Quickly check prices and availability
Start SearchClose
  • Guest Details

Book now for 2024 with low deposits!

Top Ten Beaches in Cornwall

With over 400 beaches in Cornwall to choose from, it is no easy task deciding which ones to visit.
Even when you live in Cornwall, there is always a new beach to discover, and explore. Cornwall’s expansive coastline means that you will never to be far away from a Cornish paradise.
Here are our top ten beaches in Cornwall…

1. Fistral Beach, Newquay

Fistral Beach is located very close to Hendra. It is a wide sandy beach, with golden sand and it is renowned for its brilliant surf.

It is easily accessible, with good facilities, including toilets, parking, lifeguards (1st of April until the 29th of October, 10am – 6pm), Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips, Bars, cafes and restaurants, along with some surf shops too. The beach is dog-friendly all year around.

Each August it hosts the surfing side of the Boardmasters Festival. The first Boardmasters surfing festival was in 1981, though the music side of the festival didn’t happen until 2005. Surfing in Newquay boomed in the 1990s through to the 2000s and is still going strong today!

Next door is the shingle beach, Little Fistral. Little Fistral is great for rock and sea glass hunting, and there are beautiful views across on Towan Headland. Little Fistral has no lifeguards.

Crantock Beach, Cornwall, is a must visit2. Crantock Beach, Crantock

Less than 3 miles from Hendra, this beach can be reached by car (there is a National Trust car park nearby), or you can walk to it (check tide times), from the Gannel. The Gannel is a wonderful place for spotting wildlife, and the Gannel Estuary is a top spot for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.
When you reach Crantock, explorers will be in heaven with caves to discover and and space to run. This is a beach for those who love freedom and space! On this beach there is a cave with a poem and picture tribute to a woman who tragically drowned, along with her horse, in the early twentieth century.
There is lifeguard cover from the 13th of May until the 24th of September, along with toilets in the National Trust car park. The beach is sheltered by sand dunes, which many like to explore, but the dunes can become unstable, so the RNLI advise that the dunes are avoided. Dogs are welcome but facilities are limited.

3. Porthcurno Beach, West CornwallPorthcurno Beach, Cornwall

White sand, turquoise sea… where are we again? A Greek Island, a beach in the pacific or perhaps the Caribbean? Nope better – you are in Cornwall!

Porthcurno beach has blinding white sand and you will hardly believe that you are in England when you feast your eyes on this jaw-dropping scenery. The high cliffs add shelter to this dreamy beach. This perfect spot is right next to the iconic Minack Theatre.

Porthcurno has a Council car park, with toilets. Dogs are welcome if they are kept on a lead, and they are not allowed on the beach in July and August from 10am – 6pm. There is lifeguard cover from the 13th of May until the 24th of September.

4. Holywell Bay, Holywell

This expansive beach is not far from Hendra. A soft sand beach with sand dunes, and National Trust car park opposite. It is also home to a unique pink cave which can be found tucked under the southern cliffs of Kelsey Head. The cave is only accessible at low-tide so you must check times carefully. It isn’t easy to find, and from the beach it is just a mere slit in the rocks, but it is worth it. There are steps that lead to the several pools ascending towards a hole in the cave roof. The steps can be very slippery, so be careful.

The outline of the pools has a creamy-white chalky deposit which has built up from the mineral rich water dripping from the roof. This deposit is also tinted with pink, red and blue and looks grotto like. It is worth taking a torch to explore. It is not recommended that you visit the cave alone.

There are also toilets nearby, and the beach has flat access from the car park. There is a pub next to the beach for refreshment. The surrounding headland is Cubert Common which offers fantastic walking opportunities, with wildlife, and history dating back to the Bronze and Iron Age.

Holywell is a good surfing and bodyboarding beach and there is lifeguard cover from the 13th of May until the 24th of September, 10am – 6pm. Holywell is dog-friendly.

5. Kynance Cove, the Lizard Peninsula

Kynance Cove

Photo by Matt Jessop – Provided by Visit Cornwall

A white sand beach, perfect for envy inducing photos. A tidal beach, Kynance is famed for its white sand, turquoise sea and rock stacks.
When the tide is out you can explore the caves and rock stacks, but it is very important that you check tide times as you can be cut off.
The car park does get very busy here in the summer months and it is advisable to arrive early to avoid disappointment. There are seasonally operated car parks too, around the Lizard. The access is steep, but there is a slightly longer, pushchair accessible, route to the Beach from the National Trust car park. There are toilets here, and there’s also a National Trust Café. There are no lifeguards operating on Kynance Cove. There’s a council enforced seasonal dog ban in place 1 July – 31 August ,10am – 6pm. Dogs are welcome on the surrounding footpaths all year.

6. Porthminster Beach, Carbis Bay, St Ives

Porthminster Beach offers a Mediterranean feel with soft white sand. There’s clear, clean, and safe bathing water, and good facilities and access. The beach is opposite St Ives’ Train Station, which runs from St Lelant, and is one of the most scenic train journeys in the country. You can park and ride on this train, from St Lelant, and then get off and enjoy this beautiful beach! Easily accessible, toilets, a beachside café, and lifeguards from the 13th of May until the 24th of September, 10am – 6pm. There are no dogs permitted between Easter and October.

7. Charlestown Beach, Charlestown

This pebble and shingle beach, on the south coast, is situated in this historic fishing harbour. The harbour is home to tall ships, along with different bars and eateries peppered around the harbourside.

Sit back and enjoy the extensive view and the clear blue seas. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of this beach, which is next to the lively harbour. There are toilets in the village, where there is also food and ice cream. There are restrictions on dogs at Charlestown Beach and no lifeguards.

Watergate coastal path, Newquay8. Watergate Bay, Watergate

Watergate Bay is a large golden sand beach, stretching over 2 miles. It is best known for its good surf. The beach is backed by high cliffs, and the coastal walk from Porth to Watergate is a breath taking one.

Just outside of Newquay, Watergate Bay is a great beach to spend the day. There are nearby restaurants and cafes, and you won’t run out of things to do. You can hire surf gear if you fancy a go and there is a wealth of other water related activities that you can try. There are car parks available at Watergate. Public toilets are available, and dogs are welcome all year round. There is lifeguard cover in the peak-times, such as school holidays and daily from the 29th of April until the 30th of September.

Perranporth Beach

Photo by Matt Jessop – Provided by Visit Cornwall

9. Perranporth Beach, Perranporth

Perranporth Beach is another large beach, popular with families. It is easily accessible via the town. The town has many facilities including toilets, bars, cafes, and restaurants, along with surf shops, ice cream parlours, and art galleries.

Perranporth Beach is a great day out and is famed for its dunes, and its pub on the beach, The Watering Hole. Parking is available in the town.

It has lifeguard cover from the 1st of April until the 29th of September. Dogs are currently allowed on Perranporth beach all year, however in July and August they are required to be on a lead between 10am and 5pm on the main beach area.

10. Godrevy Beach

Godrevy looking over to the lighthouse, by Matt Jessop

Photo credit – Matthew Jessop.

This vast, sandy beach sits at the end of St Ives. It has views of St Ives on one side and on the other side is the famous Godrevy lighthouse. Godrevy is popular with surfers and families.

There is a National Trust car park, a café and toilets. The headland offers more fantastic views, and great opportunities to spot wildlife, such as seals. There’s also history with Stone Age settlements underground. There are lifeguards from the 13th of May until the 24th of September, 10am – 6pm. Dogs are welcome across the whole site, with restrictions on the beach in July and August from 10am to 6pm.