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Best Beaches in Cornwall

Tuesday 13 June 2023

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With staycations becoming more and more popular, it’s no surprise that more of us are looking more local for beach days; be they relaxing or thrilling. Best known for its beaches, taking a train to Cornwall has been a favourite staycation option for families, couples, and friends for generations. With so many glorious beaches to choose from, CrossCountry have explore them all to find the best beaches in Cornwall – whatever your holiday plans.

Best Family Beaches in Cornwall

Towan Beach

Nearest station: St Austell

Towan Beach is one of the best beaches close to St Austell, so it is a must-visit spot if you’re visiting the area with your family. Sheltered in a little cove between high cliffs, with beautifully clear water and clean sand, as well as a marvellous café, there’s nowhere better for miles.

Porthcurno Beach

Nearest station: Penzance

A short bus ride from Penzance is well worth the beautiful beach at Porthcurno. It’s easy to see why this beach has been described as paradise – this sheltered cove is lined with the softest white sand and the clearest turquoise waters. You’ll soon see why it is so popular with families.

Best Surfing Beaches in Cornwall

Fistral Beach

Nearest station: Newquay

Fistral beach is a great spot with a few different surf options. As one of the world’s top surfing destinations, this isn’t a quiet beach. However, the busy nature of Fistral beach is made more exciting by sharing the waves with pros and beginners alike – there is a love of surf here that you can feel in the water. The waves are incredible, there is lifeguard cover, and plenty of cafes, surf shops, and lessons nearby.

Great Western Beach

Nearest station: Newquay

Not only is it a stone’s throw from Newquay station, but Great Western Beach is also kitted out with surf equipment hire on the beach, so you don’t even need to lug heavy surf kit with you. Perfect for a spontaneous surf trip, or for new surfers, this is a surf beach everyone can enjoy.

Porth Beach

Nearest station: Newquay

Newquay is known as the surfer’s capital of the UK, so it’s no wonder it appears multiple times on our list! Porth beach is popular with both families and surfers, so whatever your preferred activity, you can enjoy your beach day. Porth tends to be a little quieter than Fistral and Great Western, though it will be busier when the surf is good.

Best Sandy Beaches in Cornwall

Marazion Beach

Nearest station: Penzance

This really is one of the most unique beaches in Cornwall. It links the mainland to St Michael’s Mount during low tide, offering beautiful views of this amazingly historic attraction. Take your time to enjoy exploring the Mount, and relax with an ice cream on the sand.

Porthgwidden Beach

Nearest station: St Ives

Although this beach is just off the CrossCountry network, we cannot deny that this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall. With turquoise waters fringed with golden sands, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were in the Caribbean.

Crantock Beach

Nearest station: Newquay

Crantock is a National Trust beach and is a beautiful, unspoiled area. The beautiful sands are popular with tourists and locals alike, so it can get busy on warm days. However, it is worth braving the crowds. We recommend visiting when the weather is slightly cooler as the views are still spectacular and you won’t need to queue for an ice cream.

Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Cornwall

Watergate Bay Beach

Nearest station: Newquay

This beach gives you plenty of space to walk your dog, to play fetch, and to enjoy having a paddle in the waves. There are no restrictions on dogs throughout the year, so you and your pooch can make the most of the golden sands together.

Long Rock Beach

Nearest station: Penzance

One of our favourite beaches in the UK, Long Rock has to be seen to be believed. With excellent views of St Michael’s Mount, Long Rock ticks off everything on our beach wishlist: dog friendly, not too busy, beautiful sand, and safe swimming.

St Austell Bay

Nearest station: Par 

Par may not be as popular as some other beaches on our network, but that means you will have it to yourself. This quiet, dog-friendly beach has everything you could want, including plenty of room to run around and explore.

Best Quiet Beaches in Cornwall

Trenow Cove

Nearest station: Penzance

Trenow Cove is only accessible by foot, meaning that you’ll need to walk around to it from Marazion beach. The good news is you get to see two of our favourite beaches in one go! At Trenow, you’ll find a mixture of sand and rock pools for older kids to discover sealife in.

Carlyon Beach

Nearest station: St Austell

Carlyon beach is an absolutely incredible location, and incredible food comes as part of the package. The offbeat Bar & Kitchen might look unassuming, but the quality of the food will blow you away. Slightly outside of the town centre, this beach also tends to be relatively quiet.


If you’re planning , don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or the CrossCountry app. If you need more information, you can contact us here.

Written by Julia

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