Exploring Cornwall's Best Beaches for Your Next Adventure

Dive into the beauty of the best beaches in Cornwall

Posted on 03-05-24, updated on 05-07-24By: Claire S. | 6 minute read

An isolated sandy beach on the beautiful unspoiled coastline between Polzeath and Port Isaac on a sunny day

The beautiful beaches of the Cornish coastline

If you’re looking for your next beach adventure, look no further than the beautiful shores of Cornwall. With its stunning coastline and hidden gems, Cornwall is a beach lover’s paradise. From the secluded Nanjizal beach to the picturesque Porthgwarra beach, there are so many hidden treasures just waiting to be explored. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to discover the best beaches Cornwall has to offer.

Instagram-worthy spots on Cornwall's beaches

Get your camera ready because Cornwall's beaches are not only a feast for your soul but also a haven for capturing the perfect Instagram shot! From golden sands to rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, each beach offers a unique backdrop just waiting to be shared with the world. Whether you're striking a pose by the iconic rock formations or capturing the sunset's breathtaking hues, Cornwall's beaches provide the ideal setting for your next Insta-worthy post. Get ready to make your feed the envy of all beach lovers!

If you're looking for more ideas of things to see and do in Cornwall then check out our blog!

Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall

Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall

Porthcurno Beach

Porthcurno, Cornwall, TR19 6JX

Porthcurno is often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, if not the whole of the UK. Its golden sands are framed by dramatic cliffs, creating a picturesque setting. The clear turquoise waters make it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. Additionally, the nearby Minack Theatre, carved into the cliffs above the beach, adds a unique cultural aspect to the area.

Porthcurno Beach Facilities

  • Seasonal dog ban from Easter to October
  • Child-Friendly
  • Café onsite
  • First aid available
  • Toilets available
  • Dog-friendly
  • Parking available

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove

The Lizard,TR12 7PJ

Kynance Cove situated on the Lizard Peninsula is famous for its strikingly beautiful scenery, characterised by crystal-clear waters, towering cliffs, and unique rock formations. At low tide, you can explore caves and rock pools, adding an element of adventure to your beach experience. The beach's remote location and natural beauty make it a favourite among photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Kynance Cove Beach Facilities

  • Eco-friendly cafe
  • Car park nearby ( please note steep 15 minute walk to beach)
  • No Lifeguard
  • Limited parking ( Pay & Display - free for National Trust members)
  • Seasonal dog ban in place at Kynance Cove from the 1st of July to the 31st of August, between 10am and 6pm. 
  • Dogs are welcome at all other times.

Porthminster beach St Ives Cornwall and blue sky

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Porthminster Beach

St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2BN

Porthminster Beach, in St Ives, known for its golden sands, clear waters, and scenic charm, is perfect for relaxation. This family-friendly locale offers safe swimming for kids and various water sports, including paddleboarding and kayaking. Take a coastal boat trip or explore nearby hidden coves on foot for unforgettable views. Enjoy meals at the renowned Porthminster Beach Café, spot wildlife, and experience tranquillity. This accessible beach blends natural splendour with leisure ideally.

Porthminster Beach Facilities

  • Seasonal Dog Ban
  • Seasonal Lifeguard
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Child Friendly
  • Blue Flag
  • Porthminster Beach Café
  • Parking can be difficult
  • Bus and train station nearby

Aerial photograph of Crantock Beach and Pentire Head, Newquay,

Crantock Beach and Pentire Head, Newquay

Crantock Beach

Newquay, Cornwall,TR8 5RN

Crantock Beach, nestled on Cornwall's north coast in Newquay, is a must-see with its stunning scenery and tranquil vibes. The beach features golden sands, dunes, and clear turquoise waters, perfect for relaxing or enjoying picturesque walks along the coastal cliffs. It's a haven for surfers of every skill level and a hotspot for wildlife, offering nature enthusiasts the chance to spot seabirds and marine creatures. With convenient access and parking, Crantock Beach is ideal for anyone looking for a serene beach day, exhilarating water activities, or wildlife watching, ensuring an unforgettable visit.

Crantock Beach Facilities

  • Seasonal Lifeguard
  • Toilet facilities
  • Cargo coffee 
  • Surf lessons available

Sennen Cove beach and Cape Cornwall, beautiful bay with crystal clear turquoise water. Popular spot for surfing.

Sennen Cove Beach

Sennen Cove Beach

West Cornwall, TR19 7DF

Sennen Cove, nestled on Cornwall's southwestern tip, is a must-see with its beautiful sandy beach and outstanding natural scenery. Known for its clear waters and ideal surfing waves, it's a surfer's haven and a family-friendly beach spot for sunbathing, swimming, and playing in the sand. The rugged cliffs provide excellent coastal walks and views. The village also celebrates its arts scene with local galleries and studios and offers a relaxed vibe with its small shops, cafes, and pubs. Whether it's adventure, culture, or relaxation you're after, Sennen Cove delivers an unforgettable visit.

