After the spring lockdown, Cornwall’s beaches are back: be inspired by our pick of the best for work, rest and play
PUBLISHED: 14:08 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:24 03 July 2020
Get far from the madding crowd on Cornwall’s beaches with our pick of secret spots
Often tucked away in the hidden coves and inlets which would once only have been populated by smugglers and the more adventurous fishermen, many of Cornwall’s quieter more secluded beaches have remain unchanged from those days. This often means no car parks, shops, cafes or even lifeguards. If you want to discover one of our secret beaches, be ready for long walks, scrambles down sand dunes or steep cliff steps and beware beaches that can get cut off or disappear at high tide. Remember: they are usually secret for a reason.
Godrevy is accessible from the more popular Gwithian Beach during low tide, or from its own path above. It is a small beach dominated by the lighthouse which inspired Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. It’s National Trust owned and there is a car park and café famous for its hot chocolate. Be wary of getting cut off at high tides.
Lying at the bottom of a sheltered wooded valley near the much busier beach of Porthcurno, the National Trust has preserved this spot much as it was 100 years ago. Definitely worth the effort.
Rock is home to stunning beaches and it’s out of the way geography (ferry across from Padstow aside) means they are often quiet, especially the further you walk. Porthilly is a mile-long sandy beach with dunes sitting across the Camel Estuary from Padstow. Jump on the foot passenger ferry that runs from Padstow to Rock daily. There’s also a water taxi to take people after dusk for a romantic sunset stroll.
Sennen Cove is the most westerly spot in the country. Combining white sands, turquoise seas and a fishing harbour makes it one of our favourite beaches. Author Fern Britton loves it so much she named one of the characters in a book after it. It makes it on to the list of our secret beaches due to the unofficial naturist beach at far its end.
Portheras Cove is a hidden treasure that stays hidden due to the 20-minute walk from Pendeen lighthouse. There are no facilities here but the thrill of having the beach to yourself makes the walk more than worthwhile. The perfect space to stop for a minute and take a breath.
Snuggled under towering cliffs near Lizard Point, Kynance Cove has the kind of sparkling turquoise water pristine white sand combined with offshore stacks and islands to make it the perfect beach. There’s also numerous interconnected caves to explore when you get bored of the view.
Blink and you’ll miss this tiny cove at the southern-most point of Porthleven Sands. Park at Church Cove and leave the beach accessories behind and enjoy the 30-minute walk to the cove.
Sitting below St Levan this south-facing cove is sheltered by cliffs and difficult to access (one path is currently closed).
Whitsand Bay is tucked away in Cornwall’s forgotten corner where you will find four uninterrupted miles of golden beach. It is one of the longest in the South West and is one of Cornwall’s untouched gems.
Readymoney Cove near the mouth of the River Fowey looks out over the Fowey estuary. This pretty sheltered sandy beach largely disappears at high tide. The sand is always fresh and untouched.
Nicknamed Polly Joke by locals, this hidden cove has the added attraction of a ten-minute walk through poppy fields. It’s a steep walk down to the cove, but the beach is cut into high cliffsides and although narrow, there’s a great walk to be had.