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With so many magnificent coves and beaches on offer in Cornwall, it can be difficult and often a little overwhelming to know which ones to include on your itinerary. To help, we’ve scoured the West Cornwall coastline to bring you our guide to the best beaches in the region. Whether you’re after something family-friendly, romantic or great for surfing, you’ll find a suitable beach in the list below.

Best beach for families


Praa Sands by Andrew is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Praa Sands: Located on the spectacular coastline between Perranuthnoe and Porthleven, this mile-long, sheltered beach is ideal for families as it has a shallow shoreline perfect for paddling and lots of space to make sandcastles. The car park is close by so you won’t have to walk too far with all your gear, and there’s a lovely beach café selling drinks and snacks.

Best beach for couples


Kynance Cove by Barney Moss is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Kynance Cove: This famed beauty spot has been the muse of many a romantic poet since as far back as the eighteenth century. So where better to take your loved one than Kynance Cove? This sheltered cove offers picturesque white sands, turquoise waters and dark serpentine rock, and can only be reached by a steep 15 minute walk from the cliffs above.

Best beach for dogs


Gwenver Beach by Dan (catching up) is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Gwenver Beach: This secluded sandy beach is dog friendly all year round, making it perfect for anyone holidaying with a dog. Gwenver is around 150 metres long and much quieter than its neighbour, Sennen Cove, so there’s plenty of space for dogs to run and play.

Best beach for watersports


SennenCove by EmPemm is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sennen Cove: Sennen Cove is Cornwall’s most westerly surfing spot and is renowned for its fantastic conditions. This unspoilt beach offers clear, clean waters and soft sand, making it a popular beach to visit for sunbathers and surfers alike. The surf is best at mid-tide when it’s suitable for all abilities. There’s also a surf shop and surf hire available on the beach.

Best beach for walking


Gwithian Rock Pool by Andrew is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Gwithian Towans: This glorious beach offers vast amounts of sand to walk on at low tide, with plenty of fascinating caves and rock pools to explore along the way. If you’re lucky, you might spot some common seals, which frequently pop up near the beach, and the area is also a breeding ground for many different types of seabirds, so there’s always something interesting to see.

Best all-rounder beach


Porthmeor Beach, St Ives by Robert Pittman is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Porthmeor Beach: Porthmeor is St Ives’ largest beach and holds a 2015 Blue Flag award, making it a wonderful, safe beach suitable for children and adults alike. It’s located just a short walk from the centre of St Ives so you’ve plenty of local cafes to choose from for your lunch, and there’s plenty of space for activities such as beach games or kite flying. The beach is also very popular with surfers.

If you’re searching for a beach holiday in Cornwall, take a look at our website where you’ll find a fantastic collection of Cornish cottages near the beach.

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