The Best of … Cornish Beaches

“A beach a day, keeps the doctor away” … or so I like to believe

The best of Cornwall… what strikes me straight away is the number of beautiful beaches we have right here on our doorstep, a figure of well over 300 comes to mind spanning out over our 250 miles of majestic coastline. Unique and individual, each beach has its own bit of paradise for both you and your four-legged friend. Yes, believe it or not most of the beaches here in Cornwall are dog friendly which means this summer the dog can travel too. Perfect for a little getaway for two or a family week away, Cornwall has a wonderful array of stunning beaches that will leave you feeling as though you are abroad (just without the travel costs)! Take my word for it when I say you won’t be stuck for choice this summer as there’s a beach for everyone in Cornwall. Simply dust off your flip-flops, dig out your shades and hit the beach!

As we can all agree, when the schools break up for the holidays it can cause chaos wherever you are, whether its on the roads, shopping amongst the hustle and bustle in town or even at the beach. But that doesn’t have to be the case, if you know where to go. Something that’s quite magical about being at the beach is that kids just love to spend the day getting sandy and splashing around in the sea, the two just simply go hand in hand. Porthcurno, a beach located in the south-west of Cornwall is a spot of natural beauty and is perfect for any family. What’s great about Porthcurno (other than starring in Poldark!) is that a stream that runs down one side of the beach, a perfectly safe spot for the little ones to play and splash around the water. Perfect for parents who want to kick back and relax with a good book! Stay into the evening to witness an unimaginable transformation! The open air Minack theatre begins to take centre stage and the cliff tops of Porthcurno are set alight with vibrant colours and illuminating lights. Get comfy as you absorb the breath-taking views, spellbinding sunsets and enjoy the entertaining musicals, operas and flawless dramas. You may even see the occasional dolphin or basking shark swimming in the Atlantic backdrop!

For those of you who are avid surfers (like myself) then Polzeath could be the spot for you. Located near Padstow it’s a beach that’s growing in popularity due to its easy access and accessible, gentle waves. With lifeguard cover all year round, Polzeath is regarded as one of the safest beaches to visit in Cornwall. Be careful though, because at high tide nature steals back what is rightfully its own leaving you to enjoy a much smaller proportion of the beach.

There are not many beaches in Cornwall that can boast about being dog-friendly all year round. Fit for any four-legged friend, Perranporth is top of my list. Busy and very popular in the summer this beach has a great deal to shout about. With super-soft sand the two mile stretch of beach is great for any level surfer, skim boarder, beach jogger or canine companion. The beach isn’t necessarily the highlight of this coastal destination, for me it’s all about the rolling sand dunes behind. As a child I was lucky enough to spend numerous weekends in the dunes camping, cycling and playing ‘king of the castle’ and I remember thinking that these must be the biggest dunes in the world!

From as early as I can remember I have always loved being at the beach. Close to home, a beach I visit most weeks is Swanpool, situated between Gyllyngvase and Maenporth. What’s amazing about Swanpool is the velvet soft sands and clear blue turquoise waters that are pinched between two cliff edges, providing shelter from the elements for anyone seeking a chestnut-brown tan this summer.

The beach also hosts perfect snorkelling waters, where in past summers this has been a personal favourite activity of mine, exploring the wonderful and plentiful marine life. Swanpool is a beach that’s thriving with activity, where you can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkelling all in one day!

Think back to a time you’ve had, where you’ve been lucky enough to have a beach all to yourself. A very special moment that doesn’t happen often as most beaches tend to be occupied one way or another. I have a fond memory of Pedn Vounder a few summers back, regarded as a ‘hidden gem’ it might be one of Cornwall’s most secret beaches (shhhh, you didn’t hear that from me!). Set to the east of Porthcurno it has unimaginably blue water, soft white sand and rugged enclosing cliffs. More easily accessible by low tide, it is perfect for anyone longing to escape the thrum of holidaymakers and completely unwind. Top tip: Take great care when it’s high tide as your return route may disappear with the tide leaving you an awkward scramble up a cliff to get out. Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way!

To choose a favourite beach here in Cornwall would be like trying to choose a favourite chocolate bar. Yes, you’ll have your favourites now, but these will change over time. With so many beautiful beaches in Cornwall it’s very hard to choose just one favourite. But I’ll have a go for you. Fistral Beach is probably my current favourite and it rightfully holds the accolade of being one of the UK’s most reliable surf spots, with different breaks for all levels of surfer. And you don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy this magnificent expanse of beach, keen walkers are also catered for with many miles of coastal path waiting to be explored from either end of the beach. Popular year round, Fistral Beach welcomes visitors from all walks of life, from the hustle and bustle of beach goers in the summer, to excitable wet-nosed dogs in the winter and even the occasional seal! West facing, the beach is perfectly situated to enjoy magnificent sunsets that splash rich warm colours across the Atlantic waves. At the far end of the beach, perched majestically on the headland lies The Headland Hotel and Spa. From wetsuits to dinner suits (to sandy paws!), The Headland extends a warm welcome to everyone. So, when the kids are tired or you’ve just simply had enough of the sun, sea and sand, join us for modern fine dining in a relaxed setting, with sea and sunset views to write home about.

Happiness is… relaxing with a cocktail after exploring the best of Cornwall’s beaches.