Shhhh... Top five secret beaches in Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 10:14 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:18 14 July 2020

Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula. Photo: Getty/David Corsham

Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula. Photo: Getty/David Corsham


Get far from the madding crowd with our pick of Cornwall beaches that can only be reached on foot

St. Anthony head. Photo: GettySt. Anthony head. Photo: Getty

One of the joys of walking the South West Coast Path is stumbling upon a secluded beach and discovering that you’ve got it all to yourself. Cornwall has a wealth of beautiful secret sandy bays and coves. Leave the windbreaker behind as all of which can only be reached on foot.

1. Crackington Haven Circular

Distance: 3.5 miles

Mawgan Porth beach Photo: Getty/Deb DruryMawgan Porth beach Photo: Getty/Deb Drury

This walk takes you from Crackington Haven to the magnificent viewpoint of Cambeak, along the cliff tops and then back down the beautifully wooded Ludon valley to the start point. Children and adults alike will love to explore the hidden beaches known as The Strangles, including Little Strand.

2. Constantine Bay to Mawgan Porth

Distance: 7.7 miles

Lantic Bay beach near Polruan Photo: Getty/Ian WoolLantic Bay beach near Polruan Photo: Getty/Ian Wool

A one-way walk (regular bus for the return journey), passing sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and passing the iconic Bedruthan Steps. At Fox Cove, the remains of a tanker, Helmsley I’ wrecked in 1969, on its way to a breakers yard, are still visible.

3. Three Sides of the Lizard

Distance: 3.9 miles

Crackington Haven beach  Photo getty/AcceleratorhamsCrackington Haven beach Photo getty/Acceleratorhams

A walk around the rugged tip of The Lizard, passing the most southerly point on the mainland, following undulating high cliffs. The highlight for many will be a glimpse of a chough. The only pair in Cornwall or England of this acrobatic red-legged crow has nested at Lizard Point since 2002. Housel Bay is dog friendly all year round.

4. St Anthony Head and Place

Distance: 6.3 miles

A circular walk of either 4.5 or 6 miles can be started from the ferry landing stage at Place. Alternatively you can start from the car park at St Anthony Head. Whichever you take, there are magnificent views as well as plenty of historical and wildlife interest to enjoy along the way. Porthbeor is a lovely remote beach reached by a steeply stepped path in an area maintained and managed by the National Trust.

5. Bodinnick, Polruan and Fowey

Distance: 5.8 miles

Lantic Bay is a beautiful horseshoe beach, known by some as South East Cornwall’s best kept secret’. The sheltered cove has white sandy beaches and crystal blue, refreshing water, which is perfect for bathing. To add to its appeal, it is south-facing so enjoys much of the day’s sun. The beach can be difficult to find, with a challenging but worthwhile climb back up to the coastal path.

Did you know?

The South West Coast Path is the UK’s longest National Trail at 630-miles from Minehead on the edge of Exmoor, all the way to Poole harbour, taking in the entire coastlines of Devon and Cornwall in between. Around 300 miles of the walk is in Cornwall between Bude and Plymouth.

It would take around 158 hours to walk the entire path. The path organisation recommends doing14 miles a day over 45 days to get the most out of it.

Not generally considered suitable for bikes, the path has 111,000ft (34,000 metres) of ascent – three-and-a-half times up Everest from sea level.

The South West Coast Path takes in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), including the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and the Cornwall AONB.

The path is worth round £300m to the region’s economy with coast path walkers in Cornwall spending approximately £175m in a year. The path costs around It costs roughly £1,400 per year for each mile of Coast Path to be kept open, maintained, improved and promoted.

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