headland hotel review
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Hotel review: The Headland, Newquay


We follow in the footsteps of Edwardian high society and relax by the sea at the Headland Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall.

We’re always on the lookout for lovely places to stay, whether they are in the UK or further afield. So when the lovely people at the Headland Hotel asked us down for a visit, we took the train to Newquay to check it out.

The Headland Hotel

The Headland has a long and illustrious history. Opened in 1900, frequent visitors in the early years of the 20th Century included King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and Bertie (later George VI).

Situated on the Atlantic coast, overlooking Newquay’s beautiful Fistral Beach, the hotel provides a great base for exploring Cornwall, either by car or on foot.

The hotel has benefitted from over £30 million of investment over the last thirty years and this is reflected in the wide range of facilities on offer.

Oh, and if you think you might recognise the building, you’d probably be right. It was the hotel used in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

headland hotel map

Headland Hotel – the rooms

The hotel strikes the perfect balance between classic and modern – the dark wood detailing of reception and the cosy log fires are complemented by the modern facilities and there’s a twist of the seaside and Cornish heritage evident in the decor.

The Headland has 96 rooms and a number of 5* self-catering cottages. Many of the rooms have stunning views of the surrounding area.  There’s an option for all budgets, with courtyard view rooms from £79, and best rooms/suites starting at £249 (all include a full English breakfast).

We were lucky to have a view of Fistral Beach from our room, which we could enjoy from a comfortable sofa by the window. The room, which was beautifully decorated, had all of the usual bits – comfortable beds, a TV and DVD player, hairdryer, tea and coffee tray,  but the main highlight was the bathroom. Here there was a walk-in eco shower, twin sinks, heated floors and roll-top bath. Definitely a bathroom in which it was a joy to get ready!

Our room at The Headland.
Our room at The Headland.


headland bathroom
The dream bathroom!

Things to do

We found that there’s plenty to get up to at the Headland, no matter how active (or inactive!) you’re feeling.

Fistral Beach is probably the most famous surfing beach in Britain. If you’ve never tried the sport before, or if you’re a bit rusty, the hotel has close links with Surfing is Therapy who can provide you with lessons in surfing or bodyboarding.

If you fancy a walk, the Hotel is slap bang on the South West Coast Path and the hotel can provide a number of walking routes that will show you the best of the area.

And the centre of Newquay, with its shops, restaurants and bars, is only a short taxi ride away.

We decided that all that sounded far too much like hard work and instead  spent some time in the brand new spa and leisure complex. There’s a gym, spa pool, Cornish Salt steam room, aromatherapy showers and a sauna. Plus there’s also a full range of beauty treatments available.

Spa room at The Headland.
Spa room at The Headland.


If, like us, you’re prone to judging a place by your stomach, the Headland won’t let you down.

Breakfast is a huge feast, with a full Cornish breakfast buffet, continental buffet and an extensive a la carte menu.

The elegant restaurant serves fresh, locally sourced produce, which you can eat while enjoying watching the ocean. Our meals in the restaurant included roasted duck breast, roast rump of Cornish Lamb and an absolutely beautiful chocolate marquise.

If you head to The Terrace (which you can reach straight off the beach), you;ll be treated to seafood, pasta and salads served in a relaxed atmosphere. We both decided to sample the Headland Burger  and it’s a rather good burger! Again, the views were amazing and we were impressed by the friendly and efficient staff in both restaurants.

Roasted duck breast
Roasted duck breast – delicious!

So would we recommend it?

In a word, yes. We thought that the The Headland is a rather super place. It’s in the perfect location to enjoy the best of Newquay and would make a good base for exploring the rest of Cornwall. We particularly liked the way the owners have modernised the facilities without losing the sense of history  and maybe if you visit, you’ll run into one of their famous ghosts!

Our thanks to The Headland for their hospitality during our stay.

  • Location: Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1EW
  • Telephone: 01637 872211
  • Email: reception@headlandhotel.co.uk
  • Website: http://www.headlandhotel.co.uk/
The Terrace Restaurant at The Headland
The Terrace Restaurant at The Headland.

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Co-editor Emma is LWT's resident history lover and fact nerd. She loves travelling overland - especially by train. Her trips tend to be planned around good food and a little bit of adventure.

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