One of the things visitors love most about Padstow is its proximity to a wide variety of beaches. Whether you’re a rock-pooler or a surfer, part of the bucket and spade brigade or just wanting to escape the crowds, it’s perfectly possible to enjoy the Cornish coast without the need to brave the Cornish roads! Here are five of our favourites.
Harlyn Bay Beach
A fantastic all-round beach which attracts both families and surfers. North facing, you are sheltered from the biggest swells and the gustiest winds, making it a great option for novice surfers and paddle boarders. There’s even a surf school and rental shop to get you started.
Children will love to explore the rock pools and play in the sand dunes. Facilities include a large car park, toilets and a shop. The beach welcomes dogs all year round and there’s a lifeguard on duty from May to September.
Two miles west of Padstow, Trevone is a compact sandy inlet with rocky ledges on either side that are home to fantastic rock pools. The adjoining Rocky Beach in neighbouring Newtrain Bay is also worth a visit for its large tidal pool. Follow the coast path and you’ll experience the Round Hole, an 80 foot deep sinkhole formed from a collapsed cave.
The nearby village of Trevone offers all the usual amenities, while the beach has two car parks, toilets and a café. There’s lifeguard service from May to September, with dogs welcome outside the summer season.
One of the best surfing spots in Cornwall, this curved beach is backed by sand dunes and offers wonderful views of the lighthouse at Trevose Head. Powerful rips mean it can be dangerous for swimmers but on less windy days Constantine is popular with families drawn to its rock pools.
The neighbouring Booby’s Bay, also attracts twitchers in search of rare bird species and botanists seeking out unusual plant life. Dogs are always welcome in Constantine and lifeguards operate for most of the year, except in winter.
One of North Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches, fans of BBC costume dramas might recognise Porthcothan as the setting for Nampara, home of Ross Poldark. This sheltered, rugged cove is perfect for swimmers particularly at high tide when the beach floods, sheltering you from swells and high winds. At low tide it opens out, connecting with its neighbouring coves.
Porthcothan has a shop selling food and drink and a car park, with dogs welcome all year round. Lifeguards operate in the summer months only.
One of the closest beaches to Padstow, you’ll find the pretty yellow sands of Harbour Cove surprisingly quiet and unspoiled. Facing the mouth of the Camel estuary, the beach is sheltered from the wind by the headland at Stepper Point.
Come at low tide and the beach opens up, allowing visitors to walk the sands to Hawkers Cove and visit the historic Gun Point fortifications. You can bring dogs onto the beach at any time of year, with the nearest facilities at the Lellizzick Farm just a few minutes’ drive.