Best Beaches in Cornwall – Find the perfect beach for your holiday

Monday 19 April 2021

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If you’re planning a staycation this summer, taking a train to Cornwall has been a favourite for generations. There’s plenty to do in Cornwall for holiday makers. From Aquariums and zoos to woodland walks and strawberry picking, the county is bursting at the seams with fun for the whole family. However, Cornwall is best known for its beaches, so if you’re looking for some coastal fun, we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite beaches for you to visit.

Best family beaches in Cornwall

Towan Beach

Nearest Train Station: Newquay

Why we love it: Less than 10 minutes’ walk from Newquay station, even the shortest legs will make it to Towan Beach. With lots to do nearby, including family favourite Blue Reef Aquarium, if your little ones get bored of the beach, you needn’t go far.

Porthpean Beach

Nearest Train Station: St Austell

Why we love it: This is one of the best beaches near St Austell, and if you’re visiting the area with your family, you’ll want to visit this beach. Sheltered in a little cove between high cliffs with beautifully clear water and clean sand, and with a great café to boot, there’s nowhere better for miles.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Porthcurno Beach was in the Caribbean when you look at this image: bright windbreakers and parasols shade families enjoying the golden sand and blue sea

Porthcurno Beach

Nearest Train Station: Penzance

Why we love it: Although you have to get a bus from the station to this beach, trust us, it’ll be worth it when you get there. It’s easy to see why this beach has been described as a paradise. This sheltered cove is lined with the softest white sand and clearest turquoise waters. A popular beach with families, you’ll quickly see why.

Best surfing beaches in Cornwall

Great Western Beach

Nearest Train Station: Newquay

Why we love it: Not only can you all but see it from the station, there’s also an equipment hire location on the beach, meaning you don’t even need to lug heavy stuff with you. Perfect if you’ve not done much surfing or don’t have access to your own kit.

Fistral Beach

Nearest Train Station: Newquay

Why we love it: This 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, and you’ll have to share your waves with the pros and beginners alike. However, the waves are incredible, there’s lifeguard cover, and there are loads of cafes, surf shops, and lessons nearby.

We love Fistral Beach because of the great surf, but also because it’s just a beautiful place to be, surrounded by green crested cliffs, azure seas, and golden sands, it feels tropical.

Porth Beach

Nearest Train Station: Newquay

Why we love it: There’s a reason why Newquay is the surfer’s capital of England, and it’s due to the incredible surfing to be had here. Porth Beach is actually popular with both families and surfers. Porth tends to be a little quieter than our other picks, although it’ll still be busy when the surf is good.

Best sandy beaches in Cornwall

Marazion Beach

Nearest Train Station: Penzance

Why we love it: This really is one of the most unique beaches in Cornwall. It links the mainland to St Michael’s Mount during low tide, giving beautiful views of this amazing attraction. Take your time to enjoy exploring this incredible location.

Marazion Beach is one of the best sandy beaches in Cornwall, with incredible views of St Michael’s mount, seen here across the blue waters.

Porthgwidden Beach

Nearest Train Station: St Ives

Why we love it: Although this beach is just off the CrossCountry Network, we can’t deny this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. With turquoise waters fringed by golden sands, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Caribbean not Cornwall.

Crantock Beach

Nearest Train Station: Newquay

Why we love it: Crantock is a National Trust beach and is a beautiful unspoiled area. The beautiful sands are popular with tourists and locals alike, and so it can get busy on hot days, but it’s worth braving the crowds. We also recommend visiting when the weather is less than perfect, because the views are still spectacular.  

Best dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

Watergate Bay Beach

Nearest Station: Newquay

Why we love it: This beach gives you plenty of space to walk your dog, but also play fetch. There are no restrictions on dogs throughout the year, so you and your pooch can make the most of the golden sands and the surf.

Long Rock Beach

Nearest Station: Penzance

Why we love it: One of our favourite beaches in the UK, this beach has to be seen to be believed. With great views of St Michael’s Mount, Long Rock hits all our beach wishes: dog friendly, big enough to not feel busy, beautiful sand and safe swimming.

Penzance is home to some of the best beaches in Cornwall, including this beautiful expanse of sand, with seas almost as blue as the cloudless skies.

St Austell Bay

Nearest Station: Par

Why we love it: Par isn’t as popular with tourists as other areas on our network, which means that the beaches here tend to be slightly quieter. This dog-friendly beach has everything you could want, including loads of space to run around and explore.

Best quiet beaches in Cornwall

Trenow Cove

Nearest Station: Penzance

Why we love it: This beach is only accessible by foot meaning you’ll need to walk round from the more popular Marazion Beach. Here you’ll find a mix of sand and rock pools which older kids will love poking around in.

Whipsiderry Beach

Nearest Station: Newquay

Why we love it: A slightly difficult and steep access point means that this beach tends to be quieter than the main tourist spots. It’s tucked away a little further from the popular beaches but isn’t too far from the station.

Carlyon Beach

Nearest Train Station: St Austell

Why we love it: For one thing, the incredible location, for another, the incredible food. The offbeat Bar & Kitchen might look unassuming but trust us, 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 a holiday to Cornwall check out our Staycation Blog posts for inspiration. Wherever you decide to go, make sure you take advantage of great savings with CrossCountry Advance train tickets.

Written by Julia

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