When you think of Cornwall beaches, the likes of fine sand, sought-after surf and incredible views might pop into your head. And while that’s all very true, besides the soft-whip ice cream and as-big-as-your-head pasties, there’s also secret coves, hidden sea pools and off-the-beaten-track spots waiting to be uncovered across our dashing coastline. Luckily, here at Trevornick, we’re perfectly situated within easy reach of some of the best and most beautiful beaches Cornwall has to offer – we’re talking under 20 minutes by car to the very furthest!
Whether it’s a gentle day on the sands spent with family, spectating world-class surfers, or a nature-spotting expedition adventure with the dog in tow, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the best of the best within arms reach. So, without further ado, let’s get to know them!
On Our Doorstep
- Holywell Bay, Perran Sands & Perranporth
So close to our campsite we’ve practically already got our toes in the sand, Holywell Bay has to be the first on the list! Holywell has it all in spades, history, legend, and bounds of breathtaking scenery so spectacular it’s appeared in Bond movies, Poldark, and the Game of Thrones franchise, to name a few!
Following the coast path a little south from here (this can be walked or alternatively is a short drive away) you’ll find tropical-feeling Perran Sands and Perranporth. At low tide, these two connect to create one huge curve of golden sand stretching approximately 3 miles. At these beaches, it’s common to spot horse riders enjoying a trek through the shallows, surfers riding ocean swells and painters capturing the scene. Life here revolves around the beach, where you’ll find the UK’s only true ‘bar on the beach’ and folk in the water all year long.
- Polly Joke, Crantock, Fistral & Little Fistral
Reachable via a brisk 10 minute stomp along the Coast Path, the beach just north from us is Porth Joke, or Polly Joke as it’s fondly known. A remote little spot tucked inland – see if you can spot sleeping seals in the coves below along the way – and often described as the perfect Cornish beach in miniature, it’s found at the end of a deep valley and has a big character. Without an immediate car park available, this beach tends to be a little quieter than others, but is just as stunning and worth the walk.
Next along the coast is Crantock, this is a pristine white sandy beach with vibrant turquoise water and backed by towering sand dunes, but it also holds one of Cornwall’s most beautiful hidden secrets, The Gannel Estuary. This breathtaking tidal inlet offers a tranquil escape for nature lovers and gentle water sport enthusiasts.
Further along again is the one and only Fistral, a surfing nirvana widely recognised as one of the finest beaches in the UK and regularly attracting visitors from across the globe to marvel in the surf, the views and the sunsets. Sitting at the very north of Fistral is a sweet, isolated, rocky beach that harbours historic remnants of times past at low tide – it might not be a soft sand beach but it is worth visiting!
- Towan, Great Western & Tolcarne
This collection of beaches help make up the stretch of coastline home to Newquay, each picturesque and each with their own unique charm.
Towan Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in Cornwall largely due to the towering private island home aptly named ‘The Island’ that keeps watch over these sands. Flanked by a pretty harbour that could rival those in the mediterranean to the left, and another surfing favourite, Great Western to the right, this golden stretch of sand is a playground for water sports and on sunny days the sea waters dazzle in aquamarine hues.
For adventurous days out on the water, pop to popular Newquay Harbour to take your pick from sea life safaris, thrilling speed boat rides, or fishing day trips. Around the rocky outcrop that houses The Island, is Great Western Beach. Sitting in the heart of Newquay Bay it’s widely recognised as one of the most influential beaches of early surf culture in the UK. A laid-back, somewhat sheltered spot, this beach is backed by sheer cliff faces and has a series of intriguing little coves to explore.
Finally along this little expanse of coast is Tolcarne, a beautiful crescent-shaped bay notorious for its iconic rows of nostalgic beach huts and a unique wave swell coined the ‘Tolcarne Wedge’. Top tip – at low tide, a magnificent expanse of golden sand appears that connects all the neighbouring beaches along this stretch as one.
On The Outskirts
- Lusty Glaze & Porth
Lusty Glaze, Porth and Whipsiderry are the furthest beaches from Trevornick, located on the far side of Newquay and out of town, however, these are not to be overlooked! Still clocking in at a car ride of less than 20 minutes, these spots have their very own allure.
Starting with Lusty Glaze, this privately owned beach is generally open to the public and mostly frequented for the ocean based adventures available here, the rockpools and the scenic views. Please note that Lusty Glaze is also a popular spot for beautiful beach weddings and private events, which does mean some days (typically in peak summer season) it may be closed.
The penultimate beach to shine a light on is Porth, a sparkling blue inlet shouldered by grassy headland on both sides with Porth Island dominating the horizon the north of the beach. Porth is a favourite for those with young families due to the sheltered nature and gentle waters of the beach itself (and the Mermaid Inn a stone’s throw away!), while Porth Island provides a gorgeous walk offering spectacular views and nature-spotting opportunities. A tiny bit north again of Porth is Whipsiderry, a secluded cove which is rarely packed due to the sheer steps that descend down the cliff face!
All the beaches we’ve listed above are family friendly and dog friendly, although if visiting, please ensure to check for any applicable seasonal bans that might be in place before you head off. Please also ensure you check each beach is suitable for you and your family needs in terms of accessibility and facilities. Most beaches are RNLI lifeguarded during peak season, from approximately May-September, however not all have lifeguard cover and months of cover may vary.
Whenever you hope to holiday with us, make sure you check out the various accommodation types we have available!