2014 Discover Secret Newquay

Discover secret Newquay

Seaside codeIt’s not a secret that Newquay has wonderful beaches but did you know that there is a wealth of fantastic marine wildlife to be seen? If you are planning to visit  Newquay, try to choose a day with a spring tide and sunny weather so you can look around the Blue Reef Aquarium in the morning; then go rock-pooling on nearby  Towan beach, or hop over to South Fistral which is one of Newquay’s best rock-pooling spots. You will be sure to spot shore crabs, anemones, limpets and many more  species. PLEASE follow the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Seashore code when rock-pooling.

If the tide is in, why not head to Newquay’s beautiful harbour – a short walk from the Aquarium – and see if you can spot one of Newquay’s resident grey seals? Please  don’t feed them; they are wild animals and it encourages them to get too close to boats and many get injured by propellers and fishing gear.

You can take a boat trip  out from here for a spot of mackerel fishing or for a wildlife watching experience aboard Atlantic Diver, which regularly spots basking sharks,  seals and dolphins off Newquay’s coast.

The Newquay Marine Group raises public awareness of the area’s fantastic marine wildlife and is keen to hear from locals who would like to get involved. Facebook – Newquay Marine Group.

Your ticket to the Aquarium lasts all day, so return to enjoy one of the interactive talks and feeds scheduled throughout the day; they really bring the Aquarium alive. After 3pm the Aquarium gets a lot quieter so this is a good time to chill with de fishies!

by Matt Slater Newquay Marine Group

Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay.

‘Save up to £12’ voucher

Take a fascinating journey through 40 naturally-themed habitats from a Cornish sea with real waves teeming with bass, to fresh water Amazonian displays with caiman  (mini-alligators) and exotic seas pulsing with life.

What the Cephalopod is that?! Spot Cephalopods like the extremelyintelligent Giant Pacific octopus with its doughnut-shaped brain, delicate colour-changing cuttlefish  and prehistoric nautilus which are just like living ammonites; and they are all distantly related to the common garden snail! The pulsating jellyfish and  elegant, prehensile-tailed seahorses are great too.

The centrepiece of the Aquarium is the spectacular coral reef housed within a giant ocean display. The reef bustles with angelfish, puffer fish, wrasse and hundreds of  brightly-coloured species, several varieties of sharks, graceful rays, moray eels and lionfish. Running right through the centre of the reef is an amazing underwater,  walk-through tunnel where you come literally face to face with a large turtle, and Dr Who fans, look out for the Cassandra-like appearance of a ray’s underside!

Thanks for the timing tip, Matt. To make the most of your visit go early when it’s not too busy (and you can get a place in Newquay’s busy car parks); then swim and  picnic on the beach right in front of the Aquarium; return for the excellent interactive talks and feeds during the day; end with a mesmerising chill-down in the wonderfully calm underwater tunnel.

This summer discover the gross side of marine animals – the disgusting habits of rock pool creatures and their weird and wonderful ways of surviving. Look through  microscopes to discover what is lurking in the water and dare to put your hands in the box of unknown…. Every weekend you can join in a different activity ranging from face painting to rock people workshops.

Blue Reef Aquarium,

Towan Promenade,


TR7 1DU.


01637 878134

Outside Newquay

Further afield, find out more about Cornwall’s grey seals by visiting the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek. Discover how grey seals survive in the wild and how the team rescue up to 50 injured or abandoned grey seals every year from around the Cornish coast 01326 221361.

Check out Falmouth Aquarium’s ‘Live Encounters’ – daily events with trained marine biologists: see, touch and learn about weird and wonderful creatures you can  find locally. Free with entry, see www.falmouthaquarium.com for details. 01326 212111

Then go on a brilliant maritime adventure at the unmissable National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth.