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10 Great beaches in North Cornwall

beaches in north cornwall

There are some amazing beaches in North Cornwall, making it one of our favourite places in the country. This post gives suggestions of some of the beaches you can visit in the area, in no particular order. Just dont forget your bucket and spade and surfboard!

Some of the best beaches in North Cornwall

North Cornwall’s coastline boasts a breathtaking tapestry of beaches, each offering a unique blend of golden sands, dramatic cliffs, and turquoise waters. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer seeking challenging waves, a family yearning for safe paddling waters, or a beachcomber searching for hidden coves, North Cornwall has a beach to captivate you. This post delves into some of the region’s most cherished stretches of sand, offering a glimpse of the aquatic adventures and breathtaking beauty that await you along this captivating coastline.

Fistral Beach: The Legendary Surfing Paradise of Cornwall

fistula beach

Fistral Beach isn’t just any beach; it’s a haven for surfers and beach lovers alike, widely regarded as the “Home of British Surfing.” Rolling Atlantic swells converge on this north-facing beach, creating powerful, consistent waves perfect for all skill levels. Spring and summer offer gentler swells, ideal for beginners learning the ropes with a qualified instructor.Numerous surf schools line the golden sands, providing lessons, board rentals, and expert guidance to get you riding those waves in no time.

Experienced surfers can tackle the more challenging winter swells, renowned for their power and consistency. Fistral Beach caters to all styles, with areas like “North Fistral” known for its long, peeling rides and “South Fistral” offering punchier waves for maneuvers. Beyond the thrill of riding a wave, Fistral Beach boasts a vibrant atmosphere. Watch local surfers shred the waves, or soak up the sun on the golden sands. Grab a bite at a beachfront cafe and fuel up between sessions, or browse the surf shops for the latest gear and apparel. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a curious first-timer,Fistral Beach offers an unforgettable experience. It’s the perfect place to catch a wave, embrace the Cornish surf culture,and create memories that will last a lifetime.


The “Cornwall Beach and Cove Guide: North Coast” offers a comprehensive guide to the stunning beaches and hidden coves of North Cornwall. Featuring detailed descriptions, beautiful photography, and practical information, this book is a must-have for visitors and locals looking to explore the area’s breathtaking coastal scenery.

Buy Now

cornwall beach guide

Watergate Bay: A Picturesque Haven for Beachside Bliss

watergate bay

Nestled between towering cliffs, Watergate Bay offers a captivating blend of golden sands, dramatic scenery, and a relaxed atmosphere. Unlike Fistral’s focus on surfing, Watergate caters to a wider range of beach activities, making it a perfect choice for families and sunbathers.

The sheltered bay boasts calm, turquoise waters ideal for safe paddling and swimming. Let the kids build sandcastles on the expansive beach, or take a dip in the refreshing waves while soaking up the panoramic views. Keen surfers can still find their fix at the northern end of the beach, where consistent swells offer opportunities to catch a wave.

Watergate Bay isn’t just about lounging on the sand. Explore the dramatic cliffs flanking the beach, offering stunning vistas and a glimpse into the region’s rich geology. For the adventurous, try your hand at coasteering, a thrilling activity that combines cliff jumping, swimming, and scrambling along the rocky coastline.

After a day of beachside fun, grab a bite to eat at one of the beachfront cafes or restaurants, offering delicious fare with a view. With its sheltered waters, stunning scenery, and diverse beach activities, Watergate Bay promises a relaxing and unforgettable escape for all ages.

Treyarnon Bay: A Secluded Paradise for Beachcombers and Nature Lovers

trearnyon bay

Tucked away along the rugged North Cornwall coastline lies Treyarnon Bay, a hidden gem renowned for its pristine beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Unlike the larger, more bustling beaches, Treyarnon offers a secluded escape for those seeking a connection with nature and a chance to truly unwind.

Imagine sinking your toes into the soft, golden sand and gazing out at the turquoise waters lapping against the shore. The sheltered bay creates calm, crystal-clear waters, perfect for a refreshing dip or a spot of snorkeling. Keen beachcombers will delight in exploring the rock pools teeming with marine life exposed at low tide. Discover curious crabs, colorful starfish, and a variety of fascinating sea creatures hiding amongst the seaweed.

Beyond the water’s edge, explore the dramatic cliffs that frame the bay. Hiking trails offer breathtaking views of the coastline, with opportunities to spot nesting seabirds or even playful seals basking on the rocks. For a touch of history,visit the remnants of an old shipwreck nestled amongst the dunes, a silent reminder of the bay’s maritime past.

Trevanyon Bay’s remote location translates to a lack of amenities, so pack a picnic and refreshments for a self-sufficient day trip. With its serene setting, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for exploration, Treyarnon Bay offers a captivating escape for those seeking a peaceful haven amidst the beauty of North Cornwall’s coastline.

Polzeath: A Beach Playground with Something for Everyone

polzeath

Polzeath isn’t just a beach; it’s a vibrant hub of activity nestled within a horseshoe bay of golden sand. This north Cornish gem caters to a diverse range of beachgoers, offering everything from world-class surfing to family-friendly fun and watersport adventures.

Surfers flock to Polzeath for its consistent swells and varied breaks. Experienced riders can tackle the challenging waves at “The Point,” while beginners can find gentler options at “The Beach” or refine their skills with a qualified instructor.The lively atmosphere pulsates with the energy of the surf scene, making it a great spot to watch skilled surfers carve through the waves.

For families, Polzeath provides a haven of safe fun. The sheltered bay boasts calm, turquoise waters ideal for paddling,swimming, and building sandcastles with the little ones. Numerous vendors line the beach offering kayak and paddleboard rentals, allowing visitors to explore the coastline from a different perspective.

Beyond the water, Polzeath offers a range of activities. Take a scenic horse ride along the cliffs for breathtaking views, or explore the network of charming shops and cafes lining the beachside promenade. For a touch of history, visit the remains of an old lifeguard lookout station, a reminder of Polzeath’s rich maritime past.

Polzeath isn’t just about the beach itself. The surrounding area offers opportunities for exploration; hike the dramatic cliffs flanking the bay or visit the nearby village of Polzeath, known for its charming pubs and restaurants. With its diverse activities, sheltered waters, and vibrant atmosphere, Polzeath guarantees an unforgettable beach experience for all ages.

Porthcothan Bay: A Picturesque Cove with Hidden Depths

porthcothan bay

Porthcothan Bay isn’t just another beach; it’s a captivating cove nestled between rugged headlands, offering a delightful blend of golden sands, turquoise waters, and hidden coves for exploration. This north-westerly facing beach boasts something for everyone, from families seeking a safe haven to adventurous explorers.

Imagine sinking your toes into the soft sand and gazing out at the turquoise water lapping against the shore. The cove provides calm, sheltered waters ideal for safe paddling and swimming, perfect for families with young children. Keen snorkelers can explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful fish and fascinating rock formations.

For a touch of adventure, explore the hidden coves flanking Porthcothan Bay at low tide. Discover secret rock pools teeming with marine life, or climb the dramatic cliffs for breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline. Experienced kayakers can venture beyond the bay and explore the rugged headlands and hidden caves along the North Cornwall coast.

Beyond the water’s edge, explore the rolling green hills that frame the beach, offering a network of scenic walking trails.Pack a picnic and find a secluded spot amongst the dunes for a peaceful lunch break surrounded by nature. With its sheltered cove, diverse activities, and stunning scenery, Porthcothan Bay offers a charming escape for all ages in North Cornwall.

Constantine Bay: A Surfer’s Paradise with a Rugged Charm

constantine bay

Constantine Bay isn’t your average beach; it’s a haven for surfers and nature lovers alike, renowned for its dramatic cliffs,powerful waves, and a relaxed atmosphere. This north Cornish gem offers a captivating blend of thrilling water sports,rugged beauty, and a touch of hidden history.

Imagine the wind whipping through your hair as you gaze out at the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The wide, sandy beach slopes gently towards the water, perfect for families building sandcastles or sunbathers soaking up the rays.However, the real magic unfolds beyond the shoreline.

Constantine Bay boasts some of the most consistent waves in North Cornwall, attracting surfers of all levels. “The Tubes” at the northern end offers challenging barrels for experienced riders, while “Longships” provides gentler swells perfect for beginners taking their first steps on a surfboard. Numerous surf schools line the beach, offering lessons and board rentals for those eager to catch a wave.

Beyond the water, explore the dramatic cliffs flanking the beach. The jagged rock formations, sculpted by millennia of wind and waves, offer stunning views of the coastline and a glimpse into the region’s fascinating geology. Keen walkers can embark on the South West Coast Path, a scenic trail that winds its way along the cliffs, offering breathtaking panoramas and opportunities to spot nesting seabirds.

Constantine Bay offers a captivating escape for all ages. With its consistent waves, breathtaking views, and a touch of hidden history, it’s the perfect place to experience the raw beauty and vibrant energy of the North Cornwall coastline.

Bedruthan Steps: A Mythical Landscape Where Beach Meets Legend

path to bedruthan steps

Bedruthan Steps isn’t just a beach; it’s a dramatic stretch of coastline sculpted by nature and steeped in captivating myths. This North Cornwall gem boasts a unique blend of towering rock formations, hidden coves, and golden sands, offering a playground for explorers and a glimpse into a world of folklore.

Imagine descending the very steps – yes, there are actually steps! – that lead down to the beach and being greeted by a breathtaking vista. Jagged rock stacks, known as “sea stacks” or “islands,” rise majestically from the turquoise waters. Local legend tells the tale of a giant named Bedruthan who used these very stacks as stepping stones across the bay, adding a touch of whimsy to the already captivating landscape.

The beach itself is a treasure trove for curious minds. At low tide, the receding water reveals a network of hidden coves and rock pools teeming with marine life. Curious crabs scuttle across the exposed rocks, while tiny fish dart amongst the seaweed. It’s a haven for beachcombers, with smooth pebbles and an occasional shard of colorful sea glass waiting to be discovered.

Beyond the beauty and folklore, Bedruthan Steps offers a range of activities. Keen walkers can embark on the South West Coast Path, taking in the dramatic coastline and enjoying panoramic views. Photographers will find endless opportunities to capture the unique rock formations bathed in golden light, while artists might find inspiration in the raw beauty of the landscape.

For a touch of adventure, try your hand at coasteering. This thrilling activity involves navigating the coastline by swimming, scrambling, and jumping along the rocks, offering a unique perspective of Bedruthan Steps. Remember to check weather conditions and choose a reputable coasteering company for safety.

Bedruthan Steps isn’t just a beach; it’s a place to explore, imagine, and connect with nature. With its dramatic scenery, captivating myths, and diverse activities, it offers an unforgettable experience for families, adventurers, and history buffs alike.

It is looked after by the National Trust. Find out about other great National Trust places in Cornwall.

Harlyn Bay: A Surfer’s Haven with Family Fun

harlyn bay

Harlyn Bay isn’t just another beach; it’s a north-facing surfer’s paradise with a delightful twist – hidden coves perfect for family fun. This captivating stretch of coastline offers consistent waves for thrill-seekers, sheltered areas for safe paddling, and a relaxed atmosphere ideal for creating lasting memories.

Imagine the invigorating sea breeze whipping through your hair as you gaze out at the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.Golden sands stretch along the shoreline, inviting sunbathers to relax and soak up the Cornish sunshine. Gentle waves lap at the shore, perfect for young children to build sandcastles and paddle in the shallows.

But Harlyn Bay caters to more than just sunbathing. Experienced surfers flock here for the consistent north-facing swells that offer a challenge for all skill levels. “The Point” at the northern end is renowned for its powerful waves and barreling breaks, while “Mother Ivey’s” provides gentler swells perfect for beginners or longboarders. Numerous surf schools line the beach, offering lessons and board rentals to get you riding those waves in no time.

Beyond the main beach, explore the hidden coves flanking Harlyn Bay at low tide. Discover secret rock pools teeming with marine life, or climb the dramatic cliffs for breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline. Keen kayakers can venture beyond the bay and explore the rugged headlands and secluded caves along the North Cornwall coast.

For a change of pace, explore the rolling sand dunes that border the beach. Home to a unique ecosystem, these dunes offer opportunities for wildlife spotting and a chance to unwind amidst the natural beauty of North Cornwall. With its diverse activities, sheltered coves, and reliable waves, Harlyn Bay caters to families, adventurers, and surfers alike, promising an unforgettable beach experience.

Trebarwith Strand: A Secluded Paradise for Beachcombers and Nature Enthusiasts

trebarwith strand

Trebarwith Strand isn’t your typical beach; it’s a hidden gem tucked away on North Cornwall’s rugged coastline. This secluded paradise offers a captivating blend of golden sands, dramatic cliffs, and a sense of tranquility perfect for those seeking an escape from the crowds.

Imagine the feeling of soft sand between your toes as you gaze out at the vast expanse of the turquoise ocean. The beach stretches out in a gentle curve, framed by towering cliffs that provide a sense of seclusion and grandeur. Unlike the more populated beaches, Trebarwith Strand offers a peaceful haven for relaxation and connection with nature.

Trebarwith Strand is a paradise for beachcombers. At low tide, the receding water reveals a treasure trove of hidden coves and rock pools teeming with marine life. Keen explorers can discover an abundance of colorful shells, smooth pebbles,and perhaps even a piece of rare sea glass. Be amazed by the resilience of life clinging to the rocks – curious crabs scuttle sideways, while starfish cling defiantly to the wet surfaces.

For the adventurous, the dramatic cliffs flanking Trebarwith Strand offer a chance to explore. Hike along the South West Coast Path and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline. Spot playful dolphins frolicking in the waves or majestic seabirds soaring on the wind currents. Keep an eye out for hidden coves accessible only by foot,offering a sense of true remoteness.

Trebarwith Strand isn’t just about the beach; it’s a place to unwind, explore, and appreciate the raw beauty of North Cornwall. Pack a picnic and find a secluded spot amidst the dunes for a peaceful lunch break surrounded by nature. With its tranquil atmosphere, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for exploration, Trebarwith Strand offers a captivating escape for those seeking a unique and unforgettable beach experience.

Summerleaze Beach: Bude’s Bustling Heart with Timeless Charm

summerleaze beach

Summerleaze Beach isn’t just a stretch of sand; it’s the beating heart of Bude, a vibrant beach offering something for everyone. This classic Cornish beach boasts golden sands, turquoise waters, and a delightful blend of family-friendly fun,watersport adventures, and historical charm.

Imagine sinking your toes into the soft sand and gazing out at the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The gentle waves lap at the shore, creating a safe haven for young children to paddle and build sandcastles. Families will appreciate the abundance of amenities lining the beach, from cafes serving delicious refreshments to beach shops offering everything you need for a fun day in the sun.

Beyond relaxation, Summerleaze Beach offers a range of activities for the adventurous soul. Kayak rentals are readily available, allowing you to explore the coastline from a different perspective. Surfing enthusiasts can catch gentle waves or take lessons with a qualified instructor at the nearby surf school. For a unique experience, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, offering a calming way to explore the bay and soak up the scenery.

A dip in the Bude Sea Pool, a historical landmark built in the Victorian era, is a must-do. This tidal pool offers safe,sheltered swimming amidst the invigorating ocean waters. After your swim, explore the charming canal that separates Summerleaze Beach from Breakwater Beach, a great spot for a leisurely stroll or a spot of crabbing.

History buffs will appreciate the role Summerleaze Beach played in Bude’s development. The nearby Heritage Centre offers a glimpse into the town’s fascinating past, while the distinctive black and white beach huts lining the shore add a touch of timeless charm.

Summerleaze Beach caters to all ages and interests. With its safe waters, family-friendly amenities, and diverse activities,it’s the perfect place to relax, explore, and create lasting memories in the heart of Bude.

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