14 best beaches in Cornwall to visit – hand luggage only


Cornwall is an amazing area Southern England explore! With stunning coastal towns, some beautiful amazing castles and most beautiful hotels, it is a kind of place that is as charming as it is beautiful. It is nothing more than with a picturesque coastline that is home to some of the best beaches in Cornwall to visit.

Over the years we have come to Cornwall many times and always find a new small cove, beach or coastline that is too idyllic to miss. With over 400 miles of coastline, you’ll be totally spoiled for choice!

To make things easier, we wanted to share our favorite places in Cornwall where you can find a great beach. From tiny coves to livelier and more popular places, I guarantee there will be a fair few gems that you will love.

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Check out the best beaches in Cornwall to visit below. Enjoy exploring the Cornish coast!

1.) Lantic Bay

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Taken care of by the National Trust, Lantic Bay is a beautiful area to visit while exploring the south coast of Cornwall. About an hour’s drive from Plymouth, is one of the best beaches in Cornwall to visit if you want a small day trip away from the city streets.

Although pebbly (very fine rocks, not large), it still has a bunch of charm and a coastline that matches any sandy beach in Cornwall.

Trust me, the beach itself is stunning and, although it can be a steep meander to the coast, it is totally worth it. As with all cliff trails, be careful when descending and do not deviate from the trails. After all, no one wants a careless mountaineer.

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Are you done lapping the waves? Drive to Polruan and join small boats that jump to Fowey. It is the other side of the river mouth and both are picturesque.

Read more: The best things in Plymouth

2.) Pedn Wonder Beach

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Located within a larger area of ​​Porthcurno Bay, Pedn Vounder Beach is a stunning place to visit as you wander the southwest coastal trail. Not only that, but you also have the nearby Porthcurno beach which is just one stone’s throw away. In fact, you can easily do both in one day and stop at Logan Rock to see the views of the sunset.

It’s beautiful and worth exploring, as long as you slap that SPF! Honestly, the wind here is deceptive and you can burn out very quickly!

Read more: The best places to visit in Cornwall

3.) Perranporth

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

There are several reasons why Perranporth is one of the best beaches in Cornwall to enjoy! Not only does it have amazing surfing opportunities, but it also has a huge chunk of golden sandy beaches that make this completely idyllic to visit.

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Just down the coast from Newquay, it’s really easy to visit (and sometimes a little quieter) than the city itself.

After a day of surfing, grab huge ice cream desserts from the Perran Dairy ice cream parlor. It’s so good!

Read more: The best castles in Cornwall to visit

4.) Pentire Steps Beach

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Right along the coast from Mawgan Porth, Pentire Steps beach is a little more secluded and sometimes a forgotten little gem worth visiting. Although it is harder to access some of the more popular and best beaches in Cornwall, it is totally worth a walk if you are already walking the coastal route from Porthcothan.

It is completely blissful and remains relatively quiet most of the year … even at the peak of the season! Just take with you all the supplies on the beach (the road is downhill) and be aware of the tides. The tidal ranges here can be quite significant and it is best to leave before the tide returns.

Afterwards, drive to Padstow and the gorge at Rick Stein’s sea bar for delicious fish and chips.

Read more: The best places to visit in the south of England

5.) Harlyn Bay Beach

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall, it is a great place for the whole family to enjoy! Packed with a multitude of universes and sandy shores, the species is large and beautiful.

Depending on the winds, it’s also a great surf beach that’s so much fun! Best of all, there are lifeguards who monitor the shores in the summer months.

In addition, if you wish to stay in the area, apply Pig in Harlyn Bay. It is absolutely wonderful and has such a wonderful atmosphere.

6.) Padstow beach

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

A bunch of the best beaches in Cornwall are dotted all around Padstow! This is why it’s a great place to visit if you want to ‘test the water’ and see which ones you like the most.

Some of our favorites are; St George’s Bay, Hawker’s Cove Bay and Butterhole Beach which are relatively close to the town itself. If you’re on the other side of the bay, check out Rock Beach which is more perfect for walking (even with a dog).

If you’re looking for a slightly larger beach (with amenities), check out Polzeath Beach which isn’t too far at all.

Read more: The best places on the Cornwall coast

7.) Kynance Cove

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Probably one of the best beaches in Cornwall, and photographed for that matter, Kynance Cove is a gem to visit.

