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Cornwall beaches are renowned for their crystal blue waters, epic surfing conditions and secret coves that were once smugglers’ haunts! And with over 400 Cornish beaches on offer, beachcombers are well and truly spoilt for choice!

Cornwall boasts over 250 miles of golden sands, rugged cliffs and azure waters that you don’t want to miss. From the exposed stretches of sand on the north coast to the more peaceful havens of the south coast, find your favourite Cornwall beach today!

Continue reading to discover the best Cornwall beaches…

1. Porthcurno Beach, West Cornwall

Porthcurno beach

First on our guide to Cornwall beaches is a regular front-runner in Cornwall’s best beach awards and rests on the west coast.

With its Caribbean-blue waters and curve of golden sand that stretches for miles, it is little wonder that Porthcurno made our list of best beaches in Cornwall and England!

The beach is highly popular with families; there are lifeguards on duty over the summer months with a designated safe swimming zone and high cliffs on either side of the beach providing shelter from the wind. There is also a stream at the top of the beach, which forms a natural paddling pool for children.

Don’t leave this Cornwall beach without catching a show at the jaw-droppingly beautiful and open-air Minack Theatre. Find the Minack Theatre standing high on the cliffs above the beach, producing an even more dramatic, natural setting.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog ban between 1st of July and 31st of August (10am – 6pm)
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR19 6JX

2. Kynance Cove, The Lizard Peninsula

Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall

Located on the unique and picturesque Lizard Peninsula in southern Cornwall is the spectacular Kynance Cove.

Kynance Cove is considered one of the best Cornwall beaches and it is easy to see why: the white sandy beach has a staggeringly beautiful contrast to the dark red and black cliffs that shadow the cove. Continuing to impress, it’s situated in one of the warmest climates in the UK, so the tranquil water radiates a gorgeous turquoise colour.

The Cornwall beach is the ideal romantic setting, offering a secluded hideaway from larger, bustling towns. It’s also a great location for exploring; there is a steep path leading down to the cove, allowing walkers stunning views of the fascinating rock formations and beach below.

Relax and unwind in this peaceful setting and make sure you stop by the eco-friendly beach café, serving Cornish pasties and other local delights.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog ban between 1st of July and 31st of August (10am – 6pm)
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR12 7PJ

3. Lantic Bay, South East Cornwall

lantic bay, cornwall

This beautiful hidden gem has a 20-minute steep walk down to the beach, but the exceptional coastal views infused with rural landscapes make the journey worthwhile.

The mostly sandy beach, with a few pebble patches, is pleasantly remote with an unspoilt environment promising tranquillity. As it is a little off the beaten track, pack enough essentials so you can have a long relaxing day.

There are, however, no lifeguards stationed, so make sure you are careful as there can be some strong rips depending on the tide. The bay is located in the Lansallos Nature Reserve, close to Fowey, so make sure you allow enough time to explore and wander through the beautiful Cornish countryside.

This beautiful Cornwall beach is one for the romantic souls!

Type of beach: Sandy and shingle
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: PL23 1NP

4. Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Porthminster Beach, St Ives 

With palm trees swaying in the background and beach volleyball occurring on the sand, it’s easy to mistake Porthminster Beach for an overseas tropical scene.

Enclosed by grassy headlands, this Blue Flag beach is a little more sheltered than the other beaches in St Ives, making it the ideal destination for families. There is a lifeguard on duty over the summer months, as well as disabled access down to the beach, ensuring the environment is safe for all.

Aside from relaxing on the large stretch of soft golden sand, visitors can enjoy an array of watersports available. Such watersports include kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and surfing. Also located on the beachfront is a mini-golf course, which is a great way to get those competitive juices flowing.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Dogs are not permitted at any time
Car Park: Yes, but busy during summer months (park & ride also available)
Postcode: TR26 2EB

5. Crantock Beach, North Cornwall

Crantock Beach

Next on our guide to Cornwall beaches is the National Trust owned, Crantock Beach.

Crantock can be found a short distance away from Newquay and offers the opportunity to escape the madding crowds that you may find on the likes of Fistral Beach.

This North Cornwall beach forms an expanse of golden sands between the Pentire and West Pentire headlands and sits at the mouth of the Gannel Estuary. Families love this beach for its swimming, snorkelling and surfing opportunities, as well as for catching a glimpse of the visiting dolphins!

A charming dog-friendly beach in Cornwall to visit with man’s best friend!

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR8 5RN

6. Watergate Bay, North Cornwall

Watergate Bay Cornwall

Located between the two popular towns of Newquay and Padstow, Watergate Bay contains a large stretch of sandy beach with an active beachside calendar.

This North Cornwall beach is host to the main, gnarly arena for the widely popular Boardmasters Festival. Huge waves from the Atlantic make the beach the ideal surfing destination and other watersports are available on the waters including kitesurfing, wave skiing and stand-up paddle surfing.

