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From the Blog

10 of the best coves in Cornwall

Posted by Perfect Stays on Updated on
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From glistening waters to hidden sandy bays

Cornwall is home to a plethora of beautiful coves and secret beaches, from the much-loved Kynance Cove in West Cornwall to the stunning Polly Joke Beach in the north. We’ve collated a list of our 10 favourite seaside spots to kickstart your plans for a Cornish staycation.

1. Kynance Cove

Famous for its crystal-clear turquoise seas, sweeping beach of white sand and serpentine rock stacks, Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is an absolute must when visiting the South West. One of Cornwall’s prettiest coves, it’s perfect for wild swimming, where during low tide, you can explore the rockpools, exposed caves and islands up close. 

Address: Kynance Cove, Lizard, TR12 7PJ

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome to the beach excluding July and August between 10am and 6pm, when a seasonal ban is in place.

Accessibility: The clifftop carpark leads to a rugged, steep coastal path with a 15 minute walk down to the cove itself. Greeting visitors with slippery rocks and uneven sand, Kynance Cove is best enjoyed on warmer days.

Visit nearby: For locally sourced produce, take lunchtime refuge at Kynance Cove Café, found just above the beach. The eco-friendly café is a perfect spot to taste warm Cornish pasties and home-made cakes. 

Where to stay: Compass Point in Coverack

2. Mullion Cove

Mullion Cove

On the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula, Mullion Cove’s pebbled sand beach is nestled within granite harbour walls, and sits below the historic lifeboat station. Mysterious caves leave the adventurous explorer tasked during low tide, as waves crash through the seaward entrance.

Address: Mullion Cove, Helston, TR12 7EP

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year. 

Accessibility: The nearest car park can be found to the right, about five minutes’ walk from Mullion Cove Harbour.

Visit nearby: An autumn visit to Mullion isn’t complete without a marshmallow-topped hot chocolate at the Poldhu Beach Café. Whilst exploring the Lizard Peninsula, be sure to make an extra stop at Kynance Cove for a glimpse of turquoise ocean and white sand. 

Where to stay: Seathrift in Porthleven

3. Nanjizal Cove

Nanjizal Cove
Breakwater, Sennen Cove

With lush white sand and rock-pools filled with sea life, the long coastal walk to this hidden beach is an absolute must. Tucked away amongst the jagged cliffs of Land’s End, Nanjizal is famous for its tall, natural cliff arch, known as the Song of the Sea. At low tide this rock formation and secret cave spot is a great location to lose yourselves in an afternoon exploring.

Address: Nanjizal Beach, St Just, Penzance, TR19 7AA

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year. 

Accessibility: Park your car at Lands End car park and venture down the rugged coastal path for about a mile. The steep steps and millstream favour the more adventurous walkers, so we wouldn’t recommend this cove for people with limited mobility. 

Visit nearby: During low tide, explore the curiosities of the resting shipwreck, the City of Cardiff found amongst the towering granite cliffs. Avoid disappointment and plan your day by checking Nanjizal’s tide times before you set off. 

Where to stay: Breakwater in Sennen Cove

4. Trevaunance Cove

On the edge of the dramatic north coast, Trevaunance Cove is dominated by towering cliffs and spectacular ocean views. During low tide, stretch your legs and walk to the beach at Trevallas Porth or head west and explore the remains of the old harbour. 

Address: Trevaunance Cove, Saint Agnes, TR5 0RS

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year.

Accessibility: This cove has several small car parks located on the main road leading to the beach itself. It can also be accessed from the sloping harbour. 

Visit nearby: Overlooking the sands of Trevaunance, Schooners is a must-visit lunch spot for those exploring Saint Agnes. Spend afternoons sipping Aperol or share a hand-stretched sourdough pizza on the sea-view decking.

5. Porthgwarra Cove

Porthgwarra Cove
Porthgwarra Cove

Along Cornwall’s rugged west coast, the picturesque fishing cove of Porthgwarra, can be discovered hidden amongst the rocks. It boasts a beautiful sandy stretch at low tide, where you can venture along the coastal path to Nanjizal for a longer walk. Experienced rock climbers will love the challenge at Porthgwarra Buttress and Hella Point, where granite cliffs tower above the waves. 

Address: Porthgwarra Cove, Penzance, TR19 6JR

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome to the beach excluding July and August between 10am and 6pm, when a seasonal ban is in place.

Accessibility: Park at the large car park in the valley near Porthgwarra. Walk the tarmacked lane located to the west of the valley to reach the sandy shores during low tide. 

Visit nearby: Just a stone’s throw from the sand, Porthgwarra Cove Café is an idyllic spot to sit back and relax with a Moomaid of Zennor ice cream amongst friends. 

