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The coolest beachcombers in Newquay and how to get started

There’s nothing quite like that giddy feeling of finding sea treasure...

From colourful pieces of sea glass, to unusual creatures washed in by the waves, each day brings something new and unexpected to our Cornish beaches.

In fact, beachcombing is becoming increasingly popular around Newquay and beyond. And the best part? It’s totally free!

Beachcombing is a wonderous activity that requires no experience or money, just bare feet on the sand and a feeling of adventure. Here in Newquay, we have some of Cornwall’s coolest beachcombers, from those who make jewellery from their finds to others who create art or even write books about it.

Here, we’re rounded up some of our favourite local beachcombing connoisseurs, for that little piece of inspiration next time you hit the sand.

Tracey Williams, beachcomber and author of Adrift: The Curious Tale of the Lego Lost at Sea

When it comes to beachcombing, it’s safe to say Tracey Williams knows what she’s doing – she’s even written a whole book about it.

When 62 containers fell off a cargo ship off the coast of Cornwall back in 1997, nearly five million pieces of Lego were washed into the sea, and she’s been hunting for it ever since. To date, she’s found octopuses, sea grass, spear guns, life rafts, scuba tanks, cutlasses, flippers and dragons, to name a few.

After her love was initially sparked with this incident when Lego started washing up on her local beaches, she soon became interested in the changing nature of beachcombing and, today, her plastic finds have since been described as ‘a colourful catalogue of our times’.

Michelle Costello, beachcomber and artist

If you follow local beachcombers around Cornwall on Instagram, you’ll likely have found smartie_lids_on_the_beach at some point. The account, run by Michelle Costello, showcases the beachcomber’s artwork and finds, and boasts almost 15,000 followers.

Michelle’s work is mostly made up of plastic waste finds which she has transformed into wild and wonderful pieces of art, using things like plastic nurdles, washed-up pieces of Lego or even the more natural resources of left-behind bird feathers and shells.

Paige, jewellery maker and founder of Teylu Collective

It’s not all about plastic (though, that sadly makes up a large part of beachcombing). For others, it’s more about scouring the coast for pieces of sea glass, with colours ranging from emerald and turquoise to ruby red and deep purple.

For Paige, the founder of Teylu Collective, her journey into jewellery-making started with a hobby for silversmithing – but, now, the sea glass she finds at her local beauty spots has made it into her mesmerising ocean-inspired collections..

She’s not the only one to use her treasure in this way, but her stunning work is just another example of what you can create from your finds!

Where to start your beachcombing adventure

Starting your beachcombing journey doesn’t have to wait, especially if the coast is on your doorstep. Just head to your local stretch of stand and start searching.

Here, we’re rounded up some of our favourite beachcombing spots:

Pentewan Beach

Located near St Austell, this is a beautiful beach for searching for sea glass, with lots of unique pieces to find. It’s also one of our favourite swim spots!

Holywell Bay Beach

Just minutes from Newquay by car, Holywell Bay is hidden by large sand dunes, where you can find handfuls of sea glass. Don’t forget to check the rockpools, too.

St Ives Harbour Beach

St Ives is one of the most picturesque towns in Cornwall and a firm favourite for sea glass hunters. You’ll find all kinds of treasures, including pieces of pottery.

Marazion Beach

With a backdrop of St Michael’s Mount, Marazion always guarantees some special treasures – around the rockier areas and coves, you can also find spectacular pieces of driftwood.

Newquay beaches

Just steps from our front door, we’re lucky to have some of the best spots for beachcombing around Cornwall, offering a haven for sea glass and treasure hunters.

From Fistral to Porth, spend an afternoon searching our shores before heading back to Lewinnick Lodge for a well-deserved cocktail and bite to eat as you gaze over the Atlantic and cherry-pick your favourite finds of the day.

Ready to get started?

Plan your beachcombing adventure and discover our ocean-facing restaurant, where you can book your table today.