The beach is ideal for families, with fascinating rock pools available for children to play in and a designated safe swimming zone, managed by lifeguards during the summer months. Various cafés and restaurants are located on the beachfront, meaning a traditional Cornish pasty and an ice cream are never far away.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR8 4AA

7. Sennen Cove Beach, West Cornwall

Sennen Cove Beach In Cornwall,

Next up on our guide to the best beaches in Cornwall is the idyllic Sennen Cove.

After a short walk over the cliffs from Land’s End, be greeted by a long and sandy beach, with impressive Atlantic waves. With consistent blue rollers, the beach has become Cornwall’s most westerly surf hotspot.

However, when the tide is low, it is truly one of the most scenic spots on the Cornish coastline. The pristine golden sands coupled with the astoundingly blue sea make for a relaxed day at the beach, in one of the UK’s most wonderful locations.

At the end of the day, refuel at one of the cafés or linger over a pint or two at the Old Success pub.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog ban between 15th of May and 30th of September (10am – 6pm)
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR19 7DG

8. Pentewan Beach, South Cornwall

Pentewan beach

Tucked away on the South Cornish coast is Pentewan Beach, boasting a large stretch of beautiful golden sand.

This Cornwall beach has over half a mile to enjoy, yet offers a pleasant relief from the big beaches on the north coast, which sees crowds flocking from all over.

This lesser-known Cornish gem faces east to St. Austell Bay and is sheltered from the wind and waves. Therefore, if you are seeking a gentle swim, Pentewan Beach is the perfect spot for a dip with the two headlands making it safe for even the littlest of paddlers.

However, if you are seeking some action, then you have come to the right place! The beach offers plenty for the adventurous spirit, with opportunities for paddleboarding, kayaking and windsurfing.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog ban between 1st of March and the first Sunday in November
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: PL26 6BT

9. Perranporth Beach, South West Cornwall

Perranporth beach

With miles of golden sands and crystal blue waters, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you had travelled to an exotic beach on the Mediterranean.

Perranporth Beach is considered one of the best beaches in Cornwall due to its sublime sands, washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The Cornish beach boasts an enormous expanse of golden sand, so it is easy to feel like you have the whole place to yourself. With plenty of space to kick back and relax, full lifeguard cover in the summer months and easy access from the village, it’s easy to see why families return here, year after year.

Those who visit this Cornwall beach will bill it as an exceptional place for surfing, snorkelling, and sailing, so there really is something for everyone!

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR6 0ND

10. Constantine Bay, North Cornwall

Constantine bay

Our next location on our guide to the best Cornwall beaches is Constantine Bay.

This North Cornwall beach has a great reputation for surfing, with ideal conditions and high-quality water. There are some hidden rocks and dangerous rips amidst the shore, so swimmers and surfers alike should take extra care and precaution when immersed in the water.

The charming sand dunes located on the outskirts of the beach allow for hours of family-friendly entertainment, along with a number of fascinating rock pools, which are great for exploring. A low headland surrounds the bay and is the perfect spot for taking a gentle stroll, accessing your remarkable views of the bay.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes, but limited (larger car park at Treyarnon Bay, which is a 10-minute walk away)
Postcode: PL28 8 JJ

11. Godrevy Beach, North Cornwall

Godrevy Beach

Perfectly positioned on the far north-eastern end of St Ives Bay is the awe-inspiring expanse of Godrevy Beach.

Complete with high cliffs and dramatic coves, this Cornwall beach is rich in wildlife and offers views across the waters toward the famous Godrevy lighthouse.

On a summer’s afternoon, you will find families, nature watchers and walkers on this stretch of sand, as well as those with a surfboard in hand. In the right conditions, the waves here can be impressive! Capable of holding a swell up to 8ft, this Cornish beach takes the brunt of the Atlantic swell!

Alternatively, walkers can take to the coastal grasslands and heathlands to savour the views. As you walk around the headland, delve into the history and peer down Hell’s Mouth to catch a glimpse of the local birdlife soaring above the secret Cornish coves.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Seasonal dog ban between1st July to 31st August (10am to 6pm)
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: TR27 5ED

12. Millook Haven, North Cornwall

Millook Haven

Millook Haven could be considered one of the wildest Cornwall beaches, as well as one of the most beautiful!

Our final destination on our Cornwall beaches guide can be found approximately two miles from Widemouth Bay and four miles from Bude. The journey to the beach can be a challenge, with a number of descents and ascents but you will soon be rewarded!

Here, you will find some of the finest geological formations, with the world-famous zig-zag folds in the towering cliffs. The Cornish beach is also a haven for wildlife and is a well-known spot in the Cornwall surfing scene.

Type of beach: Shingle and pebble
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Very limited road parking at Millook.
Postcode: EX23 0DQ

Cornwall Beaches Map

Which beaches in Cornwall will you make a beeline for? Find even more stunning beaches in our Cornwall beaches guide and enjoy an unforgettable seaside holiday in a Cornwall coastal cottage.

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