Top Cornwall Beaches
With more than 400 miles of glorious and varied coastline and over 300 beautiful beaches in Cornwall it is extremely difficult to whittle this down to the ten best, after all the region is famous for the quality and variety of beaches it has to offer.
There is a vast difference between the north and south coast beaches. The north beaches have long exposed stretches of sand, the waters tend to be more choppy and provide excellent surfing conditions. The south coast is home to more sheltered coves that buffer the winds and the water is calmer, secluded beaches with golden sands and clear turquoise waters reminiscent of tropical beaches.
A number of the beaches here in Cornwell hold Blue Flag status meaning that meet stringent standards of water quality, safety and environmental standards.
Finally after much discussion and deliberation the list was finally agreed upon and in our teams opinion these are the go to beaches in Cornwall.
Some will not come as a surprise and you will most likely will have heard of or visited them before, there is no denying the appeal of some of these top beaches in Cornwall.
Carbis Bay is an award winning beach located close to St. Ives in a picturesque bay, set amongst subtropical splendour. Mini waterfalls come down through the rocks and flow in streams to the sea. Sheltered by beautiful green hills with a wide expanse of soft golden sand, gentle slopes and calm turquoise waters that are ideal for families. Perfect for recreational activities like swimming, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, rock climbing and ball games. There are rental shops where you can hire water sport equipment, or have a lesson. With a coastal path to explore and gorgeous scenic views. Restaurants, cafes and bars are nearby so don't have far to go for refreshments and facilities. At low tide there is a wreck at the eastern end to explore. Limited parking and there is quite a steep hill to walk down to the beach so might not suit everyone. A big bonus is it does not get as busy as other nearby beaches. Picturesque and quiet providing a lovely escape from the crowds.
Crackington Haven is in a spectacular scenic area, it is a pretty shingle cove nestled between imposing cliffs with a stretch of golden sand when the tide is out and clear blue waters. When the tide recedes rock pools are uncovered revealing a wealth of marine life, and offering lots of fine sand for sand castle building. Suitable for swimming and surfing and ideal for families as it is not too large and children can play freely without you losing sight of them, and play safely in the shallow waters. Next to the beach are all the facilities you need for a day of fun on the beach. Surf hire is available too. From the cliffs there are fabulous views over the sea and beyond. Compact and safe with lots of beach charm.
Gyllyngvase Beach, is an award winning beach a stones throw from Falmouth, it boasts a wide crescent of soft golden sands and clear blue waters that are calm and inviting. A good beach for families as it has gentle shelving so safe for young children. There are rocks at both ends of the beach for clambering over, and low tide exposes rock pools that reveal lots of sea creatures. Positioned on the beach is a cafe serving a nice selection of hot and cold drinks, and serving fresh seafood, also hosting acoustic gigs by local musicians. Providing a good selection of nautical activities including paddle boarding and kayaking. Lifeguards are available during the summer months; the showers and toilets are open throughout the year. To reach the beach you pass by gorgeous St. Mary's Gardens filled with colourful blooming flowers that permeate the air. A real gem of a beach but it does get busy during the summer months. Scenic and inviting with plenty to entertain young beach goers.
Kyance Cove is probably the most photographed location in Cornwall and for good reason too, it is often regarded as one of the best beaches in the word. A simply breathtaking location where the cove's white sands contrast with the blue azure of the sea and sky which are further offset by the dark red and green serpentine rock found here, the result is simply stunning. Although a steep walk down to this sheltered cove it is worth the exertion. Low tide reveals soft sands and a treasure of things to explore like rock stacks, caves and islands. High tide submerges the cove and cuts off the beach, you have to sit on boulders, so important to time your visit right. Above the beach is a eco-friendly cafe selling a range of snacks and beverages. It is a popular spot and the car parks fill up quickly in the summer period so best to get here early. Although rugged the scenery is spectacular and there are amazing caves.
