Exploring Cornwall’s Best Beaches – It comes as no surprise that many holidaymakers choose sunny Cornwall for their summer holiday year after year.
With 250 miles of coastline and almost 200 beaches, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Cornwall with tiny rocky coves and vast expanses of golden sand to tempt you.
But, with so many choices, it’s tough to know where’s best. Here we’ve compiled Cornwall’s beach musts no matter what type of holiday you’re after.
Table of Contents
Exploring Cornwall’s Best Beaches For Surfing
Fistral Beach in Newquay is the most popular beach for surfers as its exposure to Atlantic swells means water babies are always blessed with fantastic waves.
Surfers from across the globe have been flocking to Cornwall since the 1960’s thanks to the virtually perfect conditions and great weather.
Lifeguards patrol the beach from Easter to October so if you’ve got children trying to catch their first wave, you can rest assured they’re in safe hands.
Best Cornwall Beach For Nature Lovers
The Cornish coast is teeming with wildlife due to the warm Gulf Stream and it’s not uncommon to see grey seals, basking sharks and dolphins as you stroll along the coastal path.
To maximize your chance of spotting the resident pod of bottle nose dolphins, set up camp on the headlands either side of Falmouth Bay.
The four beaches in and around Falmouth are beautiful and you could easily spend an afternoon on the beach with one eye on the ocean.
Nature lovers are likely to be particularly interested in Swanpool cove which lies next to the Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve as well as being a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Best Cornwall Beach For Families
The vast majority of Cornwall’s are family friendly with lifeguards patrolling the sands and shops selling buckets and spades but one of the favorites is Perranporth.
In addition to the amenities you’d normally expect, Perranporth also has rock pools and caves perfect for the kids to explore once they’ve exhausted sandcastle building!
When the sea feels too chilly for a paddle, use the natural swimming pool which fills at high tide and is heated by the sun for a refreshing dip.
Choose a holiday cottage and start planning a memorable family holiday in Cornwall.
Best Cornwall Beach For Your Dog
With many Cornish beaches operating a seasonal dog ban, it’s important to find a stretch of sand which welcomes your furry friend all year round.
Watergate Bay on the north coast is a good bet with a mile of sand at low tide and impressive cliffs which make for excellent dog walks.
Being two miles from popular Newquay means there is plenty to keep you entertained but you won’t struggle to find an empty spot to lay your beach towel.
Dog Friendly holidays in North Cornwall
There are many good reasons for taking holidays in the UK, and more and more of us are tapping into the wealth of experiences that are available on our own doorstep.
Even though there are no guarantees of the weather, there is still so much to do and see that you will never have a dull moment.
There is one area in particular that is becoming ever more popular due to it having so much to offer its visitors, and that is north Cornwall.
Dog friendly hotels in Cornwall
This is also one of the best places in the UK for taking your pet on holiday, and there are no shortage of hotels in Cornwall that are dog friendly.
Cornwall hotels are renowned for their top quality food and accommodation, and when you have a look online for dog friendly hotels in Cornwall you will see the vast choice available.
Camelot Castle hotel
You can, however, save yourself time by searching for accommodation Cornwall by heading directly to the website belonging to the Camelot Castle hotel.
This exquisite establishment has much to offer the holidaymaker who is looking for a touch of class in one of the most naturally beautiful locations anywhere in Britain.
Located on the coast at Tintagel, it overlooks the stunning Tintagel Castle, King Arthur’s legendary birthplace.
Tintagel itself is just about the most scenic of villages, and the epicenter in what is commonly known as King Arthur country.
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the south west.
There are many ancient buildings and excavations to explore, and much to discover about the Arthurian legend.
Tintagel Church, which dates back to Norman times, sits on the cliffs near the castle and is a Grade I listed building.
Tintagel peace and tranquility
Peace and tranquility is the order of the day here, and apart from there being plenty of attractions to take in, the long coastline is the perfect location for those who wouldn’t dream of taking a holiday without their four legged friend.
There are many beautiful cliff top walks to ensure your pet gets plenty of exercise, and is the perfect way to work off those delicious cream teas.
It’s good to see that more and more of our British hotels that are accommodating to both man and beast, and when they are luxury hotels such as the Camelot Castle owned by John Mappin & Irina Mappin, and are in such breathtaking places as Tintagel, then they become even more inviting.
