If you’re planning a visit to Cornwall in the South West of England, chances are you’re hoping for a bit of ocean time? Cornwall offers up some of the best beaches in the UK and so, even if beach time isn’t your thing, you’d be mad to not head to at least one during your Cornish adventure.
I’ve spent the last 6 weeks exploring Cornwall in my converted VW van and I’ve found some absolute gem’s for you to check out. Look no further, in this blog post, I’m going to share with you the best and most beautiful beaches to visit in Cornwall.
Saying that you really don’t travel far without finding a gorgeous beach in Cornwall so the following list is by no means all of the beaches. There are so many little unknown gems knocking around the coastline so I’d highly recommend driving along the coastal roads and discovering some for yourself.
If you’re looking for more ideas for your Cornwall adventure check out my best places to visit in Cornwall blog post, my 3-day itinerary for Cornwall and my 4-day itinerary for Cornwall. And if you happen to be planning a wider English adventure or road trip, check out my 28 best places to visit in England blog post.
A guide to the best and most beautiful beaches in Cornwall
1. Pedn Vounder beach
Just around the corner from, and with views of, the Minack Theatre and Porthcurno beach is Pedn Vounder beach. I couldn’t believe it was England. I haven’t seen it on an overcast day but my god, on a sunny one it’s sensational. There’s no easy access to the beach, it’s a bit of a climbdown but you don’t need any advanced fitness or ability to make it down. It’s just a rugged path with a rocky final ascent. Park up the top at Treen car park. £5 for the day!
Tip: Wear trainers for the walk!
2. Marazion Beach
2 miles east of Penzance is the ancient market town of Marazion and the gateway to the famous national trust managed St. Michaels Mount. At low tide you can walk across the causeway to access the fairytale castle and gardens and otherwise small ferry boats operate for a small fee. The beach here is beautiful and boasts views across St. Michaels Mount. A gorgeous day out!
My mum actually has a stunning cottage here that she rents out on Airbnb.
3. Gwithian Beach
Located right by Godrevy Beach (connected at low tide) is Gwithian Beach, a popular surf beach backed by gorgeous wild sand dunes (perfect for walking your pup on). The swell provides good all year round conditions and this beach is a popular spot for windsurfers too.
Tip: Dogs are welcome on Gwithian Beach all year round however Godrevy beach has a seasonal dog ban is in place during July and August (10am – 6pm).
4. Porthmeor Beach
This has been a favourite spot of mine for years. It’s just around the coast line (5 minute walk) from the centre of St.Ives and there’s a beautiful cafe right on the beach where you can enjoy lunch, a wonderful coffee (they serve Oatly) or a post surf beer. You can kick back and enjoy a day on the sand, learn to surf with St.Ives surf school, wander the shops and grab an ice cream in St.Ives or check out the Tate Museum, all walking distance from Porthmeor.
5. Sennen Cove
As you drive down the hill from the little down of Sennen, you’ll witness breathtaking views right across Sennen Cove – one of Cornwall’s hottest surf spots. At low tide the beach and it’s golden sands open up for plenty to enjoy. Sennen is located on the Northern beaches of Cornwall and has a reliable surf break year round. You can hire a board on the beach and try it for yourself!
Tip: If you’re feeling active, the walk from Sennen around to Land’s End is a beautiful coastal walk. It’s pretty chilled and takes only around 25 minutes!
6. Fistral Beach
I just realised I haven’t actually taken a shot of Fistral Beach yet, even though I’ve been a million times. Probably because during my time there I was too busy surfing!
Fistral Beach is not only one of Cornwalls top surf spots but it’s a world class surf destination and is the surf capital of England. If you’re looking to try surfing for the first time, this is the place. You’ll be joined by many other ocean lovers. If surfing isn’t your thing, why not try an afternoon with Barefoot Coasteering or book onto a yoga class?
Tip: Head to Box and Barbour for a coffee / acai bowl in town!
7. Treyarnon Bay
This was the spot I hosted a Global Travellers weekend adventure in, see the weekend highlights here. There’s a gorgeous YHA hostel right on the bay which I’d highly recommend but if you’re passing by, I recommend passing by for sunset. On a clear day, like we had, the sunset is priceless and sets perfectly on the horizon.
Take the walk around to Booby’s and Constantine Bay if you have time!
8. Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove is a cove on the eastern side of Mount’s Bay in Cornwall. It is situated on the Lizard peninsula approximately two miles north of Lizard Point.
The Lizard Peninsula is an outcrop of land on the South Coast of Cornwall and is the UK’s most southerly point. How cool! The landscape is ridiculous and it’s relatively underdeveloped leaving plenty of natural beauty for you to enjoy. You’d be crazy to not walk at least a section of The Lizard Coastal walk, an 11 km walk that takes you along the coast from Kynance cove before going inland and returning to where you started.
Just a stunning place to stop off and spend some extra time! Snorkels and swimmers at the ready!
9. Crantock Beach
Just a few minutes south of Newquay is Crantock beach, this long stretch of golden sand sitting at the mouth of the Gannel estuary. I only popped down to walk my dog on the dog friendly beach but whilst I was there I witnessed so many people hiring surfboards from the main National Trust car park and heading into the water!
What beaches in Cornwall would you add to the list??
I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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