Watergate Bay Cornwall

Watergate Bay – much more than a beach

You will probably have heard of Watergate Bay, it is firmly on the map as one of Cornwall’s go –to destinations- the surf capital of Cornwall. On my first visit I had expected a coastal village with a hotel, maybe a beach café, not a great deal to interest me… how wrong I was.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding at the hotel years ago and it has been one of my favourite stops ever since. Here’s why it might just be worth making a visit:

The beach and The Extreme Academy – Ok I’ll kid myself that this is the main event here. Yes the beach is vast and yes you can do pretty much every water sport going but personally I have never felt the need, however the husband seems to like them all. So if you fancy learning to surf, wave ski, paddle board or kite surf, they are all on offer as well as several more I have never heard of.

The hotel and Swim Club – Now you are talking. The hotel is a no nonsense all welcome relaxed environment which is perfect in this setting. Whatever the weather, however much sand you are caked in, you won’t feel out of place in the fantastic living space which spills out onto a deck overlooking the beach. Just stopping for coffee, a light bite (go for the fish finger sandwich) or a glass of wine, this is a really fun place to be. Fine dining is on offer too with Zacry’s Restaurant which has an American twist.

The hotel spa has re-invented itself as The Swim Club recently. Day memberships are available as are pre-dinner swim sessions for guilt free eating! What a great idea…

Fifteen Cornwall – Figure headed by Jamie Oliver, this is not only a fantastic dining experience but also a charitable foundation to help disadvantaged young people from Cornwall. If you haven’t eaten at the restaurant I cannot recommend it highly enough – fabulous food, a really fun environment and a chance to support a worthy cause.

I was lucky enough to attend the Fifteen Cornwall graduation a few years ago and hearing how the training programme had transformed the young chefs lives was truly moving. The man himself even turned up by helicopter adding some drama to the occasion!

The Beach Hut – You wouldn’t think there was room for another restaurant at one beach but again the relaxed vibe and welcoming atmosphere mean this is another popular stop.

So yet again I find myself striding across a beach in my work shoes to take photographs, this has got to stop, not only am I ruining all my shoes but I look pretty ridiculous amongst the cool flip flop wearing brigade.

Young, fun and contemporary, Watergate Bay has been turned from a sleepy hamlet into a year round buzzing destination so put it on your go to list.


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