The surfing conditions along the North Cornwall coast are some of the best available in the world with thousands of experienced surfers riding the waves every year at Fistral Beach in Newquay. However, Crantock offers an excellent alternative, within walking distance of your front door, and is perfect no matter what your level of expertise. Surfboards, wetsuits and beach shoes can all be bought or hired from the beach shop located at Crantock beach, which is run by Fern Pit Cafe and Ferry. Crantock Bay Surf School, based at the National Park car park, specialises in providing quality surfing and stand up paddle lessons for all ages and abilities, and also offers a Gannel Estuary Kayak tour.
Newquay Golf Course is one of the most beautiful links courses in Cornwall with breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean. The 18 hole course caters for all lovers of the sport, both beginners and serious golfers. Open all year round, the course is well maintained and hosts some of the county's most prestigious golfing events. One of the best pitch and putt courses in the region is available at Holywell Bay. This shorter 18 hole course has fairways, sea views and a 'cliff-hanging' 17th hole. At Treloy Golf Club you will find a 9 hole executive course, made up of sculptured greens, American pencross grass, extensive mouldings and bunkers. Opened in 1991 and designed by Bob Sandow, it was the first of its kind in Cornwall.
Newquay Riding Stables offer a variety of rides for all abilities. Children from four years old are welcome to experience their first lesson here and can even take part in one of the 'own a pony mornings,' fulfilling every little girls dream to have their own horse. Treks are available and tailored to suit beginners, nervous and experienced riders. They can be anything from an hour's scenic, beach or coastal ride, a hack with rising trot or an evening pub ride. Groups can also take part in horse riding at Newquay Riding Stables with a selection of treks available.
There are several excellent walks in the area. The South West Coastal Path runs around the headland, linking several of the nearby villages and beaches. You can also climb over the sand dunes or stroll along the estuary, which, in the 15th century, was a busy port, but is now popular with walkers.
A nice walk around the village, taking just under an hour, takes in the beautiful views over the river estuary and the stunning coastline. This walk is very simple with only one small climb, and refreshments can be found in either of the village pubs or, during the summer, at the beach hut.
Walking between Holywell and Crantock, you will discover just how stunning the North Cornwall coast is. This unspoilt section has a lovely variety of flora and fauna and views.
Experience North Cornwall on two wheels, with some of the best cycling in the area. There are several routes available, with both level and mixed gradients to suit all levels of cyclists. Why not cycle along the coast road, visiting the pretty Cornish villages of Newquay, Perranporth and Holywell, or, if you are little more adventurous, head to Bodmin.
Newquay comes to life in the bustling summer months, when sun worshippers and water sport enthusiasts head to the pretty North Cornwall holiday resort. Unjustifiably it has sometimes been called the Margate of Cornwall. However, the town has stunning beachs, and during the day there are shops, cafes and pubs to explore, while at night, the streets come to life with music from the numerous clubs.
Dating back to the 15th century, the town became a safe haven for docking vessels, as many felt the Gannel Estuary was too dangerous due to the Atlantic swells. Today the harbour retains the history of the town, with sea angling trips available to capture the beauty of the coastline and a way to experience the traditions of the town.
As well as the busy broad streets the town also has quiet corners and beautiful gardens filled with colourful flowers. There is also a zoo, fun pools and a large swimming pool at Water World.
If you are looking for a little more culture and history head to Trerice, an Elizabethan manor house just three miles from Newquay, and run by the National Trust. Surrounded by 20 acres of land, which feature fruit trees and a 17th century symmetrically patterned garden, the house is a lovely place to enjoy an afternoon. There is also a restaurant, hayloft and collection of antique lawnmowers at Trerice to discover. One of the main attractions at the house is the hall, which is two floors high and has a lattice window comprising of more than 550 panes of glass.
Meet Alvin the Skunk at Newquay Zoo, where there are colourful tropical birds, exotic insects, cuddly farm animals and big cats. Children will love the award winning zoo, as they encounter the wide range of animals in their different homes. Watch as the monkeys tumble through the skies, get up close to the king of the cats, and laugh as the penguins show off their swimming and diving skills. As well as the animals, there are a selection of trails, face painting, children's play area and maze to keep everyone entertained on a fun day out.
