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Are you ready for Cornwall’s beaches?

Staying at a holiday park is the stuff of childhood memories. And, with so many things to do at Tencreek Holiday Park, there will be no shortage of great experiences.

Part of the allure of staying at a caravan park in Cornwall are the amazing beaches the county offers to visitors. But in order to fully enjoy your summer holiday, we are offering some tips and information to help make sure you and your family have a fun and safe Cornish beach adventure.

To get ready for sand, surf and some diverse wildlife, here are some things to think about when visiting Cornwall’s beaches:

Beautiful Coasts

With over 250 miles of coast, Cornwall has one of the most varied and beautiful coastlines in the country. From Bude south to St Ives and the waters from Looe to Falmouth, Cornwall has over 300 beaches to explore and enjoy.

Visitors and locals agree that the area near Looe has fantastic beaches, as well as some of the cleanest waters for swimming and water sports. Families can easily spend a day at the seaside, play in the sand, explore rock pools, and take a nice dip in the sea.

Running through the region is the well-known South West Coast Path. Perched above the water, the path gives travellers great views and enthralling walks along the sea. It is these cliffs that have given Cornwall their iconic charm throughout the nautical world. But just as they have been dangerous to sailors over the centuries, the cliffs can still be a problem for those who leave marked paths. Walkers are urged to stay on regular paths and should avoid exploration as collapses and rock falls have been known to happen.

Cornish Waters

Consistently, the waters off the southwest coast have received high marks for quality and cleanliness. But due to changing weather and agricultural conditions, water quality can fluctuate on a weekly, even daily basis. Water quality is most often negatively affected after heavy rains. The extra run-off into tidal rivers and streams can temporarily increase bacterial and virus levels. During these times, added precautions should be made by avoiding drinking water from streams, washing hands with clean water, and sanitising your hands prior to eating the delicious fish and chips we all look forward to enjoying.

Water quality is constantly monitored by the Environment Agency. For up-to-date conditions, check here.

Like other parts of the country, visitors should pay attention to the local tides as well. People can be easily caught by rising tides, especially when exploring or playing in rock pools. When heading out to the beach, you can find out about the local tides from the nearest tourist information office or check BBC Weather’s tide tables.

For swimmers, surfers and everyone in between, be sure to pay attention to flags set out by lifeguards. The area between the red-and-yellow flags is patrolled by lifeguards, and it is considered the safest place to swim, use a bodyboard, or enjoy the use of inflatables. Black and white chequered flags designate areas for surfers. Other typical flags include red flags that indicate the water is out of bounds, or orange windsocks show that windy conditions exist.

Be sure to read all the safety signs at the entrance to the beach. It can also be helpful to know where local lifeguards are stationed. The RNLI website is a good resource. As not all beaches have lifeguards, be sure to know where the nearest emergency services are located.

One last tip for enjoying the wonderful Cornish waters is to be aware of potential rip currents. These dangerous wave currents can sometimes pull weaker swimmers away from the shore. Because they can greatly vary in size and strength, it is always best to be aware.

Beach Fun and Safety

The perfect day at the beach involves sun, sand, surf and, most of all, fun. To help make sure you and your family have fun, have a simple list of things in your beach bag before heading out:

  • Sun cream
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Shade umbrella
  • Water

When at the beach, make sure you drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated. Without noticing until it’s too late, the sun and wind can easily dehydrate beach visitors – especially little ones. And despite wanting to enjoy your holiday to the full, avoid alcohol while at the beach. The potentially impaired judgement combined with shifting environmental conditions is a recipe for a bad day.

Remember not everyone is courteous about others at the beach. Be on the lookout for sharp objects or other litter that may be hidden in the sand. And because many of Cornwall’s beaches are dog-friendly, keep an eye out for dog poo. Not only is it unpleasant, the bacteria may affect your health and water quality.

To have some fun at the beach, exploring rock pools are great ways to enjoy Cornish wildlife. But please follow the Looe Marine Conservation Society advice of leaving all live animals and seaweeds where you find them.

Image Credits: Alistair Young, ian02054 (Flickr), orangeaurochs (Flickr)

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