Since falling in love with Cornwall, my soul home, and travelling around the coast, I’ve had quite a few people asking me about what are the best beaches to visit.
Trust me, you have no idea how hard this was to whittle a list down to just 30 beaches. Cornwall is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and landscapes in the UK. With no more than 300 beaches to visit, you will be spoiled for choice and won’t believe that you are relaxing in the UK.
I can only comment and describe the ones I have been lucky enough to visit – hopefully I will be able to update with a bit more travelling – but for now, here is my personal bucket list of 30 Cornish beaches. Enjoy!
1. Lusty Glaze
Lusty Glaze is a secluded cove just on the outskirts of Newquay. It is fantastic family friendly beach, sheltered by tall cliffs. This sandy beach offers excellent facilities such as a cafe, shop, restaurant, toilets and bar. Access to the beach is down steps from the top of the cliffs or a walk along Towan Beach once the tide has gone out. Live music, glamping and other events are often held here, so be sure to check out what’s on before you visit.
2. Hawkers Cove
(yet to visit, but I hear it’s beautiful)
Fistral is definitely one of my favourites! It holds such a special place in my heart and I’m not even 100% sure as to why to be honest. It is one of the most famous beaches in Cornwall and is at the heart of the surfing scene. The energy vibes here are just awesome. It’s such a bright, active beach with so much going on. It is a great family beach with its golden sands and lifeguards present. The beach is split into three areas, south Fistral, main beach and north Fistral. Facilities include cafe, toilets, Rick Steins chippy, bar, showers, shops, surf hire and wet suit hire. It’s just a beaut and you can catch the most beautiful sunsets here every night, so make sure you grab your blanket and a beverage and settle down for one of the most beautiful nights.
4. Harlyn Bay
(yet to visit)
What an amazing little find this was! Off the beaten track, there’s a gorgeously tiny little village of St.Agnes. It’s a small beach backed by cliffs and rocks with rock pools to explore. Facilities include, bar, restaurants, cafe, toilets, car park, wet suit hire, surf lessons and it is dog friendly. It is an amazing surf spot and a lot quieter than the main beaches, but can get crowded quickly as when the tide comes in – there is no beach and you will be forced to sit on the rocks.
Just two miles out of Newquay is Crantock Beach. Cared for by the national trust and It’s huge! You’ll always be able to find a space to spend the day with the family. Powder soft golden sands, high dunes, cliffs, rock pools, caves and it throws out some pretty decent waves to catch a spot of surfing too. There are RNLI life guards present during the main season. Facilities include cafe, toilets, car park, windsurfing, canoe hire . . . and if you’re lucky – you might just spot a dolphin or two!
Padstow is such a quaint little fishing port town on the north coast of cornwall, although it is always very busy, it is still very pretty. A bustling little harbour town with so much going on including quirky shops, restaurants including Rick Steins eatery, pubs, crabbing in the harbour and there are (I think) 14 beaches in and around Padstow.
Padstow is connected via a ferry service to the village of Rock, which for a small fee, you can take a trip to. Rock also boasts magnificent beaches.
A lovely relaxed little town and definitely one of my all time favourites. Filled with quirky little beach shops, including one of my absolute favourites, Sama Sama, which I just have to visit! There are lots of different restaurants, bars, chippies and Oh My! The Watering Hole bar and restaurant down on the beach is the most perfect spot for catching a sunset. Absolutely stunning and a definite must! The three mile stretch of soft golden sands is a popular family beach, but large enough to be able to grab your own space for the day. RNLI lifeguards are present during seasonal times.
A popular sunbathing beach and a firm family favourite. At low tide the sandy beach opens out connecting up with small coves for you to explore. At high tide the beach can become very sheltered due to the high cliffs surrounding it. Although you could take a walk to the top of the cliffs and see the most beautiful panoramic views – a perfect sunset spot! Parking, shops, cafe and toilets are close by to the beach. At busy times the single track road can become very busy!
10. Carbis Bay
This is Daddy’s absolute favourite place on earth! – and you’d understand why if you have been lucky enough to visit this little spot of paradise. Just on the outskirts of St.Ives it could easily be mistaken for a spot in the Caribbean. The ocean is so clear, turquoise and calm and the sand is so light, golden and soft. Protected from the winds by the high cliffs, you can really be in a world of your very own here. Restaurant, beach bar, spa hotel, paddle board, surf, wet suit hire and toilets all available on the beach. Simply stunning!
11. Praa Sands
I am so happy I was able to tick this off my list on my last cornwall visit. What an absolute beaut of a place this is! Pure white sands, backed with sheltering sand dunes, calm shallow waves for the kids, rock pools, cafe, restaurant, life guards present, toilets available, tons of parking and lots of space down on the beach for you to have your very own spot to relax in.
A perfect family beach to spend the day – although, no dogs allowed 7am – 7pm.
Another beach that looks like it should be somewhere in the Caribbean and not the UK.
This blue flag family friendly beach is just a short walk from St.Ives town centre. Facilities include a beach cafe, toilets and mini golf. A perfect beach, sheltered from the winds with uninterrupted views of St.Ives harbour on one side and Godrevy Lighthouse on the other side. A perfect family beach for safe swimming and water activities.
