Ten of the best Cornish beaches to watch the sunset
PUBLISHED: 15:29 30 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:40 05 October 2020
Autumnal sunsets bring together beachgoers to enjoy the end of a day. With their gold, orange, yellows, pinks and purples, sunsets can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Search the words Cornwall and sunset on any internet search engine and chances are the purple and pink washed beaches at Trebarwith Strand will pop up. And for good reason. This beach has the long, low tide with endless wide wet sands that provide stunning reflections which creates a sense of endless colour and light. There’s also Gull Rock offshore which provides a stunning silhouette.
Holywell Bay Beach
The large, open and sandy beach at Holywell Bay offers two top spots for enjoying the sunset: the cliffs enclose the beach while a wide range of sand dunes create a perfect seat for a golden hour picnic. The beach has Atlantic swells that attract sunset surfing and on windy evenings watching the waves break from the safety of the cliffs is hard to beat.
Gwithian and Godrevy Gwithian forms part of the legendary St Ives Bay and is a top spot for photographers keen to capture the summer sunsets with Godrevy lighthouse to ramp up the drama and offer a solitary silhouette. The beaches here – Mexico Beach, Gwithian itself and Godrevy all offer superb spring summer and autumn sunsets, while in the winter the sun has moved to over St Ives itself.
Also known by locals as Penanwel this far westerly beach is dotted with large smooth stones that lead the eye out to the sea. The pebbly beach makes a change to the white sands that are more widely available and seeing the sunset reflected in the wet shiny pebbles on the beach is not to be missed.
Being pretty much as far west as you can get from mainland Britain, its unsurprising that Land’s End is widely consideh as the classic sunset spot. There’s rugged scenery, arches and seastacks, including the easily recognisable arched form of the ‘armoured knight’ rock and Longships lighthouse sits a mile off the coast helping to keep ships off the rocks here since 1875. The ultimate Cornish sunset selfie spot.
Marazion and St Michael’s Mount
A rare opportunity to enjoy a sunset and a sunrise at the right time of year. This wide expanse of beach that makes up Mounts Bay offers a chance to enjoy sunsets over the magical Disney-like castle St Michael’s Mount. You can also head up to the 1920s lido at Penzance if you want to capture a more unusual sunset. There’s plenty beach facing parking on offer, so you can cosy up in the car if the weather is cold.
Perhaps best known for its seal colony and the history of its former owners (sisters Babs and Evelyn Atkins who bought and lived in the island for more than 30 years), The 22-acre island sits about a mile from the mainland and is accessible through boat trips organised but Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Looe’s banjo pier is also a great spot to enjoy the wide sunset skies.
A favourite with surfers, families and dogs, Newquay’s Fistral Beach has it all – including one of the world’s most exceptional sunsets. Enjoy it while taking a stroll on the beach and watch as the sunset surfers take advantage of the golden light. Or you can enjoy it from the decks of the food-laden structure that serves up local beers, fish and chips, pizza and more.
This trio of neighbouring beaches all offer top spots for sunsets all within a few minutes drive of each other. You can take advantage of the viewing spots carved out into the road and take a drive along the heritage road – with a stop off at Hells Mouth for a spot of real drama. Head over to Porthtowan for a spot of top storm watching.
The granite rocks that are dotted across the beach are, according to legend, stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan. Whatever your feelings on folklore, this is undoubtedly a stunning spot to watch the setting sun.
Be aware that access to the beach is difficult, and down a steep narrow set of steps cut into the cliff