Cornwall has long been a top-rated destination for UK holiday-makers. Located in the Southwest of England, Cornwall has more than 300 beaches spanning its 250 miles of coastline. These areas range from large sandy beaches teeming with families having fun to tiny secluded coves where you can forget the world for the day.
Cornwall’s northern coast is more exposed to the Atlantic Ocean’s winds; this means it has a more rugged appearance with cliffs and steep valleys. Contrasting this is the southern coast, which is much more sheltered. This coast is most well-known for its fishing ports and boasts wooded valleys and tucked away coves.
If you want to see all of Cornwall, you can choose to follow the South West Coast Path, which circumvents the entire coast. The truth is that no matter where you decide to lay down your beach towel or slap on that sunscreen, you are not likely to be disappointed.
Here are the top 4 beaches in Cornwall to visit, if you decide to visit make sure you check out our camper survival tips here.
St Ives Bay
The area known as St Ives consists of three miles of soft sandy beaches. These beaches span from Gwithian beach in the north to Hayle beach in the south. With Mexico and Upton Towans in the middle, there really is room for everyone.
Lifeguards patrol during high season, and the dunes in the area offer shelter. The Gwithian end is a surfing hotspot, and families can delight in exploring the plethora of rock pools and caves uncovered at low tide. If you want to bring your dog to frolic in the sea or sand, we recommend heading for the central part of St. Ives. This is because seasonal bans apply in other areas whilst pets are welcome in the central part of the beach all year round.
Where to camp or park near St Ives Bay
Higher Penderleath Caravan and Camping Park is easily accessed from the local A30. You can enjoy incredible views across the countryside towards the north coast. This facility offers pitches for tents, motorhomes and caravans and even has an adult-only area available from April to June.
If you are looking for a Caribbean vibe without leaving the UK, head to the National Trust’s Porthcurno. You’ll discover super fine whitewashed sand at this award-winning beach and water that turns turquoise in the sun.
This beach is often very popular with families due to a stream that flows down one side. The stream offers a much safer space for children to paddle, and there is a lifeguard during high season.
Up on one of the cliffs, which provides shelter from the elements, is the outdoor Minack Theatre. You can also visit the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, which is not far from the beach car park. This is not an ideal spot for your canine companion as there is a seasonal dog ban; however, if you’re free of a four-legged friend, you might catch sight of basking sharks or even dolphins!
Where to camp near Porthcurno
Treen Farm Campsite sits just above Porthcurno Bay. It has been run by the Hall family for five generations and offers sea view pitches for tents and campervans. There are limited electric hook-up pitches given on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, each pitch is provided with picnic benches on each side. They also have a fully licensed shop on site which sells a selection of fruit and veg, local meats and loads more. Treen Farm also accepts friendly dogs, and they don’t charge an additional fee for them.
The east-facing beach at Pentewan spans over half a mile and is covered in fine sand– it is privately owned by the holiday park that sits just behind it. It’s an excellent place for families with rock pools and shallow little pools for kids to explore.
For the fun-loving teens and adults alike, there is the option of fun at Cornwall Watersports. Here you can get sessions in paddleboarding, windsurfing or kayaking. They also offer boat rides to go wildlife spotting. If you’re looking to take your puppy paddling, Pentewan is not the place as dogs are not allowed on the beach from February through November.
Where to stay near Pentewan
Pentewan Sands Holiday Park is the owner of the beach at Pentewan. You can choose between a fully equipped holiday home, an accessible holiday home or a pitch for your own campervan, touring caravan or even a tent. None of the pitches is any further than a 3-minute walk from the beautiful beach, and some are just feet from the sea. As dogs aren’t allowed here, you might prefer to choose their sister site – Heligan Caravan & Camping.
Considered the surf capital of the UK is undoubtedly one of the most well-known beaches in Cornwall. Located in Newquay is Fistral Beach. Backed by cliffs, the sandy beach here has some stunning views. You can even take a walk along the top of the cliffs following part of the South West Coast Path, pass a golf course, or go down to the beach to visit the bars, restaurants, and stores.
There are food outlets at the north end of the beach, which is also home to the car park. You can also sit here and watch the surfers catch the waves. If you fancy starting the barrel of a wave in the eye, you can get lessons or hire a board here and hit the 6-8 foot waves yourself.
Where to camp at Fistral
Trevella Holiday Park is the perfect place for a first-class camping stay, whether in a tent, motorhome or touring caravan. There are offers of en-suite pitches which come complete with TV point and electric. This camping area is located less than 4 miles from the sea.
These are just a few of the places you can stay along the beautiful Cornwall coastline, let us know your favourite camping spots on our social media channels or in the comments.