The Best Local Beaches in Cornwall

Cornwall’s coastline is over 420 miles long and there are rumoured to be over 365 beaches; a different one for each day of the year! Everyone has their favourites whether they’re wide and sandy expanses like Watergate Bay and Constantine on the North coast, or sheltered coves like Ready Money Cove and Lansallos on the South, there’s a beach for everyone. We love Booby’s Bay, with its rockpools at low tide, Polkerris beach, where you can sit at the pub just a few feet away from the water’s edge, and the wild beauty of Lantic Bay.


Lansallos Cove (11 miles)

Between Polperro and Polruan, Lansallos is a little gem with sand and shingle and a lovely waterfall known as Reed Water. You park at the NT car park in the village, walk past the church – which has some very old and interesting gravestones of smugglers and pirates – then along a path winding through woodland and following a stream. The route was once used for hauling up the pilchard catch, and you can still see the track marks near the beach. 

Talland Bay (12 miles)

Between Looe and Polperro, Talland Bay has two coves. Talland Sand to the west has a   car park, toilets, shop and the Talland Bay Beach café. It’s a mostly sandy beach but with great rock pools at low tide. Rotterdam Beach, on the other side of the bay, is overlooked by St Tallanus Church and the more tricky access makes it generally quieter. This beach is served by the Smugglers Rest café which has a fair-sized car park. 

Both beaches are safe for swimming and the rocky shoreline makes for good fishing and snorkelling. Look out for the colourful red, green and brown rocks known as the Meadfoot bedrock strata. They date back to the Devonian period between 415 to 358 million years ago! 

Lantic Bay (13 miles)

On the road to Polruan, stop at the NT carpark at Lantic Bay and enjoy a walk across the fields to this stunning bay. The views out to sea from the top are breathtaking. There’s a steep walk down to the bay where you can paddle, swim and picnic on the pebbly beach, or stay at the top and join the South-West Coast Path a couple of miles to Polruan, where you could have a pint in the Lugger Inn, dating back to 1782, or catch the foot ferry across the harbour to Fowey where there are plenty of independent shops and places to find a delicious lunch. 

Lantivet Bay

Lantivet Bay is between Polruan and Polperro to the east, and it’s a tiny patch of sand and pebbles backed by steep cliffs which is only accessible at low tide but it’s worth it for the azure water. The cliffs are renown for the spring wildflowers and the fabulous views out to sea. We’d recommend the short, circular walk which starts in the NT car park. 

St Austell Bay

In St Austell Bay, Carlyon Bay is a stretch of almost 2 miles made up of Crinnis, Shorthorn and Polgaver beachesCrinnis, the most popular and easiest to access, has parking at the top of the hill and there are pop-up refreshment shacks during the summerAlthough it looks like coarse sand, the beaches are made of “stent”, a mixture of waste from the tin and China clay industries. Look closely and you can see large grains of grey quartz with pieces of the gemstone, tourmaline. Crinnis has a lively vibe about it and live music events are held there in the summer. 

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