With so many amazing beaches in Cornwall we have hand-picked a few of our favourites to give you a head start on where to visit first.
Hayle to Godrevy
With three miles of golden sands set in St. Ives Bay, the beaches can be split down into many areas, starting at Hawkes Point and Porthkidney you then cross the river to Hayle Towans, Mexico, Sandy Acres, Upton, Peter’s Point, Gwithian and finally Godrevy. Being such an expanse of sand dunes means that it rarely gets busy, but access to the beach can be difficult unless you park in one of the main car parks at Hayle, Gwithian or Godrevy. There are several cafes along the stretch, and the middle section of beach is dog friendly all year round.
One of Cornwall’s most westerly beaches, this beach has won numerous awards over the years. Adjacent to The Minack Theatre, this white sandy beach with turquoise waters is a popular spot with families and locals. It’s also a popular spot to swim with basking sharks, so no wonder it’s number one on our list. Logan Rock can be seen around to the left, and Pedn Vounder beach can be reached on the low tide, but be careful not to get caught out by the incoming waters. Porthcurno beach is dog friendly in the winter months, so leave them at home during the summer, it’s lifeguarded in the summer and has a large car park just a short walk away.
(image by Adam Gibbard and Visit Cornwall)
Legend has it that the numerous granite ‘stepping stones’ were for the Giant Bedruthan, and they can still be visually identified today. There is a large car park perched on the cliffs but the access down to the beach may be too challenging for those who are less able or with young children. The beach is not suitable for bathing, and disappears almost completely on the high tide, but it’s still one of the top tourist stops. It’s a popular spot for bird watching, rock climbing and coastal walkers.
One of the most photographed beaches in Cornwall the golden sands of Kynance make a stunning image with the blue seas and serpentine rocks. This cove can be found just to the West of Lizard Point making it pretty much the most southerly of Cornwall’s beaches. You can follow the coast path from here around to Lizard Point for some dramatic scenery, or explore the caves at low tide. The path is quite steep from the car park and it will take about 15 minutes, but once you have reached the beach you can treat yourself to a tasty cream tea at Kynance Cove Cafe, not to be missed!
Porthgwidden, St Ives
A hidden gem amongst a bustling town, it’s hard to stumble across Porthgwidden unless you know where to look. Nestled in between St. Ives’ harbour and Porthmeor Beach. This small cove is perfect for that summer BBQ or after work dip, with cute beach huts as a backdrop and stunning views across to Godrevy lighthouse what more could you want. Porthgwidden Beach Cafe has an amazing reputation so if you want to treat yourself to something other than pasties and ice creams then it’s an awesome place to eat.
Lusty Glaze, Newquay
This private cove hidden away from Newquay has the whole package, golden sands, a glorious beach restaurant, wedding venue, abseiling, zip wire and music events. If you’re near Newquay then this is the place to head. The steps down to the beach may not be suitable for everyone, especially if you’ve packed everything and the kitchen sink for your family beach day, but the view from the top is just as impressive!
Daymer Bay, Rock
At low tide Daymer Bay stretches along to Rock, and at high tide is a beautiful sandy beach on the banks of the River Camel. With views across the Camel Estuary to Padstow there are many places to explore if you’ve packed your walking boots, you can even catch a little ferry across to the otherside of the river. Polzeath is also not far away with its more popular surf, but Daymer Bay is more favourable for calmer waters. There is a large carpark set just behind the beach so there’s no need to walk far if you want to just sit and watch the world go by.
This secluded cove on the South coast of Cornwall was once home to the King of Prussia, part of a famous smuggler family in the 18th century. At low tide small coves of sand and shingle are exposed; most people perch on the rocks and head into the blue sea snorkelling. The cove can be accessed down a small track from the car park.
One of Cornwall’s best surf spots, and always popular with the locals in good conditions, Gwenver is perched next to Sennen in far West Cornwall. At low tide you can walk around the headland from Sennen, but access is usually from the car park on top of the cliffs. It’s a steep walk down, so if you don’t think it’s suitable for you there is a picnic bench at the top to sit and keep an eye out for dolphins! On a clear day you can even see the Isles of Scilly.
To see exactly where all of these beaches are just view the map below, and for an extensive beach guide, the VisitCornwall website has a great selection.