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From the Blog

Harlyn Bay

Posted by Perfect Stays on Updated on

One of Cornwall's most loved locations

Harlyn Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the north Cornwall coast and hugely popular for family holidays. The large flat sand beach stretches for about half a mile, giving way to unending rock pools just waiting to be explored. The beach also benefits from a range of facilities, including a popular surf and watersports school, a large car park, shop, cafe and The Harlyn Inn pub. 


The beach is patrolled by lifeguards from May through to September and offers a safe arena for novice surfers, sea kayakers and stand up paddle boarders – all of which can be hired on the beach, with lessons available too. Nearby Constantine Bay and Booby’s Bay are also popular surfing beaches for more competent surfers.

Nearby beaches

Backed by dunes and low cliffs, Harlyn Bay is central to what is known locally as the ‘seven bays’: seven beautiful beaches all within close proximity to one another. To the west you’ll come across Mother Ivey’s Bay, Booby’s Bay, Constantine and Treyarnon while the coast path leads round to Trevone Bay towards the East.




The area is rich in ancient history, spanning through the Bronze and Iron Ages, with numerous burial grounds having been discovered. Archaeologists have even discovered tools and flint dating back some 10,000 years to the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. The walks in and around Harlyn Bay are steeped in history and legend and make for a fascinating stroll.

Heading east towards the iconic Trevose Head lighthouse leads out around Big Guns Cove and meanders round to Mother Ivey’s Bay – named after a 16th Century white witch who, legend has it, laid a curse on a local pilchard-processing family and their field after they  denied the starving villagers fish, and instead ploughed it into their field as fertiliser. Trevose Head offers spectacular views over Booby’s and Constantine Bay and is one of the best spots to enjoy a sunset or indulge in some star gazing away from light pollution.

Following the South West Coast Path to the west towards Stepper Point, walkers will come across the well-known collapsed sea cave in the centre of the cliff called ‘Round Hole’. This is a dramatic and rugged walk with far-reaching views up the Camel Estuary from Stepper Point. Keen walkers may wish to continue on the path round to Padstow for well-earned refreshments at one of the popular pubs.


Just three miles outside of Padstow, Harlyn Bay is the perfect base for a foodie holiday. Pubs, cafes and restaurants are in abundance with traditional Cornish pubs, from the likes of the Old Custom House serving up real ale and local produce to Michelin Starred Paul Ainsworth’s Number 6 and, of course, Rick Stein’s plethora of eateries.

Harlyn’s nearest village St Merryn boasts the well-reputed Rafferty’s Wine Bar, serving up a wide selection of tapas and mouth-watering mains, and the hugely popular Rick Stein’s Cornish Arms. The Cornish Arms is great for dog owners and serves up a fantastic roast on Sundays. Unfortunately, tables are on a first-come first-serve basis so arrive early to save disappointment!


Pentyak is a breath taking luxury holiday home overlooking Harlyn Bay. Sleeping up to 14 in total, this self-catering holiday home is perfect for a large family holiday or special occasion. An enormous enclosed garden with sunken trampoline sweeps around the property to the large gravel drive. Children will love the handmade wooden tree house and the quirky wooden slide running alongside the stairs inside.



Posted by Perfect Stays

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