Best Cornwall Beach For Unbelievable Views
Sennen Cove on the far western coast is hard to beat when it comes to choosing a beach with picture postcard views.
Turquoise waters and golden sand grace this pretty cove which could easily take the place of far-flung destination on the pages of a glossy travel brochure.
As it’s slightly further up the coast from Land’s End, as you stare out to sea you’ll feel like you’re on the edge of the world.
Come just before sunset and enjoy a cocktail as the sunk sinks lower and lower in the sky to really appreciate the beautiful surroundings; heaven.
Cape Cornwall England is England’s Only Cape
Even if Cape Cornwall England didn’t have the distinction of being England’s only cape, its rugged landscape and roaring surf would still endear it to visitors.
It feels more like Land’s End than Land’s End itself,” is a common refrain here.
The view from Porthledden explains why:
The blue Atlantic, as far as the eye can see, punctuated by offshore rocks, and not much else.
Romantic Holidays in Wild Coastline of Cornwall
Here’s an idea of what you can experience on a visit to Cape Cornwall.
Cape Cornwall England
With its mostly benign climate, swimming is popular in Cornwall, and ever year, a hardy group of athletes swim from The Brisons rock formation into Priest’s Cove.
On any other day, the cove is a great place to explore tide pools and have a picnic of Cornish delicacies such as pasties and clotted cream.
There is also a challenging golf course stretching along the cliffs above, and the vista from each hole more than makes up for poor scores.
Land of Fairy Tales
The Cornish claim King Arthur as their own, as well as Jack the Giant Slayer.
Local lore is full of tales of pixies, giants, and mermaids, and with the misty coast, fishing huts, and moody moorlands, it’s little wonder why.
Lucky visitors may spot a very real character from many of these tales – the red-billed chough, or crow.
According to Cornish legend, King Arthur did not die after his last battle but his spirit went into this bird, and thus killing them was considered unlucky.
That wasn’t enough to deter hunters, and as of 1973, the bird had completely disappeared from Cornwall.
It began reappearing in 2001, and there is a conservation effort in place to foster their return.
Relics from the Stone Age and onward have been discovered here, but much of Cape Cornwall’s character comes from its more recent past and the industry of tin mining.
In fact, ruins of mines can be found along the area’s many walking trails, and visitors should use caution when wandering off the beaten path!
Cornwall’s coastline is notoriously dangerous for seafarers, and countless shipwrecks lie off shore.
Needless to say, rescuing sailors in distress was a common occurrence, and Cornish pilot gigs were an early type of lifeboat.
It’s possible to drop in and try your hand at rowing one of these historic boats at the Cape Cornwall Gig Club.
Cornwall Things You Must Do
If you’re visiting and experiencing Cornwall for the first time, it won’t be your last.
It makes such an impression with its stunning scenery that you’ll end up never wanting to leave.
Cornwall is practically its own country, with a language, flag and dedicated dishes, it’s a beautiful area of south west England.
You can’t go to Cornwall without trying the food, so take a look at the dishes you absolutely must try while you’re there.
The Cornish Pasty a Tastie Way Experiencing Cornwall
The most famous export of Cornwall has to be the Cornish pasty.
A savory dish, it traditionally consists of beef steak, onion, potato and swede encased in pastry.
Locally referred to as oggies, the pasty can come with a variety of fillings.
They were traditionally given to the miners for their lunch.
Easy to get hold of, a Cornish pasty is best bought from a shop where you can see them in front of you, though a big commercial company like Ginsters or the Cornish Pasty Company will do you no wrong.
As a part of England surrounded by the coast, the cuisine is heavily influenced by the sea.
The most famous fish dish of Cornwall is Stargazy Pie.
Fish such as pilchards, or crayfish, potatoes and eggs are placed under a pastry lid with their heads sticking out, as if looking at the stars in the sky above.
You might find this pie on the menu of the more traditional seaside pub.
A Cream Tea – A must for Experiencing Cornwall
You can’t go to Cornwall without experiencing the delight of a Cornish cream tea.
If the tea room or coffee shop you’re in doesn’t serve it, then get out. It’s obviously some sort of trick. A cream tea will vary from place to place, so you may need to try several.
It’ll either be a scone or a Cornish split, served with jam (usually strawberry) and clotted cream you might also be given butter too.
The way you construct your cream tea is a hotly debated issue, but you are usually left to do it yourself.
Do you put jam or clotted cream on first – it’s up to you.
