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The Most Beautiful Beaches in Cornwall


Monday, 22 April 2024

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Cornwall

Cornwall is famous for its beautiful beaches and the county is home to some of the most photographed coastal spots in Britain. If this is your first holiday in Cornwall, how do you choose which beaches to visit? At Handpicked Cottages, we love the Cornish coast and we’ve made a list of some of the best beaches in Cornwall. 

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

St Ives has seven beaches and each one is absolutely gorgeous. Porthmeor is the best for surf and Bamaluz is a lovely dog-friendly beach; however, we’ve chosen magnificent Porthminster Beach for our guide. The town’s easternmost beach has golden sands and clear waters, as well as wonderful views towards the harbour. This family-friendly beach is lifeguarded in the summer and is a popular spot for families and swimmers. Excellent beachside cafes and take-aways add to the appeal.

Porthcurno Beach, West Cornwall

Head further west towards the tip of Cornwall and you’ll encounter a series of stunning coves and sandy beaches. Porthcurno and Pedn Vounder beaches have gleaming sands and crystal-clear sea, sheltered by flower-dotted cliffs. Make a day (and evening) of it, by visiting the excellent PK Museum of Glocal Communications (this beautiful beach has a surprising history) and seeing a show at the world-renowned Minack Theatre, located on the cliffs above Porthcurno Beach.

West Cornwall is a wonderful place to stay if you love exploring coves and coastal paths.

Praa Sands, Breage

We love the stretch of coast between Penzance and Helston. There’s a choice of sandy beaches and rockier spots, many with views across to St Michael’s Mount. It’s hard to choose a favourite beach in this part of Mount’s Bay; however Praa Sands, with its combination of excellent surf and family-friendly facilities, came out on top. Praa is one of those places that looks equally beautiful in wilder weather – come here to watch the rolling surf on a windy day.

Kynance Cove, Lizard

Mount’s Bay curves around towards Lizard Point, and shortly before you reach Britain’s most southerly place, you’ll come across Kynance Cove. You’ll no doubt recognise this National Trust-managed beach, because it features on so many advertisements for Cornish holidays! Kynance is astonishingly lovely, with dappled shallows and bright white sand – it really doesn’t feel like a British beach. Park in the National Trust car park and take the path down to the cove (warning: it is steep and a bit scrambly).

Widemouth Bay, near Bude

This wouldn’t be a proper list of Cornish beaches without Widemouth Bay! As well as being beautiful, this two mile-long Atlantic beach has something for everyone. It’s family-friendly, has great surf, and has some of the best rock pools around at its southern end. Widemouth is about three miles out of Bude, where you’ll find Summerleaze and Crooklets beaches, two more popular spots.

To make the most of Bude’s wonderful beaches, you really need to stay here for at least a few days.  Here at Handpicked Cottages, we have luxurious holiday accommodation across Cornwall. 

Hawker’s Cove, Padstow

Hawker’s Cove is at the mouth of the River Camel outside Padstow, looking out over the notorious Doom Bar. With its old lifeboat station and row of coastguard cottages, it’s one of the most photogenic spots around; and on a sunny day, the sparkling shallow waters are positively Mediterranean. At low tide, you can park at neighbouring Harbour Cove and walk to Hawker’s Cove; however, we love the route along the coast path from Padstow. 

Fistral Bay, Newquay

Not far from Padstow, bustling Newquay has a choice of beaches and coves. The home of the UK surfing scene, Fistral Beach is one of the best-known beaches in the country. It’s a classically stunning beach, with golden sands and dramatic headlands; however, it’s its energy and atmosphere that really give Fistral its beauty. Even if you’re not a surfer, come here to admire the boarders’ skills and soak up the vibes in the lively beachside cafes.

Chapel Porth Beach, St Agnes

“Aggie” has more than her share of fantastic beaches, many with a dramatic backdrop of ruined engine houses and steep cliffs. Whether you’re here to surf or enjoy the excellent hiking, you’ll find your perfect coastal spot in or near St Agnes. Again, we’re spoilt for choice, but decided on another National Trust-run beach, Chapel Porth. Come here from the late summer onwards, when the heathland around St Agnes Beacon erupts into gorgeous floral shades.

Find your Cornish beachside retreat

Here at Handpicked Cottages, we have luxurious holiday accommodation across Cornwall – and you’re never far from a beach in this coastal county! Which places will be on your list of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches?

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