14 Very Best Beaches in Cornwall To Visit – Hand Luggage Only

Cornwall is a wonderful area in the south of England to explore! With stunning coastal towns, some gorgeous castles, and the most beautiful hotels, it’s a place as charming as it is beautiful. This is nothing more than a picturesque coastline which is home to some of the best beaches in Cornwall to visit.

Over the years we’ve crossed into Cornwall many times and always find a new cove, beach or idyllic coastline that cannot be missed. With over 400 miles of coastline, you’ll be totally spoiled for choice!

So, to make things a little easier, we wanted to share our favorite places in Cornwall where you can find a great beach. From small coves to the most lively and popular sites, I guarantee that there will be a few gems that you will love.

Take a look below at the best beaches in Cornwall to visit. Have a great time exploring the Corniche coast!

1.) Lantik Bay

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

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

Despite the pebbles (very fine stones, not the big ones), it’s still full of charm and a beach to match any sandy beach in Cornwall.

Believe me, the beach itself is amazing, and although it can be quite winding and steep to the beach, it’s totally worth it. As with all cliff paths, use caution when walking downhill and don’t stray from the trails. After all, no one wants to be a careless rambler.

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Are we done rolling over the waves? Drive to Polruan and join the small boats that hop on to Fowey. It’s the other side of the river’s mouth and both are very beautiful.

Read more: Best things to do in Plymouth

2.) Biden Beach Founder

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Located within the larger Porthcurno Cove area, Pedn Vounder Beach is a stunning place to visit when touring the southwest coastal path. Not only that, but you also have Porthcorno Beach nearby which is a stone’s throw away. In fact, you can easily do both in one day and stop at Logan Rock for sunset views.

It’s beautiful and worth exploring, as long as you use SPF! Honestly, the wind is deceptive here and you can burn very fast!

Further Read: Best Places In Cornwall To Visit

3.) Biranport

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

There are quite a few reasons why Perranporth is one of the best beaches in Cornwall to enjoy! Not only does it offer some amazing surfing opportunities, but it also has one huge stretch of golden sandy beaches that make this a perfect place to visit.

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Along the coast from Newquay, it’s really easy to visit (and sometimes quieter) than the town itself.

After a day in the surf, grab a huge ice cream sundae from Perran Dairy Ice Cream Parlor. It’s very good!

Further Read: Best Castles In Cornwall To Visit

4.) Pinter Steps Beach

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Up the coast from Mawgan Porth, Pentire Steps Beach is a slightly more secluded and sometimes forgotten little gem worth visiting. Although difficult to access from some of Cornwall’s most famous and best beaches, it’s totally worth the attention if you’re already walking the coastal path from Porthcothan.

It’s totally fun and stays relatively quiet most of the year…even in high season! Just be sure to take all of your beach supplies with you (it’s a trip downhill) and be aware of the tides. Tidal ranges can be very important here and it is best to leave before the tide returns.

Next, drive to Padstow and climb into Rick Stein’s Seafood Bar to sample delicious fish and chips.

Further Read: Best Places In Southern England To Visit

5.) Harlin Bay Beach

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall, this is a great place for the whole family to enjoy! Filled with numerous stretches and sandy beaches, this is kind of a big, beautiful spot.

Depending on the wind, it’s also a great surfing beach and it’s a lot of fun! Best of all, there are also lifeguards who keep an eye on the beaches in the summer months.

Plus, if you want to stay in the area, check out the Pig at Harlyn Bay. It is absolutely beautiful and has a great ambiance.

6.) The beaches of Padstow

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

There is a heap of the best beaches in Cornwall scattered all over Padstow! This makes it a great place to visit if you want to “test the water” and see what you like best.

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

If you are looking for a slightly bigger beach (with facilities), visit Polzeath Beach which is not far at all.

Further Read: Best Places On The Cornwall Coast

7.) Kinance Cove

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

One of the best beaches in Cornwall, Kynance Cove is photographed for this and is a gem worth visiting.

The coast has some great blue and green waters that are great to see on a calm, calm day. Not only that, the colorful barges and covered chimneys are quite impressive while touring.

All of these gems mean it can get relatively busy at Kynance Cove. So, if you want to avoid the majority of crowds, visit on weekdays and early in the morning (especially as the parking lots fill up quickly).

For a longer trip, follow the coastal paths to Lizard Point. Along the way, you’ll get great views of the Corniche coast that are second to none!

Read more: The best beach holidays in the UK

8.) Goethian Beach

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Gwithian Beach is famous for being one of the best beaches in Cornwall for the wild dunes too.

Located right on Godrevy Beach, this is an absolutely gorgeous coastline that you can easily walk around and visit alongside Towans Beach and stay at St.

Honestly, it’s the kind of beach that ticks all the boxes. Surfing, families, dogs, dunes.. you name it, it’s perfect for it!

Best beaches in Cornwall to visit

Next, stop by the humble Rum & Crab Shack on St Ives Beach, where they serve up some of the tastiest crabs this side of Cornwall.

9.) Portmore Beach

Sandy beaches in England

If the beaches of Gwithian and Towans aren’t enough for you, be sure to go 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 the best beaches in Cornwall. you think i’m[‘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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