The Cornish clotted cream is a product that is terrible for you, but it tastes incredible.
It can only be described as Cornish if it’s 55% fat!
Romantic Holidays in Cornwall
Few destinations included in your itinerary are as suited to romantic holidays as the wild coastline of Cornwall.
This remote spot was all but completely culturally separated from the rest of England until a couple of centuries ago.
It boasted its own language, some words of which are still widely used, and a thrilling connection with smuggling. Best Luxury UK Cottages
The dramatic, rocky coastline is the perfect place for a couple to enjoy romantic holidays.
With the opportunity to stay in a cozy Cornish cottage and to pick up some one-of-a-kind souvenirs, Cornwall is the very definition of a romantic getaway. 3 Great Reasons to Visit Cape Cornwall, England
The best way to ensure a romantic escape is by choosing the perfect accommodations, and a good place to start is with the essentials.
Fortunately, Cornwall features numerous lodging options, and none of them could be considered ordinary.
Many working farms offer cottages that were designed with lovers in mind.
Guests enjoy as much privacy as they wish while cuddling in front of a fireplace or soaking in a Jacuzzi tub.
Outside the cottage are spectacular views of the rolling fields or the ocean along with plenty of walking trails for intimate rambles through the wilderness.
Don’t let costs of such a trip slow you down either.
A home equity loan is gaining popularity in their ability to help finance vacations.Romantice Holidays Portwrinkle
Among Cornwall’s best attractions are its beaches.
Try Portwrinkle or Porthgwarra for picturesque views and a lack of crowding.
These are some of the best places to enjoy a picnic or a leisurely stroll hand-in-hand.
It’s no secret why couples love to visit the Port Eliot House and Garden at St. Germans.
Once a monastery dating back to the third or fourth century, the structure underwent extensive renovations during the 18th century by owner Sir John Sloane.
The gorgeously decorated house is only the beginning of the attractions.
The stunning gardens are highlighted by rhododendrons that are greater than a century old.
They provide the ideal spot for a lovely picnic.
The many summerhouses and the secret maze garden are also of particular interest for those with an eye toward romance.
Of course, Cornwall’s most romantic setting just might be Tintagel, which legend says was King Arthur’s birthplace.
There’s no better place for lovers to imagine themselves as a knight errant and lady fair as they traverse the castle ruins and gaze into the mysterious Merlin’s Cave.
A stop at the nearby village is a must for seeking out a crystal ball or magic wand.Romantic Holidays Cornwall
Couples will also adore one of Cornwall’s many artists’ colonies, like St. Ives.
The village boasts a beautiful beach, unrivaled scenery and fantastic light, which is probably why so many artists have settled here.
Visitors wander the winding cobblestone streets at will searching gallery offerings for a unique treasure to take home.
With so many romantic experiences available, it’s no surprise that Cornwall (and Holidaying in Devon) is one of the best spots in the world for romantic holidays.
Explore Historic Cornwall
Cornwall is steeped in history.
There’s a wide selection of popular attractions that showcase the county’s ancient history, spanning across the ages.
A lot of Cornish heritage locations are family friendly, and some are dog friendly too; making Cornwall’s history open to all!
Cornish Stone Circles
Cornwall is an archaeologist’s haven! Many of the historic sites are available to visit throughout the year – the Boscawen-ûn stone circle at St Buryan is a great example of a prehistoric ceremonial structure.
It looks almost natural on the Cornish landscape; and the surrounding area is ideal for those looking for a day out exploring the countryside.
Another popular prehistoric site is Halliggye at Mawgan-in-Meneage.
This Cornish Fogou is a prehistoric underground passage, one of about twelve remaining caves of this type in the county.
The site is open to the public between April and September and is a great glimpse at a rare prehistoric structure.
Tintagel is a must see for holiday makers in Cornwall.
This picture postcard village has strong connection to King Arthur and the round table.
Rumoured to be the birthplace of King Arthur, Tintagel is a popular attraction.
Not far from the main village is Merlin’s Cave which is set underneath the castle which is worth exploring when the tide is low.
Whether you’re a Merlin aficionado or not Tintagel is worth a visit just for the exceptional views from this beautiful part of the UK coastline.
Cottage Holidays have plenty of good quality self-catering accommodation in the area.
The King Edward Mine Museum is a commended family attraction.
Mining was once a major part of Cornwall’s Industry.
