The Stein Guide: Our favourite Cornish beaches
Cornwall has over 300 beaches, from long sandy bays to secluded coves, with romantic names like Prussia and Lamorna, too many to list in full, so we’ve selected just a few of our personal favourites spread around the Cornish coast here:
St Merryn’s Seven Bays
The Seven Bays are a collection of sandy beaches, all within walking distance of each other near the village of St Merryn (home of our pub, The Cornish Arms), just three miles from Padstow. The bays start with Porthcothan, nearest to Newquay, then Treyarnon, Constantine, and Booby’s, around Trevose Head to Mother Ivey’s, Harlyn finishing with Trevone Bay, closest to Padstow. All are dog friendly year round except for Trevone which has a seasonal ban from Easter to the beginning of October.
Parking is limited here, but on the plus side, it means you’re more likely to have the beach all to yourselves. Walk down the valley, accessible only at low tide. With a bit of a climb down from the rocks, this gives you beautiful views across to Port Issac. Walk to the northern end of the beach to see waterfall cascading down but keep an eye to ensure you don’t get cut off.
Porth Joke Beach
A favourite of Rick’s PA, Vivienne. Porth Joke Beach is a couple of miles south of Newquay. Either park at Crantock and wander around the Pentire Headland (about a mile) or there’s a small car park at Porth Joke. Visit in May and June to experience stunning fields of poppies, protected by the National Trust.
Unknown to most, Vault Beach is a hidden gem found along from the bigger Gorran Haven Beach, near Mevagissey. Park at Gorran Haven, then stroll down on foot. Tucked away from the busier parts of the area, Vault Beach offers unspoilt views and quiet places to sit and watch the sea. Wild and unserved by facilities, this beach is perfect for collecting some driftwood for a fire and camping out under the stars.
Just off the main road from Helston to Penzance, Praa Sands is a large sandy beach. Close to the car park, with plenty of facilities nearly, it’s ideal for families. You’ll be surprised at how white the sand is. The swell further out makes it popular with surfers, but it’s calm enough at the shore to splash around too. The Sandbar is a lovely open bar, perfect for dinner looking out to sea.
Top tip: Many of Cornwall’s beautiful beaches are only accessible at low tide, so be sure to check tide times before venturing out for an adventure.
Find more places to explore here.