Our Top 10 Beaches in Cornwall
Holidaying in Cornwall is about taking in the best that Britain has to offer. Michelin starred restaurants, stunning scenery, incredible history and luxurious accommodation combine to create holiday memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Amongst its many virtues are, of course, it’s remarkable range of beaches. Running the gamut from rugged pebble beaches to soft golden sands, Cornwall boasts the finest beaches in the UK – and some of the best in the world.
It’s a fact that draws countless holidaymakers down to our coastline, but which beaches should you be visiting this summer? Here’s ten of our favourites:
- Sennen (Whitsand Bay)
A short stroll from the iconic cliffs of Land’s End, Sennen is the very model of the quaint Cornish beach. This fishing cove features a beautiful, mile-long golden beach, which offers excellent swimming and a consistent surf, for those wishing to get to grips with the waves.
Though not linked to a big down, Sennen boasts a couple of delightful cafes and a charming pub, making it ideal for a relaxed day trip.
- Gwithian Towans Beach, St Ives
It wouldn’t be right to draw up a list of the best Cornish beaches without Gwithian Towans Beach getting a look in. Why? Well, that would be because of its enormous expanse of gorgeous, soft golden sand.
The sheer scale of the beach ensures that, even though it’s extremely popular, there’s enough beach that everyone can find their own place to relax and enjoy the famous Cornish sun.
Additionally, the nearby town boasts excellent restaurants, top shopping and friendly pubs – not to mention excellent links to major Cornish towns.
- Praa Sands, Penzance
Just a 25-minute drive from St Ives, Praa Sands is a superb beach.
Listed in the Good Beaches Guide 2015, Praa Sands plays host to some of the brightest sands in the world, thanks to a higher percentage of shell-derived sands. This ensures a light, soft sand that makes it perfect for kids.
Essentially a large cove, the water at the beach is exceptionally amenable to beginner surfers and inexperienced swimmers, thanks to a southerly swell and predictable waves
- Godvery Beach, St Ives
Just up the coast from St Ives is Godvery Beach, the northernmost and most rugged section of the three-mile sandy beach that stretched from Hayle all the way up to Godvery Head.
As one of the most exposed beaches on the north coast, it endures big swells and enjoys a strong breeze, making it a less relaxing option than other beaches on the list. It is, however, quite beautiful.
The beach terminates with a low rocky headland, which gives a stunning view of Godvery lighthouse, which makes for a fantastic photo opportunity.
- Penhale Sands, Perranporth.
The delightful Cornish seaside town of Perranporth is always worth a visit, thanks to its plethora of shops, cafes and pubs, which make for a thoroughly lovely day out.
However, it’s the beach we’re most interested in. At low tide, Perranporth Beach runs for two miles, with nice surf and a natural open air swimming pool, which is warmed by the sun during the day and replenished with seawater at high-tide. Moving down the beach leads you to Penhale Sands, a stunning and quiet little stretch where you can relax in relative quiet.
- Carne Beach, Truro
Officially the second-best beach in the world, according to National Geographic magazine, Carne Beach is a must-visit for any holidaymakers in Cornwall.
Beating out some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Carne Beach has won fans around the globe. On the beach’s second-place finish, National Geographic said: “The rocky Cornish coast gives way to beaches, and one of the broadest and most beautiful is Carne on Gerrans Bay.
Residents of the nearby villages swim, walk their dogs, and play beach volleyball and cricket along its sandy surface, which at low tide extends to about a mile when neighbouring Pendower Beach adjoins.”
- Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Another St Ives beach, Porthminster Beach is a popular spot with locals and tourists alike, thanks to luxuriant golden stands and a calm, blue ocean, making it ideal for swimmers not seeking the challenges of some other Cornish beaches.
With the St Ives Terminus located just above the beach, you’ll find that access to both the beach and the town is superb, and there’s a huge variety of world-class restaurants on offer nearby too.
- Porthcurno Beach, Porthcurno
Located at almost the south-westerly tip of the UK, Porthcurno Beach is a truly stunning location.
Amid tall granite cliffs, the beach is part of a wider bay that opens at low tide reveal a huge curve of golden sand, that stretches all the way from the highly recommended outdoor Minack Theatre to Logan Rock, another superb destination.
Though it picks up more swell than beaches further up the south coast, the waves mean advanced surfers can always be spotted. However, if you’re merely interested in a trip to the beach, you can do significantly worse than the dramatic beauty of Porthcurno Beach.
- Long Rock Beach, Penzance
Just to the south of St Ives and a mere 17-minute drive away, Long Rock Beach offers a fantastically child-friendly beach, with soft sand, a luscious blue ocean and good local amenities.
Best of all for kids and parents alike though, Long Rock Beach has an ocean which doesn’t get deep until a long way in. So, whilst you should always keep an eye on your kids in the sea, Long Rock Beach is a pleasantly friendly beach for families.
- Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
If you like your beaches with a dash of art, you can’t go wrong with Porthmeor Beach in St Ives. Backed on to the stunning Tate gallery, this beach offers full protection from the south westerly winds which affect many beaches in the area and boasts comfortable golden sands, along with stunning local shopping and dining opportunities.