English Heritage has given the museum in Camborne its seal of approval as an important UK visitor attraction, and the museum boasts several awards for authenticity.
The museum was a working tin mine since the 1800’s and has remained unaltered for over a century to give tourists a real taste of Edwardian tin mining.
Lovers of art deco make Jubilee Pool in Penzance a must do on their Cornish holiday.
Built for George V’s Jubilee in 1935 the pool is now the UK’s largest remaining seawater lido.
The pool houses a smaller children’s area which makes this attraction suitable for a family trip to the seaside – the lido boasts some impressive views of St.Michael’s Mount and the neighboring Newlyn.
An historic Cornwall holiday will keep everyone in your party happy – enjoying the unchanging scenery and the many historical sites in the county is a pastime enjoyed by many.
There’s a great mix of attractions to keep avid amblers active and relaxing beach lovers content.
Top 10 Things To Do In Cornwall, UK
Cornwall is famous the world over as the home of pasties and the cream tea, but this green and magical county has heaps more to offer.
From wonderful hiking, to great cultural events and the chance for true adventure – you’ll have plenty to keep you happy on a holiday to Cornwall.
Take a look at this guide to 10 of our favorite things to do there and you’ll discover Cornwall beyond the clichés.
Hiking in Cornwall
The Southwest Coast path is one of the true gems of Cornwall and no visit to the county would be complete without exploring some of it.
For striking views and wonderful rolling landscape we suggest tackling the stretch between St Just and Penzance.
When you’ve finished Penzance is a lovely town to take a look around and you won’t be short of decent cafes to choose from, where you can enjoy some well-earned refreshments after you walk.
When it comes to biking in Cornwall we can’t get enough of the Bissoe trail.
This trail runs for a gentle 11 miles, all the way from the south coast town of Devoran to the north coast town of Portreath.
Where else can you boast that you have cycled from one side of England to the other, without having broken a sweat?!
There’s a great café at the Portreath end and lots to see en route, including some fascinating relics from Cornwall’s mining past.
Surfing in Cornwall
There are heaps of great spots to head to if you fancy having a go at surfing in Cornwall but we reckon the friendliest and most accessible by far is Gwithian, near Hayle.
There’s a hire shop above the beach and plenty of waves for everyone – so, let the good times roll.
The celebrity chef, Rick Stein, has set up just about every type of eating establishment you could imagine in Padstow (on the lovely Camel Estuary).
Our advice is to ignore them all except for his wonderful Seafood Restaurant – this isn’t because they’re bad by any stretch of the imagination – but because his Seafood Restaurant is just so good.
We say you shouldn’t leave Cornwall without having visited!
The winter seaside lunch is a winner– you won’t taste fresher seafood anywhere.
If you enjoy seeing wonderful wildlife while you’re out exploring we recommend a visit to Stithians Reservoir.
Its home and stop off point to countless native birds, as well as some rarities such as the Glossy Ibis, Ballions Crake and the Pied-billed Grebe – a treat to see.
Due to its warm climate Cornwall is host to a whole number of fantastic, well-established gardens, particularly on the south coast.
One of our very favorites is the Lost Gardens of Heligan, near St Austell, which was lovingly restored 22 years ago after being discovered in a state of deep-overgrowth and disrepair.
Today the gardens are thriving and a visit there will lead you on a spellbinding journey… take our word for it.
There are many surprises at the Lost Garden of Heligan!
Get to grips with Cornwall’s mining heritage with a visit to Poldark Mine.
The perfectly preserved mine site is the best example of a complete underground tin mine in the country– plus you can even take a tour with one of the old miners and ask all the questions you can possibly think up.
Cornwall is lucky to have its very own Tate Gallery in St Ives, but also not to be missed is the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.
It’s a tiny, intimate gallery and museum that will leave you with the feeling that you have discovered something very special.
If you’re keen on theater pay a visit to the Tolmen Centre in the magical village of Constantine.
This tiny community-run Arts space hosts a varied and exciting program of events throughout the year.
Catch some traditional Cornish dancing, or a show by The Old Vic: New Voices, or just stop by at their brilliant café.
And if you are looking for a real adventure experience in Cornwall, head to Bude where you can try out Zorbing- in other words zooming down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball.
This is so much fun and it has to be experienced to be believed!
We hope this has given you some food for thought about the range of activities available in Cornwall.
We’ve had heaps of fun finding out about all these things – we hope you will too.