Sennen Cove Beach Facilities

  • Seasonal dog-friendly 
  • Seasonal Lifeguard
  • Child-friendly
  • Café/restaurant

Perranporth Beach

Perranporth Beach

Perranporth Beach

Perranporth, Cornwall, TR6 0AQ

On Cornwall's north coast, Perranporth Beach is a stunning three-mile-long sandy haven ideal for relaxation and surfing. Its golden sands, rolling dunes, and Atlantic views make it a scenic spot favoured by beachgoers and surfers, catering to all skill levels with surf schools on hand. This family-friendly beach has lifeguard patrols for safe swimming. Nearby, the town of Perranporth offers shopping, dining, and a glimpse into local history with attractions like St Piran's Oratory and Perranzabuloe Museum. With convenient parking, Perranporth Beach is an accessible destination for those looking for adventure, a peaceful seaside retreat, or cultural exploration.

Perranporth Beach Facilities

  • Wheal Leisure Car Park offers free parking in the off-season 
  • The Car Park on the Promenade is a pay and display 
  • Dog-friendly beach
  • Free public toilet
  • Lifeguards from April - October

Song of the Sea cave at Nanjizal beach, Cornwall

Song of the Sea cave at Nanjizal beach, Cornwall

Nanjizal Beach

St Just, Penzance, TR19 6JJ

Nanjizal Beach is a hidden gem accessible through a hike along the South West Coast Path and is famed for the "Song of the Sea" stone arch, shaped by the sea over time. The nearby sea cave contributes to the beach's mystical charm. With its crystal-clear waters, visitors can enjoy viewing underwater ecosystems and historical shipwreck remains, perfect for snorkelling and diving. The cliffs and coastline offer a bustling wildlife scene, where seabirds, seals, and occasionally dolphins can be spotted, enriching the beachgoing experience with nature observation. Nanjizal is located at the end of an unpathed farm track around 15 to 20 minutes walk from the nearest parking. Beach access is via a set of quite steep wooden stairs and once on the beach itself, there are often large rocks to negotiate. Stop off in Penzance for a bite to eat after exploring this stunning area.

Fistral Beach, Cornwall

Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach

Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1HY

Fistral Beach, a paradise for surf enthusiasts worldwide, is celebrated for its superb surfing conditions. Blessed with unvarying Atlantic swells that craft the ideal waves suitable for both neophytes and seasoned surfers alike. More than just a summertime haven, Fistral Beach also serves as an exciting venue for sundry surfing events throughout the year, inclusive of international competitions - propelling it into global fame as a first-rate surfing destination.

Fistral Beach Facilities

  • Lifeguard cover from Easter until the end of October
  • Dog friendly all year
  • Pay & Display car parking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Bodhi’s Beach Café on-site

St. Ives Bay

St. Ives Bay

St. Ives Bay

Wharf Rd, Saint Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1LH

Experience the breathtaking beauty of St. Ives Bay, where three majestic beaches await to satisfy your every whim and fancy. Embrace the warm embrace of Porthminster Beach's baby-soft sands tickling your toes and tranquil waters inviting peaceful wading - an absolute paradise for family bonding time! Crave a little adventure? Look no further than Porthmeor Beach, adored by surfers and artists alike; its rolling waves beckoning daring exploits while picturesque views stir creative souls. For those seeking solace from life's hustle and bustle, tranquillity waits at Carbis Bay with its enchantingly blue water.

St Ives Bay Beach Facilities

No lifeguard
Seasonal dog ban
All amenities very close by
Car parking difficult

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay

Newquay,Cornwall ,TR8 4AA

Watergate Bay is an expansive, sun-kissed beach adorned with a picturesque backdrop of cliffs and dunes, presenting ample room for relaxation and fun-filled activities. Happily embrace your adventurous side here as it's considered a prime location for thrilling water sports such as surfing, kiteboarding, and kayaking. Nestled within the beautiful bay are numerous top-tier restaurants and cosy cafes where you can indulge in mouthwatering local cuisine whilst soaking up the breathtaking coastal vistas.

Watergate Bay Beach Facilities

  • Dog-friendly (year-round)
  • Facilities include a beachside cafe, restaurant, toilets and shop
  • Child friendly
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Lifeguard Summer cover daily
from 5 May to 30 September and Easter bank holiday

In Summary...

Embrace the beauty of Cornwall's beaches and create lasting memories. As you venture into the captivating shores of Cornwall, let the warmth of the sun kiss your skin and the soothing sound of the waves rejuvenate your soul. Each beach holds a unique charm, waiting for you to unravel its mysteries and embrace its wonders. So, pack your adventurous spirit, capture moments that take your breath away, and let your next adventure begin on Cornwall's majestic coastline. Discover our collection of Cornwall cottages, the ideal places to explore these Cornish delights.

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