Best Beaches in Cornwall for Families

There’s little doubt that Cornwall is one of the UK’s best holiday destinations for families. There’s so much to do here and with over 200 beaches on offer, you can be overwhelmed by all the choice. To help you narrow it down, we’ve scoured the county to bring you the best Cornish beaches for families, taking into consideration everything from car parks and facilities, to having enough space to make sandcastles and go rockpooling.

Mawgan Porth, North Cornwall

Mawgan Porth beach, Cornwall

Image by Andy Budd is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

This sheltered, sandy beach is perfect for families looking to escape the crowds. Although just four miles from Newquay, Mawgan Porth is actually one of Cornwall’s quieter beaches with a mesmerising raw beauty that keeps visitors coming back for more every year. There’s plenty of golden sand for children to run about and play in, as well as ample rockpools and coves to explore. This hidden gem is perfectly safe for swimming and paddling and can also be great fun for body-boarding.

Access and Parking: Easy access with car park adjacent to the beach. Disabled access available.

Lifeguards: Seasonal lifeguard cover from May to September.

Refreshments: There’s a beach-side shop providing refreshments and numerous cafes and pubs close by.


  • Dog friendly all year round
  • Toilets inc. disabled toilets
  • Surf hire available

Sennen Cove, West Cornwall

Sennen Cove beach, Cornwall

Image by Reading Tom is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sennen Cove, also known as Whitesands Bay, is a striking mile-long crescent of sand facing out into the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is very popular with surfers but it’s also great for families too with vast amounts of space to play beach games, picturesque turquoise waters to paddle in and a shallow stream which runs down to the sea, a safe place for children to play happily. There are plenty of facilities nearby- pick up fish and chips from the village for lunch or treat yourself to an ice cream from the van on the beach to cool down.

Access and Parking: Car park on the beach. Overflow car park also available at the top of the hill. Disabled access available from the beach car park at low tide.

Lifeguards: Seasonal lifeguard cover from May to September.

Refreshments: There’s a beach café and the local village with its pub, shops and restaurants is just a two minute walk away.


  • Dogs allowed but there is a seasonal dog ban from Easter until October.
  • Toilets
  • Surf hire available

If you're looking for more beaches in the area then check out our guide to the best beaches in West Cornwall. 

Summerleaze, North Cornwall

Summerleaze beach, Cornwall

Image by David Merrett is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Within walking distance of Bude town centre, this beautiful dog friendly beach offers something unique for families. The vast size of Summerleaze means it’s unlikely to ever get too crowded and with the town’s shops and cafes in close proximity, spending the day here is as hassle-free as a day at the beach can be! What makes Summerleaze particularly great for families is its wonderful sea water swimming pool nestled at the bottom of the cliffs; it’s cleaned daily by the tide and is perfect for younger children who are nervous when the sea’s a bit too choppy.

Access and Parking: Car park on the beach as well as additional car parks in Bude town. Disabled access from the beach car park.

Lifeguards: Seasonal lifeguard cover from May to September, there’s also cover over Easter weekend.

Refreshments: Beach café and Bude town centre with its shops, pubs and restaurants just five minutes’ walk.


  • Dog friendly all year round although dogs must be kept on leads between 21st May- 30th September, 10am to 6pm.
  • Sandchairs available to hire from the Beach Office
  • Toilets inc. disabled toilets
  • Sandy play area for children

For other things to do while you're in and around Bude, check out best things to do in Bude.

Swanpool, South Cornwall

Swanpool Beach, Cornwall

Image by Tim Green is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Located in a sheltered cove overlooking the bustling Falmouth Bay, this sand and shingle beach is a family-friendly dream with so much to do to keep children occupied. When they tire of paddling in the sea, children will love playing a round of crazy golf and jumping about on the bouncy castle. For a whole new way to explore the shoreline, try hiring a kayak or having a go at Stand Up Paddle Boarding. While you’re at Swanpool, make sure you don’t miss the famous ‘Quirky Ice Creams’ that are available on the beach- topped with everything from Jelly Babies to Liquorice Allsorts, they’re delicious.

Access and Parking: Spacious car park over the road from the beach. If you take your ticket to the beach café, you get a free cup of tea! Level access to beach.

Lifeguards: No lifeguard cover currently

Refreshments: Beach café with a varied home-made menu. ‘Quirky Ice Creams’ also available here.


  • Dogs allowed but there is a seasonal dog ban from Easter until October.
  • Toilets inc. disabled toilets
  • Kayak hire available
  • Free WiFi
  • Crazy golf and bouncy castle

If you’re looking for a family friendly holiday by the beach, then don’t forget to take a look at our wonderful collection of hand-picked coastal cottages in Cornwall, where you can wake up with the seaside on your doorstep.

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