Cornwall has over 250 miles of coastline, including around 400 beaches. With such a varied landscape and different conditions, this means the choice of beaches is really wide, with something to suit everyone, from family-friendly, to rugged and solitary.


North and South

Cornwall’s North Coast is exposed to the Atlantic swell and so has many beaches ideal for surfing. By contrast, the South Coast is more sheltered and includes characterful coves, estuaries and harbours.

With this much choice, your selection of beach may be down to what you want to do there, as well as location.


A Selection of Cornwall’s Best Beaches

Gyllygnvase Beach, in Falmouth, is a firm family favourite. This comes from its many facilities, which are the key to keeping your kids entertained. They’re not going to settle for lazing in the sand with a book, so with its beach volleyball facilities, bouncy castle and a paddleboarding school, Gyllgnvase has enough to occupy them and help them burn off all that holiday energy.

In St Austell, Pentewan Beach provides a half mile stretch of sand, in front of Pentewan Sands Holiday Park. There’s free parking here, along with local facilities in the local village square, including a pub and shop, and a kiosk on the beach.

The north-west facing Treyarnon Bay is the setting for a picturesque sandy cove, popular with both families and surfers.

On the North Coast, Perranporth Beach is an immense, golden sandy stretch that’s always popular with families. There is a nearby surf school and a beach café, and the beach is easily accessed from the nearby village.

Sennen Bay is a distinctive white crescent of sand on Cornwall’s North West Coast, part of Whitesand Bay, and it’s the nearest village to Land’s End. The beach is large enough not to feel overcrowded, even at its busiest, and there are numerous access points to it.


Secluded Charm

With so many beaches, Cornwall has it share of secluded inlets and hidden coves, full of character and off the beaten track. Many retain a kind of timelessness because they feel so impervious to change.

Penberth may be the most unspoilt cove in Cornwall, lying at the bottom of a sheltered, wooded valley. There are a few traditional stone fishermen’s cottages and the cove itself is a good starting point for coastal walks.

On the Lizard Peninsula, West Cornwall, you’ll find Mullian Cove, home to a working, fishing harbour, and flanked by robust sea walls for storm protection. It’s dramatic to look at and provides close by access to the sheltered sandy beach at Poldhu Cove, ideal for families.

There are two beaches at Cadgwith Cove, separated at high tide by The Todden, a small headland. The cove is full of Cornish character with its original stone and thatch houses and the Cadgwith Cove Inn, thought to be over 400 years old.

This is only a small snapshot of the many different beaches that Cornwall has to offer, helping to make it a great destination for exploring and enjoying the English coast.