The vibe at Little Fistral is again a bit more of a locals spot. The beach itself is small and tucked away, so it attracts family groups and those who want to escape the crowds. However Little Fistral is an advanced surfing spot, so it also carries a vibe of being a VIP area. When the Cribbar breaks, the news travels fast and crowds gather at Little Fistral to watch the jet skis tow in those who are brave enough to take it on.
Little Fistral car park is right by the beach, and free after 4pm. During the winter it’s a popular place for van lifers to camp out, it’s away from the main drag and gives them access to early morning waves. This is more firmly policed in the summer, but either way it’s still a convenient and reasonably priced car park.
Mon – Sun 08:00 – 00:00
1 Hour – £1.70
2 Hours – £3.40
3 Hours – £4.90
4 Hours – £6.60
8 Hours – £8.70
Little Fistral can be accessed via a short flight of steps in the car park. There is also the option of climbing down the rocks, but there is no flat or disabled access to Little Fistral.
There are public toilets very close to the beach on Towan headland.
Lifeguard Patrols 2023 (Check with RNLI for latest schedules):
There is no dedicated lifeguard service at Little Fistral. The main Fistral beach team do cover Little Fistral, however they don’t have a clear line of sight from the RNLI building to Little Fistral. They have a camera set up to keep an eye on Little Fistral and in the summer roving patrols cover Little Fistral especially when the stage of the tide or conditions demand it.
However, if you are not an experienced water user please do not enter the water at Little Fistral, instead use one of the many Newquay beaches which has a dedicated lifeguard team surveilling it.
Exercise caution in the water. If you find yourself in trouble in the water, stay calm and float to survive.
Dogs are welcome off lead on Little Fistral beach year round, without restriction, but should be kept under control.
Little Fistral is a really nice right hander which breaks next to the rocks. Between the peak and the rocks is a handy rip to aid with a dry hair paddle out. Locals dominate this peak and it will be unusual to see anyone scoring a lot of waves here who isn’t a local. It’s a swell magnet and off low tide tends to be a bit bigger than the rest of Newquay coming off low tide. This is not a suitable spot for inexperienced water users.
There is not a cafe on the beach itself at Little Fistral, however it’s in very close proximity to the cafes and restaurants of the north Fistral beach complex, the amenities at the Headland Hotel, the Oceanside Hotel on Headland Road, and the Atlantic Hotel overlooking the Huers Hut.
Newquay is the surf capital of the UK for good reason. It receives swell year round, but it’s really between December and March that big wave hunters keep their eye on Newquay’s surf forecast, just in case… Just off the Towan Head something lurks below the water, it’s rarely seen, and it’s not for the faint hearted. It’s a slumbering giant known in Cornish as Kribow, meaning reef, to the global surfing community though it’s known as The Cribbar. When it breaks, big wave surfers flock to Little Fistral, and the Towan headland, jet-skis hit the water for safety cover, only a select few have the skill and the nerve to take it on.
Rosamund Pilcher has quite the fan base in Germany, and film crews are often seen in and around Newquay, filming the adaptations of her books for German audiences. Little Fistral was used as the beach location for the adaption of the best selling novel The Shell Seekers. So if you’re ever watching television… in German… then keep your eyes peeled for Little Fistral.