6. Readymoney Cove

Readymoney Cove
Fowey, South Cornwall

Sheltered by the cliffs close to the mouth of the Fowey Estuary, Readymoney Cove is a beautifully quiet small beach overlooking Polruan in South Cornwall. With ice creams in hand, explore the coastal giftshops nearby or spend days paddleboarding in the sunshine.

Address: Readymoney Cove, Fowey, PL23 1JD

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome to the beach excluding July and August between 10am and 6pm, when a seasonal ban is in place.

Accessibility: Readymoney Cove is accessible on foot from Fowey town centre. A sloping path from the beach car park creates a walkway that’s reachable in 10 minutes.

Visit nearby: Evenings in Fowey aren’t complete without a cosy stop-off for supper at The Old Quay House, our menu favourites include the Wye Valley Asparagus and the Poached Cornish Hake. For something more active, hop onto the water taxi to Polruan for a day of exploring the ancient fishing village.

7. Bosahan Cove

This secret paradise of soft white sand and lapping waves can be found at Bosahan Cove, perched on the Helford River’s woodland banks. While access is limited, the beach’s remote location means you may be graced with a quiet seaside spot of your own. 

Address: Bosahan Cove, St Anthony-in-Meneage, TR12 6JL

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year.

Accessibility: Bosahan’s sandy beach is best discovered by water. We suggest hiring kayaks and paddling along the Helford River to reach it. Alternatively, walk the coastal path for at least a mile or explore Bosahan Estate and access through the tropical gardens. 

Visit nearby: Located close to the Helford River, the Bosahan Estate and Garden serves a breathtaking view of the estuary. With its own microclimate, Bosahan is home to a colourful, sub-tropical garden.

Where to stay: Seathrift in Porthleven

8. Polly Joke Beach

Polly Joke Beach
Trewhella, Crantock

A stone’s throw from the bustling town of Newquay, the truly unspoilt beach known locally as Polly Joke sits nestled between Crantock and Holywell Bay. Pack a picnic and enjoy sandwiches on the sand as even throughout summer, this secluded cove is an idyllic spot away from the crowds. 

Address: Polly Joke Beach, Newquay, TR8 5SE

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year.

Accessibility: Stretch your legs and delve down the sloping coastal path to access the stretch of golden sand at Polly Joke. The nearest parking is a small National Trust carpark around a 15 minute walk away at West Pentire. 

Visit nearby: If you’re planning a longer route from Holywell Bay to Crantock Beach via Polly Joke, be sure to stop off at The Bowgie. With outdoor tables and sea views, it’s dog-friendly and serves hearty pub food to fuel your onward adventure. 

Where to stay: Trewhella in Crantock

9. Prussia Cove

Hawker's Cove
Ednovean House, Perranuthnoe

Considered to be the main beach, Prussia is made up of four smaller coves; Piskies, King’s, Coule’s and Bessy’s. Prussia Cove is a secluded and quiet spot that’s well suited for the wild swimmers among us. Take a dip within the crystal-clear turquoise waters and explore the shallow rock pools left behind at low tide.

Address: Prussia Cove, Penzance, TR20 9BA

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year.

Accessibility: You’ll find a small clifftop car park, within a 10 minute walk.

Visit nearby: Whilst exploring West Cornwall, take a wander across the man-made causeway leading to one of Cornwall’s most picturesque photo opportunities, the tidal island of St Michael’s Mount. 

Where to stay: Ednovean House in Perranuthnoe

10. Hawker’s Cove

Along the northwest side of the Camel Estuary this secret beach can be found tucked closely behind the coastguard cottages and old Padstow lifeboat station. Directly across from Rock and Daymer Bay, a walk along Hawker’s Cove will be loved by children and four-legged friends alike.  

Address: Hawker’s Cove, Padstow, PL28 8LR

Dog-friendly? Dogs are welcome all year.

Accessibility: Hawker’s Cove can be accessed during low tide from the mile-long stretch of sand leading to Harbour Cove. During high tide, the cove is cut off and never feels crowded with visitors. A small parking area is located near the Lellizzick Farm entrance, with alternative parking in Padstow.

Visit nearby: Dust off the sand and retreat for a Cornish cream tea at Rest A While Tea Garden. Located near the coastguard cottages and open between Easter and October, the outside seating makes for a perfect afternoon rehydration spot.

Where to stay: Harbour Walk, Kilden Mor and Sea Haze in Padstow. 

Image credits: Kynance Cove image from Banrey Moss | Mullion Cove image from Andrew | Nanjizal Cove image from Jim Champion | Porthgwarra Cove image from Mark AC and Reading Tom | Readymoney Cove image from Andrew Wilkinson | Polly Joke Beach image from Andrew Bone 


Posted by Perfect Stays

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