With roughly 20 miles of coastline between the bays of St. Austell and Whitsand, there are plenty of beaches to escape to. Find a hidden cove or a serene shore to spend the day in peace and quiet or travel between them admiring the landscape and searching for some hidden wildlife. With many of these beaches, you will no doubt picture the ways they were used by smugglers of the 18th century.
Starting from the west, and heading east, here’s a list of some of our favourite beaches found along the coast which cater for any and all.
Polkerris beach is a small, but sheltered, sandy bay on the edge of a small village with the same name. With parking nearby and sloping sands, families will find themselves comfortable here. Dogs are not allowed between the Easter weekend and the 1st October.
Next along the coast is Polridmouth, much quieter than Polkerris and totally unspoilt. The nearest parking at Menabilly Barton is a half-mile walk from the beach itself, but if you don’t mind a short walk along the footpath, this is truly a hidden gem. This beach is dog-friendly all year round.
Readymoney Cove is itself only a short walk from Fowey. Popular with tourists and locals alike, this sheltered and sandy beach is great for a dip in the sea. Due to the popularity of this beach, dogs are not allowed between the Easter weekend and the 1st October.
The beaches between Polruan and Polperro might be a bit tricky to get to, the coastline is rugged and rocky, but ideal for walkers looking for serene bays and soft sands. As such, they can vary in accessibility, with some only being accessed along steep paths down the cliffs.
Just outside of Polruan is Lantic Bay, a mixture of sand and pebbles and some beautifully clear waters. However it is another of those secluded beaches that does require a half-mile walk from the car. This beach is also dog-friendly all year round, ideal for those summer holidays with your canine-friend included.
Next one along is Lansallos Cove, which is a bit of a longer walk from the village of Lansallos than previously mentioned beaches. Although the sand here is a bit coarser, one of the most notable features is the access path that carves through the rock to the beach.
A bit further east than Polperro, Talland Bay has two small beaches great for explorers, young or old! In between the beaches is exposed rock that forms little pools full of marine life.
At the western end of Looe, is Hannafore Point, with easy parking along the sea wall this shingle beach provides great views to the uninhabited nature reserve of Looe Island (also known as St. George’s Island).
The other side of Looe River, is the beach at East Looe. Popular and sandy, this is another beach great for families as it has facilities in the town and the shore sheltered by Banjo Pier.
Seaton is a short 15 minute drive from East Looe. A small delta for the River Seaton, this beach can get a tad water-logged at times, but a children’s play area and café aren’t too far away.
A short twenty minute walk from Seaton, is Downderry, with a bit more shingle than Seaton, this beach is great for an impromptu picnic. There is a cafe and shop in the village if you’ve forgotten picnic supplies!
Portwrinkle has a great deal of exposed rock, but does have sandy patches nearby. The rock pools form a great habitat for some coastal critters.
Last but not least, Whitsand Bay stretches over 4 miles from Portwrinkle to Rame Point. This long beach is great for those long walks on the beach that everyone loves. When the tide comes back in, the South-West Coast Path provides a safer alternative and different scenery.