Cornwall boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and we are extremely lucky to be a stones throw away from some really stunning spots here on the south coast. Even better still, the South West Coast Path links us to every beach, so if you're feeling adventurous you can even hike to some of them! When you think of coming to Cornwall on holiday, you think of sunny days on the beach with fish and chips and a windbreaker, but our beaches are just as beautiful in the winter. Wrap up warm, find a cafe for a warm cup of coffee, and take a wander along our coastline. Here's 10 beaches we'd recommend to visit while you are staying in Cornwall (or even if you live here!)
1. Millendreath Beach Resort, near Looe
Millendreath Beach is a firm family favourite for locals and tourists, as it's a small cove which is sheltered from the wind, has a lagoon which washes out and refills with the tide daily, and has some of the safest bathing waters around. We have been bathing water champions for years due to the cleanliness of our waters. In fact, did you know, we have one of only 2 species of Seahorse in the UK living just off our shore? Seahorses will only make a home where the water is very clean and safe to do so. This is why Millendreath Beach Resort's logo is the Seahorse! We have onsite toilets and parking (pay & display), our Beach Bar and the Bistro on the Beach. Check out our apartments to rent here.
Millendreath beach is dog friendly year round, with restricted times in the summer months when it's too hot for dogs anyway and the beach is busy with humans. We like to ensure that everyone can enjoy the beach safely, so we allow dogs on the beach before 9am and after 6pm from April to September, but not during the day. Between October and March, dogs can go on the beach any time, we just ask that you always pick up after your dog when it messes and dispose of it properly, keep them under control and be respectful of other beach users. We also have 65 acres of woodland you can use, and dog friendly beaches to either side of us. Plaidy beach towards Looe is only a 10 minute walk up the South West Coast Path, and Seaton beach which is either a 5/7 minute drive or a 50 minute walk along the South West Coast Path. When the tide is out at Millendreath, you can actually walk all the way along to Seaton beach, and then back along the coast path to get back. The beach to the left of ours is dog friendly but only accessible at low tide.
2. Mawgan Porth
If you're looking for a beautiful, big beach with restaurants, takeaways, little shops and coffee shops, where you could spend a day either exploring, surfing, walking or relaxing, this is the beach! When the tide is out, Mawgan Porth Beach extends for acres and acres! There's plenty of room for family games, dog walking, kite flying and much more. It's also on a gorgeous stretch of the South West Coast Path, and is only 4 miles from Newquay.
Crantock Beach is a vast stretch of sand with beautiful sand dunes leading to the coastal paths. The Gannel Estuary runs down to the sea along this beach. There is parking and toilets here, but no cafes, shops or pubs, although there is sometimes a food truck which serves coffees, sandwiches and refreshments, this is seasonal and would be worth finding out before you go. It's a dog friendly beach but check for any restrictions before you venture out. If you're looking for a good winters walk, or a summers day exploring caves and surfing, I'd recommend Crantock. It's one of Cornwall's bigger beaches and it is simply beautiful.
Perranporth is a great beach for a full day out, as Perranporth town has plenty of places to eat and drink, and there is a great cafe on the beach itself called The Watering Hole, which not only offers great food, drinks and cakes, but also events and live music when it's allowed. There is an incredible ice cream parlour by the beach car park, which also sells doggy ice cream! It's another large beach with plenty of caves to explore and a stream running through the beach which is great for paddling. At low tide, you can walk for miles along the beach, just be sure not to get stuck when the tide comes in again. This beach is dog friendly, with leads needed during summer months.
Rock beach is a long stretch of golden sands that look over to Padstow across the Camel Estuary. It's loved by wind surfers, swimmers, yachts and sun seekers. From the village you can actually catch a ferry across to Padstow, and enjoy walks in the area of outstanding natural beauty from the beach. If golf is your thing, there is the St Enodoc Golf Club that sits directly behind the beach. There are also a couple of lovely pubs and places to eat, toilets and parking, and it's also dog friendly.
6. Harlyn Bay Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall for families, Harlyn Bay Beach is considered one of the safest in Cornwall. Because of this, it's great for surfing with kids and novices. There are lots of rock pools for little ones to delve into, a stream to paddle in and sand dunes to play in. There is a burger van in good weather, and there is life guard cover for most of the summer, when it is generally deemed safe enough to swim. There is parking at Harlyn Bay Beach.
7. Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove was made famous last year when a video of it's crystal clear waters went viral. It's long been seen as one of the best beaches in the world! Because of this, Kynance Cove gets extremely busy in the summer holidays, and with limited parking sometimes you won't be able to access the beach in the height of the season. There are toilets here and small cafe, and it's great for exploring with it's many rock stacks and craggy coast line.
8. Sennen Cove
Sennen Cove is a beautiful beach with white sands and stunning views of the coast line. It's a stones throw away from Lands End, so is the perfect stop on a day exploring the very southerly point of the county. Sennen is very popular with surfers, who come from far and wide to enjoy the coves waves each year. There is a lovely little pub to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat too.
9. Watergate Bay
Watergate Bay is a big open beach that's popular with surfers, but also a great day out for families. It's approximately 3 miles from Newquay where you will find plenty to eat, drink, see and do. It's golden sands stretch for miles at low tide making it perfect for a winters walk, and with a quaint pub opposite it's a great spot for an afternoon out. There are 2 car parks here and toilets available also.
10. Whitsand Bay
Whitsand Bay is a very dramatic part of coastline which actually stretches for approximately 4 miles at low tide. Please be careful to not get cut off when the tide comes back in when visiting. Whitsand sits between Rame Head and Portwrinkle, and is an absolutely beautiful part of the coast. There are car parks here, but access to the beach is hard going especially in adverse weather. Swimming isn't recommended here apart from when there is lifeguard cover in the summer months.
These are only a handful of a huge number of stunningly beautiful beaches to visit in Cornwall, and that's not forgetting all the amazing beaches in Devon too! Just remember to check before you travel anywhere, especially in this current pandemic, that places are open and safe to visit. It's always best to Know Before You Go.
Have a great winter exploring and travelling around England, and we hope to see you soon :)
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