It's fair to say that Newquay, on the north coast of Cornwall, has worn its fair share of proverbial coats over the years. Originally a small fishing village, it became a huge holiday destination before falling out of favour and turning into a place for tipsy teenagers and rowdy stag parties. Over the last few years, however, this town has has undergone a real regeneration, cleaning up its act and attracting couples and families once more. With beautiful beaches, tons to do, some incredible hotels and enough restaurants and bars to keep anyone occupied for an entire summer, Newquay is well and truly back, and arguably better than ever.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for somewhere surrounded by top-class beaches, Newquay is a great base for water sports lovers, with everything from coasteering to wreck diving within easy reach. The town is particularly famous for its surf scene, with numerous festivals and competitions held on its beaches each year - don't worry newbies, lessons are easy to find all over town.
Those who prefer to stay on dry land or are (quite fairly) more fair-weather beach goers will be glad to know that there are also a range of other activities on offer. Cornwall Zorbing Park is just a few minutes out of town, while those looking for a fast-paced adrenaline rush will enjoy St Eval kart circuit, the fastest outdoor circuit in the whole of the South West. Cornwall Aviation and Heritage Centre showcases - and lets you sit inside - a range of vintage aircraft.
Lusty Glaze Beach - Located on a privately owned beach in a sheltered cove just moments from the centre of town, they've got a beautiful restaurant overlooking the sea, a rum and pizza shack, chilled out live music every week and host gigs by major artists during the summer months. Check their website to see what's on during your visit.
DairyLand Farm World - A great one for younger kids, DairyLand Farm World is a Cornish institution and family favourite. A working dairy farm with a petting zoo, tractor rides and adventure playgrounds, it's also a great option for rainy days thanks to their huge indoor play zone.
The South West Coast Path - Quite frankly, there's no part of the South West Coast Path in Cornwall that's not worth checking out, but the area around Newquay has some great views. The loop that links the centre of town with the village of Crantock clocks in just under five miles, and if you're willing to do a little extra walking then there's a great pub, The Bowgie Inn, to stop at along the way.
Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm - From their farm at Penhallow, about a 20 minute drive from Newquay, this family business produces a range of delicious ciders, including a fruity pub blend, a very drinkable oak matured cider and surprisingly tasty whiskey infused cider. Head down to do some all-important (and free!) sampling, take a tour of their production facilities and view the family's collection of classic cars.
Kernow Chocolate - Another one for foodies, this artisan chocolatier produces over 20 different flavour bars of the good stuff, from the plain and simple to the slightly quirky (cream tea, anyone?), to the weird and wacky (try the toffee apple bar). Top tip: the hot chocolate served in the cafe at their factory is absolutely to die for.