Cornwall’s beaches

One of Cornwall’s best assets has to be the wonderful variety of beaches. From quaint coves to wide bays, there’s one for every day of the year!

Cornwall’s coast is over 300 miles long with 158 miles designated as Heritage Coastline. Woven with fishing ports, beaches, bays and coves, you’ll also see mine buildings perched on clifftops and the remains of shipwrecks lodged in sand. There’s even internationally important telecommunications cables buried beneath the flat golden sands at Porthcurno.

Open to the swells of the Atlantic, Cornwall’s north coast is an internationally recognised surf spot. Reefs dotted around Fistral and Watergate Bay offer up consistent big breaks in the waves, putting Newquay firmly on the surf map.

Cornwall’s beaches can be busy throughout the year. Water and beach sports of all varieties take place in all weathers and the south west coast path is great for walkers. However, it’s also possible to find a deserted spot, even in mid summer.

North coast versus south coast

Some say the north coast of Cornwall is more dramatic than the south.

The south coast offers picturesque countryside rolling down to little hamlets and secluded coves. The unspoiled beauty of the Roseland and winding creeks belonging to the Helford River conjure up lazy days and a gentle pace of life.

In contrast, the north has been described as wild. Here you’ll find sweeping golden beaches, rugged cliffs, quaint coves, spectacular rock stacks at Bedruthan Steps, fishing harbours such as Padstow and Port Isaac, wide expanses of water such as the Crantock and Camel Estuaries and headlands dotted with the ruins of engine houses. Cornwall’s north coast is breathtaking.

Bedruthan Steps

Bedruthan Steps

Newquay beaches

We’re lucky enough to look over Porth beach with its meandering stream, caves and headland. Close by is the private beach at Lusty Glaze and Watergate Bay, where you will find Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, is just a couple of miles north.

To the south lie the Newquay beaches of Tolcarne, Great Western, Towan, Harbour and Fistral. Further along, across the Gannel Estuary are Crantock, Polly Joke and Holywell Bay before you get to the large sands at Perranporth and onto the beaches at St Agnes.

yellow flowers at Porth beach

Porth beach

Porth

A long, north-westerly facing beach with golden sands, a stream and caves. This beautiful, sandy beach is very popular with holidaying families and locals, alike.

  • Parking on beach
  • No dogs – Easter to September
  • Lifeguard present in summer
  • Easily accessible
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
children at Porth beach

Porth

 

Watergate Bay in Cornwall

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay

2 mile stretch of golden sand, rock pools and stream. Popular with surfers and often used for competitions including polo on the beach, Thundercat racing, volleyball and paddle-boarding. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and The Beach Hut are directly by the beach.

  • Parking in car park
  • Dogs allowed year round
  • Lifeguard present in summer
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Tolcarne beach

Tolcarne

Popular with surfers and families, the west facing crescent shaped beach is sheltered by cliffs.

  • Parking in town
  • No dogs – Easter to September
  • Lifeguard present in summer
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Great Western beach

Great Western

West facing sheltered sandy beach, fully covered at high tide. Popular with surfers.

  • Parking in town
  • Dogs allowed year round
  • Lifeguard present in summer
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Towan beach

Towan

Sand and rocks with an island linked by a suspension bridge. Popular with families and surfers.

  • Parking in town
  • Dogs allowed year round
  • Lifeguard present in summer
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Fistral beach

Fistral

Iconic west facing surf beach with a long stretch of sand. Also popular with families.

  • Parking in town
  • No dogs – Easter to September
  • Lifeguard present in summer
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

The above beach information is correct at the time of writing but may be subject to change without prior notice. Please verify independently before making a special journey.

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