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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions at Great Western Beach

Great Western Beach Complex is a privately-managed facility. We aim to offer a warm welcome to visitors throughout the year but we must ask for your co-operation and support to ensure a clean, safe, and presentable environment for all.

Beach FAQsGW Surf Cafe FAQs

Beach FAQs

Where are you? Can we access the beach easily?

You can access the beach at any time via a smooth tarmacked lane. The lane entrance can be found on Cliff Road, hidden between the Koncept Gym building and the Great Western Hotel. Our postcode is TR7 2NE.


You can also visit us from the bay itself (at low tide). Please check tide times before hand. We are wedged between Towan Beach and Tolcarne Beach.

For clarity, Great Western Surf Café is located at the beach itself. Please do not get confused with our lovely neighbours at the top of the path, the Great Western Hotel.

Do you allow dogs?

We understand that dogs at the beach will always divide opinion. Well-behaved dogs and responsible owners are welcome at Great Western Beach 365 days a year. With a few conditions:

  • For the safety and enjoyment of all, dogs must be kept on a lead on the approach lane at all times until you hit the sand
  • Owners must monitor and control their dogs. Please remain aware that not all beach users are comfortable around dogs.
  • Please clean up after you dog! Dog bags are available from the surf school office in an emergency.

Whilst we would like to continue to provide a welcoming environment for our four-legged friends, please be aware that disregard for our policies may force a full dog ban at our beach. This is something that we would not like to pursue but must be constantly reviewed.

Dogs are allowed in our bar and restaurant areas but must be on leads at all times.

Do you have parking?

Unfortunately not. There are a number of public car parks located near Great Western. There are no parking facilities on the beach and vehicle access is strictly prohibited.

Can we bring a bicycle?

We do not offer storage facilities for bicycles.

How about a beach fire?

We cannot permit beach fires due to too many incidents where people think it OK to burn pallets and pieces of wood embedded with nails. Well, the wood burns, the nails don’t. So what’s left on the beach in the morning?! Sharp nails, open to being stepped on by bare feet.

What do we do with our rubbish?

Bins are provided for customers of our food and drink outlets (from April-October). Beach visitors are asked to take their own rubbish home with them. Please reuse and recycle as much as you can.

Are there toilets at the beach?

We offer toilet facilities for all beach users. Our toilets are open from 10am until 6pm during the summer months. Please note that we close our toilets in the winter.

Do you have lifeguards?

Our beach has RNLI lifeguard cover from May until September. For lifeguard season dates, weather, and tide times, and to donate to this amazing charity, you can visit the RNLI website.

Can I hold an event at your beach?

Should you wish to consider Great Western for a wedding reception, special birthday celebration, office function, or kids beach party, please get in touch; we would love to help! Please contact us.

Can we hire a surfboard at the beach?

You certainly can. You can hire a range of surfboards, wetsuits, kayaks, and SUPs from Great Western Surf Hire.

Can we learn to surf with you?

Yes. Book a lesson through the awesome NQY Surf School.

Can I get a drink and some food at the beach?

Great Western has an awesome new beach bar, The Surf Shack. The Surf Shack is located on the beach with a lovely beer garden wondrously located on the sand itself.

Please note we are licensed for you to enjoy a beer in our beer garden area only. You cannot take an alcoholic drink elsewhere on our beach.

The Surf Shack also offers ice-cream, hot drinks, snack, and hot pasties. All subject to availability, of course.

Surf Café FAQs

How can I book a table at the Surf Café?

All bookings are made online at

You are asked to read our T&Cs before booking.

How can I contact you about my booking?

We have introduced a online booking system to allow you edit or cancel your advance booking online without the need of a phone call or email. Simply go to your booking confirmation email, issued at the time of booking, and follow the links to Edit or Cancel.

Please note that bookings are non-amendable with less than 24 hours notice. A no-show charge will apply if your booking is not honoured.

For anything not answered on our FAQs or in our T&Cs, please feel free to contact us.

Are you dog-friendly?

We are. But please think twice about bringing your dog if he’s a little yappy fella and there’s a potential risk to the enjoyment of other diners. All dogs must be on leads.

Can I bring my children?

You can! Please just make a note in the Comments field when booking. Please note that we cannot guarantee the provision of a highchair.

Can I book a table outside?

Sadly not. We take booking for inside tables only to guarantee you a table in the event of wet weather.

Can I book for a group?

Our system is set up to take a booking for a maximum of 10 people. Please contact us for a group booking enquiry.

I’m running late for my booking. Can you please hold our table?

You are welcome to contact us with your ETA, but please bear in mind that we may not be able to hold your table if we have a waiting list.

When making a booking we do stress the importance of being on time for a booking. As we highlight in our T&Cs, traffic in Newquay/en-route to Newquay can be dreadful. Please please allow extra time if travelling to us by car. We hold tables for 15 minutes only. We are a small restaurant and delays and late arrivals do have an impact on subsequent service times and the experience of other diners.