The coast has several pretty epic blue-green waters that are so beautiful to see on a calm and peaceful day. And not only that, the colorful heathers and deposits are absolutely impressive to watch as they tremble.

All of these gems mean that Kynance Cove can be relatively busy. So if you want to avoid most crowds, visit on weekdays and early in the morning (especially since parking is filling up quickly).

For longer wanderings follow the coastal paths to Lizard Point. Along the way you will get a beautiful view of the unrivaled Cornish coast!

Read more: The best seaside holiday in the UK

8.) Gwithian Beach

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Gwithian Beach is known as a place for surfers and one of the best beaches in Cornwall and for wild sand dunes.

Located right next to Godrevy Beach, it is a totally great coastline that you can easily walk and visit next to Towans Beach and stay in beautiful St. Louis. Ives.

Honestly, the type of beach beats all the boxes. Surfing, families, dogs, dunes … whatever, it’s perfect for that!

The best beaches in Cornwall to visit

After that, stop by the unpretentious Rum and crab log cabin on the coast of St. Ives is served with some of the tastiest crabs on this side of Cornwall.

9.) Porthmeor Beach

Sandy beaches in England

If Gwithian and Towans beaches aren’t enough for you, then skip to the other side of St Ives for Porthmeor Beach.

The largest beach in the city, it is also said to be the best among all the best beaches in Cornwall. Still, me[‘ll leave you to decide on that one!

Awarded a Blue Flag for cleanliness, it’s a stunner of a spot to visit with kids, or alone for a little chill and paddle on the shore.

Afterwards, head to ‘the island’ and ramble across St Ives Head around dusk. The views are lovely on a sunny day. 

Read more: Best seaside holidays in the UK 

10.) Watergate Bay

One of our favourite bays in all of Cornwall, Watergate Bay is a total gem to explore and just a stone’s throw from nearby Newquay and the airport. 

This Is Easily The UK's Best Beach Holiday Destination - The Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK (12)

With its decent waves and golden sand, it’s one of the best beaches in Cornwall for surfers and swimmers. In fact, this is where we first learned to surf – at the surfing school right by the Watergate Bay Hotel.

Fancy staying over? Check into the Watergate Bay Hotel. We stayed here for a long weekend and totally fell in love with it. It has a real seaside and chilled vibe; plus their rooms are gorgeous. 

Read more: Our stay at the Watergate Bay Hotel

11.) Porthcurno Beach

12 Amazing Things To See In Cornwall, England (12)

Some people say that Porthcurno is directly competing against Perranporth to be one of the best beaches in Cornwall. Though, I don’t think there needs to be any competition at all; they’re both totally idyllic. 

Nestled against towering cliffs which makes it extraordinary and gorgeous to explore. Plus, the turquoise waters are beautiful on a calm day.

Afterwards, take some time to see the totally iconic The Minack Theatre. It’s so incredible and you might even get to watch a show there! 

Read more: Best places in Cornwall to visit

12.) Fistral Beach

beaches in England Fistral Beach

Right on the shores of Newquay, Fistral Beach is probably one of the more famous beaches in Cornwall that’s within easy reach of the town. This means it’s a pretty accessible beach for most which make it great for all the family. 

Not only that, Fistral Beach is also the beating heart of the UK’s surfing scene. It’s well worth giving it a shot whilst you’re here. 

Yes, you can expect this place to be crowded at times but it’s got a great vibe and lots of amenities within easy reach of the surf.

13.) Treyarnon Bay

Best Beaches in Cornwall To Visit

A perfect spot to watch the sunset, Treyarnon Bay will never disappoint on a sunny day. With amenities and a small coffee spot, it’s the kind of place that’s well worth a few hours soaking up the rays. 

Though, as with most beaches, be cautious of riptides and undercurrents which can be dangerous. Lifeguards are present in the summer months but you should take extreme care nonetheless. 

14.) Sennen Cove

Best Beaches in Cornwall To Visit

Considered one of the most scenic spots in Cornwall, Sennen Cove is great to visit for its impressive waves and picturesque fishing village.

While you are here, you can also hop over to Land’s End which isn’t too far at all. The whole coastline around here is stunning, especially for a ramble to see Enys Dodnan Arch.

Plus, you can easily partner up a trip to Sennen Cove with a visit to Gwynver Beach, too. 

Read more: Best places in Cornwall to visit

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