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Guide to Cornwall’s best beaches

One thing Cornwall certainly doesn’t have a lack of is beaches, in fact, the county is home to some of the best beaches in the UK, if not the world! Whether you are looking for somewhere to relax and unwind, catch a few waves, or enjoy some classic seaside fish and chips on the shore, then you will surely find the ideal beach for you whilst staying at holiday parks in Cornwall. In this guide, we look at some of the very best beaches in Cornwall.

Porthcurno Beach

Porthcurno beach

A hidden paradise on the Cornish coast; Porthcurno Beach could easily be mistaken for a tropical destination. Jasmine, a blogger from The Life of a Social Butterfly, explains why this beach is one of Cornwall’s best: “Proudly perched and carved into the cliff’s edge, The Minack, an open-air theatre, has a coastal path overlooking the picturesque Porthcurno Beach. Porthcurno is nestled into a small area below the iconic theatre and is accessible via the coastal path for those steady enough on their feet. It is also possible to drive directly to Porthcurno Beach to enjoy the café and park in the pay and display car park.

“Porthcurno is a popular beach for tourists, attributed to its close proximity to The Minack and is within 3 miles of Lands’ End. The South-East Bay could almost be a hidden gem as the high-cliffs protect the beach from the wind, creating a secluded oasis. Whilst Porthcurno is one of the smaller beaches lining the Cornish Coast, it is easily one of the most beautiful. Porthcurno’s white sand beach is a slice of paradise and on sunny days, you could be mistaken for thinking you are in the Mediterranean when you gaze upon the glistening turquoise water. It’s a place that captured my heart on my first visit to Cornwall last year and inspired me to visit Cornwall again!”

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are not allowed between 1st May and 30th September. The rest of the year dogs are welcome.

Is there a café nearby? The Porthcurno Beach Café is a 5-minute walk from the beach.

Are there lifeguards? Yes, but only in high season.

Is it easily accessible? The beach is accessed via steep steps.

Are there toilets? Yes.

What is the nearest town? Penzance.

Godrevy Beach

Godrevy beach

With an impressive expanse of golden sand, picturesque dunes and cascading waves, Godrevy Beach had to secure a spot on the best beaches in Cornwall list. It’s a hot spot for surfers, thanks to its exposure to the Atlantic swell that can reach up to 8ft or more. However, it’s also perfect for those who want a relaxing day, as the beach stretches for three miles, even in summer you will be sure to find yourself a secluded spot.

We asked lifestyle blogger Channon Gray to reveal her favourite beach in Cornwall, as someone who lives in the county itself. Channon tells us: “My favourite beach in Cornwall is Godrevy because it tends to be fairly quiet, you can see (and sometimes swim) with the resident seals and the view of St. Ives is stunning. Godrevy is full of tucked away nooks perfect for escaping from the glorious, and not so glorious, Cornish weather. Plus, it is sheltered, and the water is calm. The neighbouring beach of Gwithian is popular with the locals for surfing, but if you are like me and just like a quiet swim, then Godrevy is the place to be.”

You don’t need to worry about feeling peckish, as there are cafés situated just the other side of the dunes. Channon adds: “The Godrevy Beach Café sells the best full-English fry up as well as delicious light bites, such as a good old scone with jam and cream – the cream is always on top though!”

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are not allowed between 1st May and 30th September. The rest of the year dogs are welcome.

Is there a café nearby? Yes, there are cafés nearby including The Rockpool and Godrevy beach café.

Are there lifeguards? Yes, but only in high season.

Is it easily accessible? The beach is accessed via steep slopes and steps.

Are there toilets? Yes.

What is the nearest town? Hayle.

Polperro Beach

Situated next to the harbour walls, Polperro Beach may not have the longest stretch of sand, but it remains one of the prettiest beaches in Cornwall. When the tide is out Polperro Beach is the perfect spot to relax and swim in the crystal clear waters. If you walk just along the coastline, you’ll also find a natural pool amongst the rocks, a hidden spot to unwind with wonderful views of the Cornish coast. When you’re swimming in the sea, be sure to look back to shore for a brilliant view, with rows of fisherman cottages and the coastline covered wildflowers. As you’re only a stone’s throw away from the village, you’ll have plenty of choice of independent cafés and restaurants for something tasty to eat.

Are dogs welcome? Yes.

Is there a café nearby? Yes, in the village you’ll have a choice of cafés and restaurants.

Are there lifeguards? No.

Is it easily accessible? The beach is accessed via the harbour steps.

Are there toilets? Yes, there are public toilets in the village.

What is the nearest town? Polperro.

Kynance Cove

Bird's eye view of Kynance Cove

Just off the Lizard Peninsula, the most south-westerly point in the UK, you will find Kynance Cove. Tourists and locals alike marvel over the natural beauty of this cove with its jagged cliff edge, a multitude of caves and rock formations, along with the brilliant white sand and clear water.

We asked Meg from travel blog Mapping Megan for her favourite Cornish beach: “Kynance Cove – quite simply because it’s the prettiest! The cove is made up of beautiful white sand which contrasts against stacks of dark red and green marble-like serpentine rock, and the water which turns a brilliant turquoise blue. There are large caves, and a fantastic two-mile scenic walk around the coast to Lizard Point, mainland UK’s most southerly point. The local facilities are good, but because it’s a popular spot, you’ll have to get there early in summer if you want to find parking. There’s a cafe on-site with great hot chocolate too!”

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are not allowed between Easter Day and October. The rest of the year dogs are welcome.

Is there a café nearby? Yes, in the village you’ll have a choice of cafés and restaurants.

Are there lifeguards? No.

Is it easily accessible? There is a 15-minute walk from the carpark to the shore, along with steps down the cliff.

Are there toilets? Yes, in the car park.

What is the nearest town? Lizard Village.

Porthmeor Beach

Found beneath Tate St Ives, Porthmeor should be on everyone’s beach bucket-list. The natural beauty of Porthmeor has been a muse for many artists and photographers that are a part of the creative scene that St Ives is famous for.

The beach is also another hot spot for surfers and swimmers, with its clean water that often picks up a great swell for watersports. It is one of seven beaches in Cornwall that has been award the Blue Flag Award 2019 for having excellent water quality, safety and environmental management, in which the other beaches are; Gyllyngvase, Great Western, Porthtowan, Trevone Bay, Widemouth Bay, and Carbis Bay.

It’s the perfect beach for those who want to enjoy a mixture of activities, with an abundance of places to explore on the doorstep of the beach, including art galleries and independent shops, as well as the numerous cafes and restaurants.

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are not allowed between Easter Day and September 30th. The rest of the year dogs are welcome.

Is there a café nearby? Yes. Porthmeor Beach Café is located on the beach as dozens of cafés and restaurants a short walk away in the centre of St Ives.

Are there lifeguards? Yes, in high season.

Is it easily accessible? Yes.

Are there toilets? Yes, in the car park.

What is the nearest town? St Ives.

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