Best Cornwall Beaches for Surf, Shops & Snaps

Best Cornwall Beaches for Surf, Shops & Snaps

Most people don’t seem to realise that many of the best Cornwall beaches totally rival the Mediterranean. Unfortunately we just can’t guarantee the same hot weather! What the bottom of the west country can guarantee though is miles and miles of often empty, unspoilt coast line. One of the blissful rewards for being so isolated from the rest of the country. It takes me 6 hours to get home from London, door to door.


PORTHTOWAN | Cornwall’s north coast is where to go if you want to surf. I don’t¬†make any claim to know anything about the best spots (this isn’t a surf blog post). However I do know these best Cornwall beaches have a phenomenal reputation. Porthtowan also has a great beach bar ūüėČ Check out¬†Blue for sunset drinks.

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MAWGAN PORTH | my family live near Redruth, an historically prosperous town. It boomed¬†in Cornwall’s¬†tin mining days (but unfortunately hasn’t faired too well). We don’t tend to drive the 45 minutes to this great beach at Mawgan Porth, north of famous Newquay. However this summer we had an awesome day body boarding in the waves here.

Also check out: for my sister’s 30th we booked a spa day at The Scarlet Hotel, where you can enjoy bubbles in ocean-facing hot tubs overlooking Mawgan Porth beach.

GWITHIAN¬†| surf or no surf, this never-ending beach is top of the pops for my family. It helps that (in parts) dogs are welcome all year round. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful, with rugged sand dunes framing the skyline, crashing waves and miles of empty beach. Godrevy Lighthouse guards the headline to your right, facing out to sea.

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GYLLYNGVASE | Falmouth is one of the prettiest and busiest little towns in Cornwall. It’s got tonnes to offer: pasty shops, pubs, art galleries, a working harbour and popular restaurants. It also boasts lovely Gyllyngvase, one of the best Cornwall beaches.

Also check out: Walk from Gyllyngvase all the way around to the small coves of Swanpool and Maenporth.

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ST. IVES | the quintessential Cornish town, beautiful St. Ives draws the lion’s share of crowds and tourist money. As such, sometimes it can feel far too busy with throngs of people clogging the cobbled lanes. However if you like a beach with facilities on your doorstep, St. Ives offers a choice of three: small and central Porth Gwidden (first pic), sweeping Porthminster and surf spot Porthmeor (second pic). Make that four if you count the patch of sand in the harbour itself.

Also check out: Continue walking away from St. Ives past Porthminster and you will be rewarded with gorgeous Carbis Bay (see my other post on cafes in Cornwall).

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PORTHLEVEN | I LOVE the harbour town of Porthleven, which bizarrely I feel I only really discovered this summer. We enjoyed a perfect (hot) sunny walk over the fields behind Loe Bar before descending to the beach and continuing in to the centre for lunch.

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SENNEN COVE¬†| this summer a visit to the expansive, wild beach at Sennen was also a first for me. It wasn’t the best of days in terms of weather, but this added to the sense of drama. We walked the half an hour cliff path¬†to Lands End, which I’d highly recommend. Just give the tacky visitor centre a miss!

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PERRANOETHNOE | is yet another fantastic example of the best Cornwall beaches. It has two excellent cafes and clean, golden sand. This spot is on the south coast so you won’t get the pounding surf of the north coast. It’s also the perfect spot to start a walk around to iconic St. Michael’s Mount¬†in Penzance.

PORTHCURNO | this one is a real corker. Come rain or shine, it seems it’s hard for Porthcurno not to look good. The deep cove surrounded by crystal clear¬†water is probably best known for its proximity to the Minack Theatre – Cornwall’s outdoor theatre built in to the cliff¬†face.

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KYNANCE COVE¬†| I have a small obsession with Kynance, having visited about ten years ago when my parents first moved to Cornwall. For whatever reason, we haven’t been since but I know it’s beautiful. In my memory¬†it’s one of the best Cornwall beaches. Hopefully one day we’ll make it back so I can see for sure…..

AND KNOW THIS: The south coast of Cornwall is often dubbed the ‘Cornish Riviera’ because it is more sheltered and so beautiful. You’ll even see lots of palm trees growing in places like Falmouth!


One Response

  1. […] neighbours to the north. You can make out St. Ives to the south. I’ve featured this beach before as it’s probably my […]

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