The United Kingdom is home to some of the most fantastic travel destinations, including Cornwall, England. Cornwall is truly worth a visit, known for its dramatic coastlines, stunning collections of sheer cliffs, secret coves, world-class surf breaks, and golden sands flirting with turquoise waters. But, with over 400 miles of coastline to explore, you likely won't have time to visit every single beach. So, to ensure your beach holiday is full of only the best of the best, here are the ten best beaches in Cornwall, England, so that you can plan accordingly.
10 Sennen Beach
One of Cornwall’s most amazing beaches is just around the corner from a charming fishing village and cove. Sennen is a sandy haven that offers beachgoers excellent swimming and consistent surf (Sennen is Cornwall’s most westerly surf hotspot). Here, visitors can lay out and enjoy over a mile of golden sand with a refreshing breeze, even on hot summer days. As a bonus, there are several cafés, a pub, and two surf shops within walking distance of the beach area. So head out to this decent size slice of paradise, take a surf lesson, and make a proper day of it at this fantastic local beach.
9 Godrevy Beach
For those looking for a one-of-a-kind beach with a must-see lighthouse that inspired a Virginia Woolf novel, Godrevy Beach is for you. Here, visitors can spend the day basking in the sun on an all-most three-mile-long sandy stretch of beach. Located in West Cornwall, Godrevy takes the brunt of the Atlantic swell but is a stunning sight to behold. This spot is ideal for some much-needed me-time by the sea or inspiration for your next novel. There is also an excellent café just behind the dunes.
8 Praa Sands Beach
Praa Sands is a medium-sized sandy beach that is an excellent choice for families or people with small children. Beach goers can easily entertain the kids with sand-castle-making and splashing about the ocean along the temperate coastline. Located just between Marazion and Porthleven, this Cornwall beach is also popular with surfers of all levels and is a fantastic spot for some light swimming. What’s more, this beach area has plenty of facilities, including shops, cafés, toilets, and campsites within easy walking distance of it all.
7 Perranporth Beach
For those looking for the standard holiday beach, Perranporth definitely delivers. Perranporth has the authentic look and feel of a seaside holiday destination with its quaint shops, cafés, and pubs. This beach is the go-to spot for surfing, snorkeling, sailing, and splashing around in the sun. Since this is one of Cornwall’s more extensive beaches, vacationers definitely won’t feel crowded here. Depending on the time of day, you can enjoy the wildlife that stops by, including a few horses, stunning butterflies, and some cool-looking lizards. With larger-than-life dunes, decent surf, and a natural open-air swimming pool, this beach should absolutely be first up on your itinerary.
6 Marazion Beach
A truly enchanting beach, Marazion offers visitors ample activities, including windsurfing, kite surfing, jet skiing, and sailing. With an extended sandy beach area that is perfectly safe and walkable, beach goers can easily spend hours strolling along the coastline. So head out and enjoy the sun traps, rock pools, Chapel Rock, and Marazion Harbor. While visiting, check out St. Michael's Mount (a granite causeway once walked by pilgrims), visible at low tide. Alternatively, at high tide, beach goers can opt for a lovely boat ride to the historic castle on the island. Overall, Marazion is a must-see, as it is considered a part of one of the oldest towns in England.
5 Porthmeor Beach
One of only eight beaches in Cornwall that hold the prestigious Blue Flag Award 2022, Porthmeor is a picturesque beach located just a stone’s thrown away from the iconic St. Ives. Touted as sandy and safe for surfers and swimmers alike, it doesn’t get much better than Porthmeor Beach. Visitors can spend days here appreciating the fantastic location and never run out of fun things to see and do. This is an excellent choice for a beach picnic, some fun in the sun, or as your go-to beach spot while visiting St. Ives.
4 Kynance Cove Beach
Yet another Cornwall beach with a claim to fame is Kynance Cove. Known as one of the most photographed beaches in Cornwall, Kynance Cove is brimming with gorgeous white sand, vibrant turquoise water, lovely islands, hidden caves, and massive rock formations. This is a great beach to check out, especially if you are looking for something off the beaten path (Kynance Cove is at least half an hour from anywhere). With excellent surf and breathtaking views, visitors should definitely try to make it out to this beach, dubbed one of the prettiest places around.
3 Harlyn Bay Beach
Harlyn Bay is your quintessential family beach in Cornwall. With a spacious beach area, crescent-shaped bay popular with surfers, superb views, tide pools, and much more, this seaside retreat is an absolute delight. Like many of the beaches mentioned above, there are lifeguards on-site during the summer months, so swimming here is advisable. That said, one of the best ways to enjoy this coastal oasis is by sea kayaking. As an added bonus, history buffs can also marvel at the remains of an old Iron Age cemetery discovered behind the beach below.
2 Mawgan Porth Beach
Mawgan Porth is the perfect spot for beach goers looking for a welcomed respite from the larger vacation crowds. Located in a large sheltered bay just beyond stunning steep cliffs, this sandy locale is serene, with various rock pools, calming waters, and several caves to explore. This is also a good choice for families and surfers who prefer a quiet day at the beach. Plus, visitors will find a small village that offers a good selection of cafés and pubs not too far from the beach.
1 Porthcurno Beach
Located in far west Cornwall and nestled among tall granite cliffs, Porthcurno is simply stunning. Here, visitors will fall in love with nearby bay views, long stretches of golden sand, the refreshing ocean air, and the landscape which was once the site of an Iron Age cliff castle. You'll have no trouble at all accessing this wonderful beach. However, it's worth noting that swimming can be dangerous at high tide. But, the good news here is there are ample attractions to check out during this time, including the internationally renowned Minack Theatre and the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum.