Quite possibly the UK’s favourite timeshare destination, Cornwall’s beautiful coastline can hold its own compared with France’s best beaches.
England’s wild, southerly tip is blessed with an abundance of long wide beaches and hidden little gems. Now, eight of Cornwall’s beaches have been awarded the respected and internationally renowned Blue Flag status as a result of their great facilities and cleanliness – so if flying abroad isn’t appealing this summer, why not drive down and check them out for yourself?
In no particular order, here are the ‘best of the southwest’:
Porthminster beach, St Ives
This beach has long been a family favourite because of its safe swimming and choice of children’s activities along the long crescent of golden sand – along with exceptional views. See the infamous Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration in Virginia Woolf’s novel, just sit back and relax in the sun with a bucket and spade, or get your swing ready for a game of mini golf with the kids.
Porthtowan beach, Porthtowan
This is a truly beautiful beach set within the rugged cliffs and rolling sand dunes in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s hugely popular among surfers. At low tide there are some beautiful walks around the coastline to equally stunning Chapel Porth beach, with a wide stretch of sand perfect for family games of cricket.
Porthmeor beach, St Ives
This beach is definitely for everyone, with plenty of space for all the family to lounge about, coupled with an excellent choice of adrenaline filled water sports if you’d rather be in the sea than flat out on the sun lounger! Did you know St Ives is an interesting must-visit as the natural light is supposedly brighter than anywhere else in the country?
Polzeath beach, Polzeath
The consistent wave breaks make this beach another surf favourite for the pro crowd and beginners alike. There are lots of surf schools to help you get out there on the water and if you’re lucky you’ll spot the dolphins and seals, which are known to swim alongside surfers.
Widemouth Bay Beach, Bude
Take the kids to play in the rock pools that are dotted along this long beautiful beach at low tide. Bring some nets and make your own mini aquariums, or go for dips in the larger pools. To get here, you can walk along the pretty South West coast path to take in the views. Again, another great spot for surfers.
Gyllygnvase beach, Falmouth
Impossible to spell, lovely to visit! This one’s definitely another pick for all the family due to Gyllygnvase beach’s fantastic facilities making it a year round attraction. This beach boasts a bouncy castle for the kids, an array of water sports and beach volleyball for a little family competition! When you’re all knackered, head to the contemporary beach café for some refuelling and take in the gorgeous views.
Trevone beach, near Padstow
Celebrity chef Rick Stein made Padstow famous but it already had a wonderful beach! This area is picturesque with amazing rocky ledges and lots of wonderful coves making this beach perfect for making sandcastles and going for swims – the landscape is stunning. Decamp here for the day, as you’ll find everything you need including toilets, a beach shop and café.
Carhis Bay beach, near St Ives
Another good base for families for a day, especially those with young children, Carhis Bay lies just one mile from St Ives and equally has very little surf – making it safe and ideal for a bit of paddling with the little ones! Take a walk along the mile long beach to the RSPB bird sanctuary at low tide, which you’ll find at Porth Kidney sands.