If you are more fascinated by what lives under the sea, then why not head to Blue Reef, Cornwall's largest aquarium, based in Newquay. See everything from the clown fish to the sharks. There are also mini crocodiles, a nursery with the latest arrivals and a turtle rescue centre. The aquarium's underwater tunnel gives the best insight to the marine life surrounding the world's coastlines.
Newquay can easily be accessed by bus, with a regular service running from Crantock to the town throughout the year. Taxis can be also be booked if you would like to experience the town's night life, and in the summer a ferry runs between Crantock and Newquay.
There is a large Morrison supermarket located on the outskirts of Newquay, approximately 5 minutes' drive from Crantock. Sainsbury's and Asda are also located in the town.
Perranporth is a quaint seaside village, just a few miles away from Crantock. St Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall, built an oratory at Penhale Sands but this was abandoned in the 11th century. A second church was then built further inland, but, like the original, was covered in sand and eventually disappeared. Both sites can still be seen today when walking the coast path. The oratory is marked by a stone; while a four holed circular cross is at the site of the church.
Perranporth is a lovely village, which was made famous by the Poldark novels, with the original author, Winston Graham, using his local village as the perfect image of what life was like in 19th century Cornwall. Perranporth itself was used as the inspiration for Nampara, while the beach became Hendrawna Beach, as it was known in the novels. The books have since been made into a popular TV series.
The beach at Perranporth is more than two miles long and although it can be busy in the summer, it still offers something for everyone. If you're looking for a little more peace and quiet, head for the northern tip of the beach.
Holywell Bay lies to the south of Crantock and is reached via an unclassified road. The village is the site of an ancient Holy Well; however its location is disputed with some saying it is in the caves at the northern end of the beach, while others think it is further inland. Holywell Cave itself is accessible at low tide and has lovely pools for exploring.
The Treguth Inn, a 13th century converted farmhouse with thatched roof, is well worth a visit for a nice meal and glass of real ale after a day on the beach.
Less than 30 minutes from Crantock is Truro, the centre of administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall. The city grew, thanks to its port and mining links, but today is more renowned for its Cathedral, cobbled streets and Georgian architecture.
The city prospered in the 18th and 19th centuries as the price of tin went up, and wealthy mine owners built Georgian and Victorian townhouses, which can still be seen today in Lemon Street. The city's importance continued to grow with the introduction of smelting works, potteries and tanneries, and although the mining industry has declined, the city has continued to thrive, with many well-known shops moving to Truro. There is also a pannier market open throughout the year and numerous places to eat and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.
The city's cathedral is one of the most recognisable features with its gothic style. Taking more than 30 years to build, the cathedral towers 250 feet above Truro. The cathedral, along with the terraces and townhouses, are some of the best examples of Georgian architecture outside of Bath.
When visiting Truro it is well worth exploring some of its beautiful parks, including Pencalenick, Trelissick and Tregothnan. The area surrounding Calenick Creek has also been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Lemon Quay is the centre for many of the city's events, including Britain in Bloom, a continental market, the city carnival and the famous Truro Christmas lights switch-on, which includes a paper lantern parade, known as the City of Lights Procession.
Stretching for more than 80 square miles, Bodmin Moor is the smallest National Park in the South West of England. Formerly known as Fowey Moor, Bodmin has plenty to offer its visitors including granite tors, rolling moorland, outstanding views and wonderful wildlife. Some of the best known areas to visit are Brown Willy, the highest point in Cornwall, Rough Tor, Kilmar Tor and Caradon Hill. Cairns and stone circles can also be found dotted around the National Park, many dating back to the Bronze Age.
Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the moor supports hundreds of important birds, including Stonechats and Golden Plovers.
The Eden Project is well worth a visit when staying in Cornwall, especially as it is less than an hour's drive from Crantock. The three artificial biomes are home to millions of plants from all around the world, and no matter what the weather, the project guarantees a horticultural spectacle that is forever changing and developing.