9 lesser-known Cornish beaches to escape the crowds
With nearly 300 miles of coastline you don’t have to go far in Cornwall even in the height of summer to find an uncrowded beach. Here are some of our lesser-known favourites, all dog-friendly so Fido can join the fun.
Described by Visit Cornwall as a hidden treasure, Lansallos (or West Coombe) is a National Trust owned beach a few miles west of Polperro on the south coast. The quiet south facing beach is reached via a 20-minute walk down a little track. Head a little further west to Lantic Bay, another beautiful National Trust spot well worth the steep climb back up.
(image: Dog Friendly Cornwall website)
Rinsey is a pretty, little secluded beach on the south west coast between Porthleven and Praa Sands in the heart of mining country, with a suitably dramatic landscape and engine house set atop the cliff. Low tide reveals a picture-perfect stretch of golden sand.
(image: Cornwall Coastal Photography website)
Porth or Polly Joke beach is located on the north coast to the west of Crantock and Newquay. Reached via a footpath that runs alongside wildflower-strewn meadows this pretty cove is ideal for picnics, visited mostly by locals and the lucky few holidaymakers who’ve stumbled from the small campsite nearby.
(image: National Trust website)
Set near to the mouth of the Helford River, Durgan beach is an idyllic place for a sheltered dip in crystal clear waters or simply sitting and watching boats go by. Combine this with a visit to Glendurgan Garden (National Trust) or neighbouring Trebah, which has its own private beach tucked away at the bottom of the sub-tropical grounds, Polgwidden Cove.
(image: 360 Degree Beaches website)
Another beautiful and tranquil place for a swim close to the Helford is Gillan Creek. Tide dependant this sleepy inlet – part of a tiny hamlet on the far north eastern tip of the Lizard – is great for bathing in calm, clear waters. Or hire a boat from Sailaway and venture around the headland for a pint at the Shipwright’s Arms.
(image: Helford River website)
Head to the furthest western tip of Cornwall towards Land’s End for Gwenver, a beautiful, wide-open bay just to the north of Sennen. The wild, sometimes windswept beach sits at the bottom of a steep cliff or can be accessed at low tide via Sennen Cove itself.
(image: Cornwall Beaches website)
Half a mile west of St Just also in the far west of Cornwall is Porth Nanven, referred to as 'dinosaur egg beach'; so named due to the abundance of distinctive, large granite boulders. Made up of two small beaches Porth Nanven boasts a hidden belt of golden sand, revealed at low tide.
(image: Cornwall Guide website)
This is unspoilt beach nirvana. Not for the feint hearted, Pedn Vounder (an unofficial nudist beach) is reached by clambering down the cliff and across rocks below Treen Cliff. The pure white sands and welcoming surf give neighbouring Porthcurno a run for its money.
(image: Coombe Farm Cottages website)
One of the prettiest coves in south east Cornwall, Talland Bay beach is ideal for rock-pooling, kayaking or simply enjoying an ice cream at the lovely beach café. The shingle gives way to sand as the tide recedes, revealing a further cove around to the right of the car park.
Then what better way to end a trip to the beach than by retreating up the lane to Talland Bay Hotel for a refreshing beverage and checking in to a sea view suite for a well-earned night’s rest. Click here for latest offers.