay had a long history before tourism.
With remains of prehistoric burial grounds on both the Barrowfields and Trevelgue Head, plus evidence of both Bronze Age and Iron Age dwellings, people have lived here and taken in the sea views for thousands of years. By medieval times a small fishing village had sprung up around the sheltered bay we now know as Newquay harbour and this harbour is also the key to the town’s current name. Until the 15th century Newquay was known by its Cornish language name ‘Towan Blystra’ but in the mid 1400’s Edmund Lacey, Bishop of Exeter sourced the funds to build a ‘new quay’ at which point the town simply became known as ‘Newquay’.
By 1800 the population had grown to some 1300 people and the simple wooden quay was replaced, in stages, from 1835 by the current stone harbour. This was to become an important hub for Cornwall’s then main industries of tin mining, fishing and agriculture. The town steadily grew and the arrival of a passenger rail link in 1876 that added a whole new industry - tourism. With the Victorian era, beach holidays for the wealthy had begun and by the turn of the 19th century several large hotels around the town had been built. Steadily, more of the countries population won the right to holidays and the new tradition of a family beach holiday for all prompted the building of dozens of hotels. By the 1930’s the smaller and less formal Guest House (B&B’s) had become popular and as so many were visiting Newquay the first Tourist Information Centre was created. Post war, Newquay grew and grew adding more hotels & guest houses, self-catering accommodation, holiday parks and every type of the holiday accommodation we all know today. In the 1960’s a new leisure sport from the US came to the UK, surfing, and soon found a home at Newquay. With its ideal surfing beaches and relaxed holiday atmosphere Newquay established itself on the world surfing circuit with the famous Fistral and Watergate beaches.
With tourism firmly established the advent of cheaper commercial air travel in the 1970’s onwards gave UK holiday makers the option to travel abroad but equally gave overseas visitors the chance to visit the UK and with that Newquay became a popular international holiday destination. Now Newquay is a vibrant holiday destination for all ages with visitors from across the globe. With its sandy beaches, glorious seas and plenty to see and do you can do as little or as much as you like.