A very popular little beach that is an absolute must to visit at any time of the year! It’s just pure paradise, you will not be bathing on the beach feeling that you’re in the UK, that’s for sure! With its tropical blue ocean and soft white sands, its an oasis of stunning natural beauty. And just a stones throw away from the famous Minnack Theatre. Life guards are present during seasonal times – but even a trip in the winter can be just as gorgeous . . . Chilly, but beautiful!
14. Carlyon Bay
(yet to visit)
15. Towan Beach
Towan Beach is the most central of Newquay’s beaches lying just below the town itself. The perfect family beach is sheltered by Towan Head and provides small, calm waves and pools, making it ideal for novice surfers and safe swimming for the littles. A sea life centre, plenty of food and drinks, toilets and surf hire are available right on the beach self.
16. Chapel Porth
A stunning little cove hidden away in the cliff side. Access includes an abseil down the cliffs so watch out how much stuff you take to the beach as you will have to clamber down the rocks and rope with all of your gear — but it’s definitely worth a visit! With its white, deep, soft sands and clear waters it’s an incredible place to basque in the sunshine. There are no facilities at this beach at all – but never the less – it’s such a beautiful hidden little gem!
17. Widemouth Bay
A two mile stretch of open sands, just three miles out of Bude town itself. Widemouth Bay, pronounced Wid-muth Bay, is great for swimming and very popular with the novice surfers and young families. Although the beach can become very crowded in the summer months, there’ll always be a space for you to pitch up and spend the day. At low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. Lifeguards are in operation during seasonal times.
(yet to visit)
19. Whitsand Bay
(yet to visit)
20. Holywell Bay
Holywell Bay is a huge beach of golden sand, backed by grassy dunes and is such a popular family friendly destination large enough for everyone to enjoy whatever comes naturally. Go body boarding in the water or stroll across the sands with the dog. Holywell is also a great place to just stop and read a book whilst the kids play in the stream or enjoy the waves … or simply watch the sunset! At low tide there are caves to explore and a wreck of an old Argentinian coaster. No facilities on the beach are available but it’s just a short walk to Holywell village itself.
21. Million Cove
(Still yet to explore!)
22. Port Isaac
(Never actually been, but drove passed a few times now, I hear it’s gorgeous though!)
23. Lantic Bay
(This one is totally getting ticked off on my next trip!)
24. Kynance Cove
Gosh I absolutely loved this place! So picturesque it’s unreal. A total beach bucket list moment. It is a bit of a trek to reach, from the car park at the top, down the steep cliff paths and steps and can be a little bit challenging at times – but it makes the views all the worth while. A little cafe sits on top of the cliffs where you can relax with a beverage and take in the views. Toilets available also. Kynance does get exceptionally busy in the summer months so be prepared for traffic and waiting for a parking space.
25. Pedn Vounder Beach
(yet to visit)
26. Sennen Cove
We made our visit Sennen in the winter months and it totally did not disappoint! I hear it’s absolutely stunning in the summer months and can become very busy. Winter was epic for dramatic waves and sea foam. An incredible sight to sea. Hopefully we will make it back for the summer, but for now, I am totally more than happy being able to witness the winter rush of the ocean.
27. Nanjizal Cove
(Totally can not wait to visit this little beaut)
28. Pentire Steps
Pentire steps is a Sandy little cove located somewhere between Padstow and Newquay near to bedruthen steps. Access down to the beach itself is not for the faint hearted but there is a footpath.
29. Portherras Cove
(Still yet to visit)
30. Mawgan Porth
Just a little further up the road from watergate bay is the beautiful Mawgan Porth Beach. It’s a totally cute little place to be. Although a lot less quieter than watergate bay, it is still much a popular beach with the sunbathers and surfers. A great family friendly beach to spend the day. Lifeguards are present during the seasonal months and there are a bunch of facilities just next to the beach itself including, bar, chippy, restaurant, toilets, parking, surf equipment hire and lessons. At low tide there are caves and rock pools to explore and a natural shallow stream runs all the way down the beach to the sea, making a safe play area for the little ones.
Hopefully we can tick a few more of these beautiful beaches off very soon.
Whats your favourite Cornish Beach?
Is it on the list? Drop me a comment below!
nay nay x
300 beaches along the Cornish coastline, I couldn’t just keep it at thirty now could I 😉 here’s a few more which we have visited that I couldn’t keep to myself . . .
A stunning little beach with a bazillion rock pools to spot plenty of fish and other sea life!
The most beautifully Sandy beach covered in natural slate and shells. A popular beauty spot!
I hear there are twenty beaches in and around Wadebridge. The views from the cliff tops are simply stunning!
A popular picturesque bay. Two miles of golden sands and amazing waves to catch a surf. . . Also located here is the watergate bay hotel and spa. And. Oh. My. Gosh! It’s worth the money!
A spacious, seeweedy, popular beach with great views of Godrevy lighthouse. A great place for coastal walks.
Just around the corner from the very popular Polzeath beach, tucked away is a gorgeous little peaceful cove perfect for topping up the tan.
Three miles of open sands. Popular with walkers, surfers and families. A perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy the views.
A very busy, popular, bustling little town filled with gorgeous shops, restaurants and bars. A beautiful harbour. It literally is the essence of cornwall.
I am totally more than looking forward to updating my bucket list of cornwall beaches very soon, but for now, I hope you enjoy where we have been so far as much as I do . . . Happy adventures!