Get spontaneous: Scuttle down Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula for an untouched surfer’s paradise

By Alex Bysouth

It feels almost a million miles away from the city, and for that exact reason Mancunians should swap smog for sun, sea, surf and swell.

Cornwall boasts some of the best beaches in the country, and with the Atlantic Ocean lapping onto its golden sands, some of the greatest surfing conditions in Europe.

Beneath the hundreds of miles of beautiful cliffs and rugged coastal paths, surfers flock to the Cornish coast to reap the swell and enjoy a, sometimes, milder climate.

Among a plethora of excellent beaches sits Newquay, aptly named after the fifteenth century new quay built in the town, where originally stood the fishing port of Towan Blistra.

Newquay is the obvious choice for those seeking sun, surf and nightlife to match, with pubs, clubs and bars befriending more than seven miles of golden sand.

Towan, Great Western, Lusty Glaze and Fistral Beach – home to the inaugural surfing championships – enjoy the hustle and bustle of being a prime spot for surfers, swimmers and sun-worshippers.

Tourists fill the town’s hostels and sites such as Newquay International Backpackers Hostel provide affordable and accessible accommodation.

If the hubbub of Newquay is not quite your scene then try the slightly less frantic oceanfront of Watergate Bay, home to the Xtreme Academy and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall beach café.

Within the vicinity, eco-friendly Cornish beach hut The Edge offers stunning coastal vistas over Whitsand Bay, or alternatively Haven Touring Park and Koa Tree Camp cater for caravans and campers.

However, it takes meandering off the beaten surf to unearth a true Cornish gem, and the Lizard Peninsula really is a trip to a journey’s end if ever there was one.

Cut off from the rest of Cornwall by the Helford River at one end and surrounded by sea on the other three sides, the Lizard Peninsula jets proudly into the water.

Connected to Cornwall via a lonesome bridge, the island-like Lizard conjures up a unique unpolluted climate, which locals claim is probably the warmest in Britain.

The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s coves hide historic fishing villages and tiny harbours, and the unruffled beaches offer challenges for wave riders of all abilities.

Swells generated in the Atlantic, offshore breezes and sprawling resplendent sands generate a surfer’s paradise, with dune-bearing Poldhu beach also benefiting from the free parking spots and beachside café.

Blissful as it is, littered around the Lizard can be found a variety of accommodation, from romantic luxury studios such as Forget-Me-Not over-looking the idyllic Gunwalloe Fishing Cove to Chy Carne Camping and Touring Park near Kennack Sands.

Here lies a well-kept secret, but that’s the thing about secrets, they tend to not stay secret for long…

Picture courtesy of IDS photos, with thanks.

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