Porthcothan Bay near to Kerdene St Merryn Holiday Park

Cornwall is famous for its beautiful beaches and bays.

With world renowned surfing beaches, quiet family spots, sun traps and sheltered bays, and plenty of dog walking beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice… Check out the list below to see what we and our Facebook followers think are some of the best beaches in Cornwall.


  • Excellent water quality – Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014
  • Attracts surfers due to it’s long slow breaking consistent waves
  • Occasional dolphins and seals ride the swell alongside you
  • Easily accessible village street just behind with cafes, bars and restaurants, shops, and surf hire
  • Seasonal dog ban from Easter Sunday to 30th September

Nearest town: Wadebridge

Photo credit: Scott Hughes

Kynance Cove

  • Great for Dolphin spotting
  • One of the most painted and photographed coves in Cornwall
  • Look out for Ann’s Pasties, one of the most renowned pasty shops in the county
  • Food and drink at the beach cafe
  • Toilet facilities
  • No dogs during summer months
  • Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Nearest town: Helston

Gylly beach, Falmouth,

Gyllyngvase Beach

  • Sandy beach
  • Great for crabbing
  • Rock pools
  • Beach volleyball
  • Kayaking
  • Lifeguarded in summer
  • Award winning Gylly Beach Cafe

Nearest town: Falmouth

Carbis Bay

  • Excellent water quality – Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014
  • One of Cornwall’s five award-winning Blue Flag 2013 beaches
  • Rarely has surf so perfect for swimming
  • Great for families with toddlers
  • Seasonal dog bad from the first Sunday before Easter until 30th September (morning dog walks between 5-8am still allowed)

Nearest town: St Ives

Photo credit: Andrea Vickers


Crantock Beach

  • Voted Beast British Beach 2013
  • Sandy beach
  • Good surf for all abilities
  • Close to village facilities, including a pub and a shop
  • Lifeguarded from mid-May to end of September
  • Dogs allowed all year round

Nearest town: Newquay

Photo credit: Lisa Johnston

Gwithian Beach, Cornwall

Gwithian Beach

  • Huge sandy beach
  • Great for surfing and kite surfing
  • Food and drink facilities at Sunset Surf Cafe
  • Parking available
  • Lifeguarded during summer
  • Seasonal dog ban from Easter day to 1st October
  • Great beach to take the family

Nearest town: Hayle

Perranporth Beach

  • Dogs welcome all year round
  • Beach stretches for three miles when tide is out
  • Lifeguarded in summer
  • Great for surfing, snorkeling and sailing
  • Food and drink facilities at the Watering Hole (a pub right on the beach!)

Nearest town: Perranporth

Photo credit: Sharon Turton

Mawgan Porth

  • Sandy beach
  • Great for families and sand castle building
  • Rock pools and caves to explore
  • Good surf and local surf school
  • Lifeguarded between April and September
  • Dog friendly

Nearest town: Newquay

Photo credit: Lisa Palmer Duddridge

Porthkidney Beach in Cornwall

PorthKidney Beach

  • Dogs allowed all year round
  • Look out for dolphins
  • Lifeguarded in summer
  • Beautiful and secluded

Nearest town: St Ives

Holywell Bay Beach

  • Popular with surfers and bodyboarders
  • Rock pools and shallow streams at low tide – great for kids
  • Sand dunes
  • Cafes and toilets from May to September
  • Lifeguards from May to September
  • Open to dogs on leads all year

Nearest town: Holywell Bay Village, 6 miles west of Newquay

Photo credit: Jodie Street

Watergate Bay

  • Great for surf lessons and water sports at the Extreme Academy
  • Shop, cafe and toilets available
  • Lifeguarded in summer
  • Dogs allowed
  • Paid car parking available
  • Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant

Nearest town: Newquay

Photo credit: Sue Kingston

Daymer beach, Cornwall

Daymer Beach

  • Great for a family day out
  • Large car park
  • Toilet facilities
  • Little beach shop
  • Gentle sloping beach making it safe for swimming
  • Dogs allowed
  • There is a small flight of steps to the beach

Nearest town: Padstow

Chapel Porth Beach, Cornwall

Chapel Porth Beach

  • Great for surfing and spectating
  • No dogs allowed in summer season
  • Lifeguarded in summer
  • National Trust cafe and toilets
  • If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make sure you try the legendary ‘hedgehog’ ice creams – Cornish ice cream covered in clotted cream and sprinkled with a topping of your choice
  • At low tide the beach stretches all the way from St Agnes head to Porthtowan beach
  • Watch out for the tide – when it comes in you can get cut off

Nearest town: St Agnes

St Ives Harbour Beach

  • Part harbour, part beach – always plenty going on
  • Sand even at high tide
  • Cafes, restaurants and shops
  • Amusement arcade close by
  • No lifeguards
  • Seasonal dog ban from Easter day to 1st September

Nearest town: St Ives

Photo credit: Carla Thompson

Trebarwith Strand Beach

  • Sandy beach popular with surfers and family
  • Dog friendly all year round
  • Excellent water quality – Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014
  • Toilets, beach shop, and cafe
  • Watch out for high tide when the beach disappears
  • Be aware that access requires a sloping walk and then going over the rocks

Nearest town: Tintagel

Photo credit: Michelle Harvey