Award-winning Lusty Glaze beach, near Newquay
Tucked into north’s Cornwall’s dramatic north coast and flanked on three sides by high cliffs, the sheltered horseshoe cove of Lusty Glaze is often overlooked by visitors making a beeline for Newquay’s bustling beaches further south. This hidden gem has it all — an award-winning cafe and restaurant and adventure centre right on the sand. Once you’re settled on the sand, you won’t have to move all day…
Halfway between Newquay and Watergate Bay but a world away from the hustle and bustle, this award-winning beach is one of north Cornwall’s best kept secrets. Don’t let the 133 steps down to the cove put you off — the trek down is well worth the effort, and fortunately, once you’ve made it to the bottom, you’ll have everything you need for a family day at the beach.
Set back from the sand beneath the soaring cliffs, the brilliant Lusty Glaze Cafe is open every day between 9.30 and 4.30, serving wood-fired pizza, waffles, cakes, snacks and a whole host of drinks including their famous hot chocolates. There are wood burners and comfy sofas for storm watching in winter, and tables on the terrace for sunny summer days. It’s child and dog-friendly, too (dogs even get their own bed and water bowl). The Picked Chef offers a more formal dining experience (think seafood linguine, seared scallops, killer Sunday roasts), and runs a pop up restaurant on dates throughout the year.
Although Lusty Glaze is a privately owned beach, it’s lifeguarded between July and September (the entire beach can be booked for weddings and events so if you’re planning on visiting, it’s worth checking ahead to make sure it’s open to the public). There are dog restrictions in place between May and September (but the cafe and restaurant accepts dogs all year) so make sure you bring the lead if you’re visiting during the summer months.
The beach also has the brilliant Cornwall Waverunner Safaris adventure centre, where visitors can take to the waves and learn to surf, jet ski or paddleboard, or take part in adventure activities, such as tightrope walking up on the cliffs (not for the fainthearted!) and abseiling down the cliffs, or head out on the water on banana boat trips. Those who would rather stick to dry land can join in beach games, like dodgeball, volleyball and beach football.
Over the summer months, the beach hosts the popular ‘Sundowner sessions‘, a series of live music gigs featuring some of the UK’s favourite musicians, from big bands to local Cornish artists — the beautiful setting in the cove’s natural amphitheatre has recently earned it the title ‘the most picturesque music venue in the UK’. During the winter, these live music sessions become the ‘woodburner sessions’, where Lusty Glaze diners tuck into delicious food to the accompaniment of soulful acoustic music acts on the terrace.