Perranport Beach (Penhale Sands) is a typical Cornwall Beach with beautiful sand dunes, huge expanses of golden sands and blue waters, situated on a stunning coastline. When the tide goes out the beach is immense with lots of room for everyone to spread out. An amazing beach, that is well suited to families, perfect for splashing about in and has life guard cover in the peak months for your safety. It is a great spot for surfing, snorkelling, body boarding and sailing. Lots of rocks at the southern end of the beach, also rock pools, a natural open air swimming pool that fills with seawater at high tide, caves and streams that will fascinate children. Plenty of shops, restaurants, pubs and other facilities close by. Also has The Watering Hole pub literally on the beach so you don't have far to go for refreshments, or stay till the evening and enjoy the live music and enjoy a beautiful sunset. Easily accessible from the village, the car park is literally next to the beach and is on the level. Lovely coastal walks along the South West Coast Path and the views are outstanding, It is a dog friendly beach so might not suit everyone. A beautiful beach with lots on offer to keep all ages entertained.
Porthgwarra Beach is a small secluded beach located not far from Porthcurno. Nestled between boulders and granite cliffs, this narrow beach is found at the bottom of a steep slipway. A stony beach but, at low tide a small sandy beach is exposed, and uncovers a collection of rock pools, caves and two man-made tunnels that have been cut into the rocks. There is no lifeguard on duty and although relatively safe to swim within the confines of the cove there are strong currents the farther out you go. There is a tiny stone hut which serves a tasty cream tea as well as other delicious refreshments. With a small car park and toilets. Dogs are not welcome during the peak summer months. Although small in stature it has lots to offer and is a welcome find.
Porthmeor Beach is another award winning beach that is situated close to St. Ives town in a sheltered cove. A lovely unspoiled and clean beach extending to half-mile with firm golden sands and crystal clear blue waters. Body boarding and surfing are popular here with a surf school nearby if you want to take lessons. Children will love exploring the rock pools that are revealed at low tide, building sand castles or playing games. There is a lovely cafe on the beach serving some tasty treats. Porthmeor has fabulous views of the rugged Atlantic coastline and the island, a small promontory. Located just a stones throw from the town so can easily get any provisions that you need for a day at the beach or to have a picnic. There are lifeguards present all year round so safe for swimming and other water activities. A lovely character beach that appeals to all ages.
Porthluney Cove is a privately owned beach with the spectacular backdrop of Caerhays Castle and Gardens. Tucked away this cove has a large expanse of soft golden sand and gentle clear blue waters. There is ample space to play beach games and in low tide you can explore the rocks on the west tide when they are exposed, but not too big that you can't keep an eye on children playing. There is a stream running down to the beach which is great for paddling and splashing about; as the beach is sheltered it is quite safe to swim here. Directly in front is a car park, and nestled behind the sand dunes is a seasonal cafe, picnic area and toilet facilities. There is no lifeguard on duty and although dog friendly they must be kept on a leash during the peak summer months. There are no motorised water sports allowed here to maintain the peace and quiet. A delightful secluded and tranquil beach perfect to get away from all the hustle and bustle.
Sennen Beach (Whitsand Bay) is located at the end of town, providing easy access for any provisions needed for a day ay the beach. It is England's most westerly beach and enjoys an enviable location with spectacular views along the coast, whilst boasting wide golden sands and crystal blue waters; owing to its size it never fells crammed. It produces some great Atlantic waves so is popular with the surfing and body boarding crowd but, also offers safe swimming within the flagged areas. Clean with a lovely friendly atmosphere making it popular with families. There is a surf school and equipment hire facilities, as well as wetsuits etc, you can also hire deck chairs and windbreakers for a nominal amount. There is a lifeguard on duty from April to October and no dogs are allowed during the peak summer season. A beautifully stunning and peaceful beach with amazing views.
Widemouth Bay is located on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall, and is one of the longest beaches in Cornwall. A long open bay consisting of a flat stretch of sand and clear blue waters backed by low cliffs and grassy fields, the surrounding scenery is absolutely stunning. Low tide reveals wide and deep expanses of sand and hundreds of rock pools to explore. This award winning beach is unspoiled, clean and safe and never feels overcrowded making it popular with families. There is a fab beach cafe with excellent beverages and snacks. It has fantastic waves which provide ideal conditions to learn to surf or body-board and has a number of local surf schools located here. Patrolled by lifeguards during the summer season. Car parking is plentiful and located at both ends of the beach, there are also public toilets on site. There are beautiful views from the headland and the sunsets are simply stunning. It is a beach you will want to come back to time after time.