Best Beaches: Cornwall Edition

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It’s official. Cornwall is becoming one of the top places to visit in the UK. Situated in the South West of England on a peninsula that leads into the Atlantic Ocean, Cornwall is loved for a number of reasons. It has the largest stretch of sands and shore and is one of the sunniest places in the UK, offering 1541 hours of sunshine per year with the highest average of 7.6 hours of sunshine per day in July. We’re backing our bags already… If you have watched the historic series Poldark on screen, you will know why so many have flocked to the Cornwall coast. From its natural beauty to captivating coastlines and breath-taking beaches to colossal waves (that provide people with a natural playground) as well as Cornish pasties and cream teas, of course. With quaint villages and towns, you’ll soon fall in love with everything Cornwall has to offer.

Top 4 Beaches in Cornwall

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With approximately 250 miles of coastline, there are 300+ beaches and 150+ coves so you’ll never have a shortage. Some are better for watersports than others, some are dog friendly and more secluded and some are open with huge expanses of shimmering golden sand which are great for photographers or keen walkers looking to get their steps in.

1. Long Rock Beach, Penzance

Long Rock Beach is situated in West Cornwall and is known to be a safe family beach at the Penzance end that stretches around Mount’s Bay to Marazion. With a car park on site, it is one of the most accessible beaches from town. Top Trespass Tip – this fills up quick during summer so make sure you’re up early, ready to go. To the rear of the beach there is a south west coast path which doubles as a cycle path. The beach is also great for sightseeing, there are lots of ships that pass and trains can be spotted. An ideal walk with the dog(s) as it gives them freedom to run and roam.

2. Readymoney Cove Beach, Fowey

Readymoney looks like something off of a Bond movie, situated to the south of the harbour town of Fowey. Sheltered by cliffs, on one side it features the medieval town of Fowey and on the other side St Catherine’s Castle. Generally, people go to Readymoney to swim and bath however, please be aware as there’s no lifeguard on duty. Dogs are also banned between April – September due to a high volume of tourists during this time.

3. Treyarnon Bay Beach, Padstow

Treyarnon Bay is a north-west facing sandy beach surrounded by low cliffs and backed by sand dunes. Popular with young families as the beach offers fine soft sand at low water with plenty of nooks and rock pools to discover. A net and bucket and your little one will be happy all day long, just don’t forget the SPF! The rock pools are full of sea life including shrimps, crabs and small fish which will keep them occupied. There is also a swimming pool within the rocks to the north of the beach which is entirely natural and refilled each high tide with fresh seawater, and a new starfish or two. Magical. It is also deep enough in parts to dive into so grab your goggles and snorkel! Hungry during the day and no picnic snacks? Treyarnon has a shop and local amenities near the coast so you won’t be stuck for an ice cream if the heat gets too much for you.

4. Portwrinkle Beach, Looe

Portwrinkle is often referred to as ‘Cornwall’s forgotten corner’ based in the western end of Whitsand Bay on the south coast of Cornwall. There are two beaches in Portwrinkle, both sand and shingle beaches with rock pools and a small fishing harbour. Portwrinkle is a great location for families and the east beach, known as Finnygook, is usually occupied with experienced surfers if the conditions are suitable. It’s a great place to spend the day, it gives you the time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. The village has a beach car park café but doesn’t have any shops so we would recommend packing a picnic if you can.

Top 2 Dog Friendly Beaches in Cornwall

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Many of Cornwall beaches have seasonal restrictions where dogs are banned. These usually run from 1st July – 31st August or 15th May – 30th September on the most popular beaches. The beach description will usually state if it’s dog friendly however, there are around 137 beaches all over Cornwall that allow dogs all year round so you’ll never be short of a pawddle.

1. Porthkidney Beach, St Ives

The perfect beach to tire out your pups! At low tide there is a vast amount of running space and the sands stretch for around a mile long. Porthkidney is a north-facing beach at the mouth of the Hayle Estuary that lies just two miles from the harbour town of St, Ives. The beach is backed by sand dunes and the West Cornwall Golf Club so if you don’t want your four-legged friend(s) getting wet, we would recommend staying on the dunes where you can appreciate the view at a higher level. Portkidney is dog friendly all year round. However, dogs are required to be kept on a leash on the footpath leading to St Uny Church to Porthkidney.

2. Prussia Cove Beach, Penzance

Prussia is a postcard picture perfect location situated a few miles west or Praa Sands. It is not only one cove but several of coves and caves with plenty to discover. Its untouched surroundings give it a lovely nostalgic feeling, making a day out here one to remember. At Bessy’s Cove, there are old fisherman shacks above the beach and horse cart tracks cut deep into the rock where people used to transport seaweed from the beach which was used on the local fields for fertilizer. Whilst here, the sands tend to disappear at high tide so we would make sure you double check the local tide times before visiting. The best part? Prussia Cove is dog friendly all year round. Yay (Woof Woof!)

Best Surfing Beaches in Cornwall

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Due to Cornwall’s location, the tail end of the country juts out to the Atlantic Ocean which is a magnet for swell. On a windy day Cornwall can receive some ‘bomb’ waves. For all non surfers, Bomb meaning a very large wave, well beyond the session’s normal wave size.

In no particular order:

  1. Fistral Beach, Newquay
  2. Polzeath Beach, Padstow
  3. Portmeor Beach, St Ives
  4. Porthtowan, Truro

Best Blue Flag Beaches in Cornwall

The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its standards. They are well looked after by the local community and are extremely clean, free of rubbish.

In no particular order:

  1. Porthminster, St Ives
  2. Carbis Bay, St Ives
  3. Widemouth Bay, Bude
  4. Crooklets Beach, Bude
  5. Trevone Bay, Padstow
  6. Gyllyngvase, Falmouth
  7. Great Western Beach, Newquay
  8. Sennen Cove, Penzance