Cornwall's 15 Blue Flag beaches in 2021

The sun setting over perranporth beach,a popular tourist destination.

Perranporth beach - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With more than 160 beaches, Cornwall boasts some of the best in the world - and a record number now hold Blue Flag Status beckoning visitors to the Duchy's best beaches

The iconic Blue Flag is flying across more of Cornwall's beaches than ever before - with 15 making the top spot that assures visitors beauty, safety and cleanliness.

Alongside Blue Flags, eight of Cornwall's beaches hold Seaside Awards, which recognise beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and water quality.

Blue Flags and Seaside Awards

Widemouth near Bude

As well as being beautiful - this beach south of Bude on the Atlantic coast  is steeped in the smuggling history. There are gentle waves to attract surfers and swimmers, surf schools and lifeguard cover for the full beach experience.

The beautiful beach at Widemouth Bay near Bude Cornwall England UK

Widemouth Bay near Bude - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Trevone near Padstow

This beach has is made up of golden sand and has little alcoves - ideal for setting up camp for the day. There are cliffs above and a powerful riptide to beware of. Happily there is lifeguard cover in the summer season to keep you safe.

Trevone seaside village and bay near Padstow in North Cornwall England UK on a sunny day in spring w

Trevone seaside village and bay near Padstow - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Great Western in Newquay 

No shortage of beaches in Cornwall, Great Western is one of Newquay's lesser known beaches. Still popular with both surfers and families alike, there are caves to enjoy, surrounding cliffs and rock pools to explore at low tide. 

Sunset over Beach at Newquay in Cornwall. Lights reflection on water. Great Western Beach Newquay.

Great Western Beach in Newquay - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto


The village of Porthtowan sits in the north coast of Cornwall between St Agnes and St Ives and is much loved by locals. 

A stunning seascape view over the cliffs and across the beach in beautiful Porthtowan, Cornwall on s

Porthtowan - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Porthmeor in St Ives 

One of Cornwall's favourite surf beaches. Porthmeor sits in front of the grand edifice of Tate St Ives. Sitting snuggly between two headlands, there are beach huts available and rock pools to explore.

Porthmeor Beach in St Ives

Porthmeor Beach in St Ives - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Gyllyngvase in Falmouth

Much-loved Gylly Beach is home to a cafe, beach shop, bakery and surf and SUP centre. Busy throughout the summer, there is lifeguard cover and plenty of space.

Gylly Beach in Falmouth

Gylly Beach in Falmouth - Credit: Ewen MacDonald


One of Cornwall's famous Atlantic Ocean facing beaches- its harbour wall and rocky is popular with experienced surfers for its surf break. Popular with families it is well served by nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

Portreath beach

Portreath Beach - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Blue Flag beaches

Crooklets near Bude 

Cross over the pebbles and find yourself on a family-friendly sandy expanse. Crooklets also boasts a promenade which offers level access and  high-tide access to the famous sea pool which traverses Summerleaze and Crooklets.

Long stretch of sand at the beach in Bude

The beach at Bude - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Summerleaze in Bude

Sitting close to the town of Bude, Summerleaze is best known for its  sea pool nestled at the foot of the cliffs. Opened in 1930, this part man-made and part natural rock pool  is refilled by the tide twice a day. There are beach huts for daily hire and a large car park behind the dunes.

Beach huts on the beach at Bude

Bude beach - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Porth near Newquay


There's more than a mile of golden sand to traverse - ensuring you can find a quiet spot whatever the season. Combined with clear water, rockpools at low tide and easy access to shops, cafes and restaurants - and you have the perfect day out.

The sun setting over perranporth beach,a popular tourist destination.

Perranporth beach - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto


Home to many a posh second home, Polzeath is home two beaches - when the tide is out, there's a huge expanse of sand attracting families who while the day away digging sandcastles and body boarding. Sand chairs for less able bodied visitors are also available here.

long exposure photo of Polzeath beach on Cornwall

Polzeath beach - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Porthminster in St Ives

Sitting below St Ives train station, this pretty sheltered beach is made up of fine white sands and is home to one of Cornwall's best beach restaurants, The Porthminster Beach Cafe.

Porthminster Beach in St Ives

Porthminster Beach in St Ives - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Sennen Cove

One of Cornwall's most stunning spots, Sennen Beach has a surf school, lifeguard cover throughout the summer season and two car parks sitting above the sand dunes.

Sennen beach

Sennen beacg - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

The iconic Blue Flag, an international quality mark for beaches, is widely considered the gold standard and reassures visitors and residents that Cornwall’s beaches are clean, safe and recommended, boosting tourism, business and helping inspire return visits.

Blue Flags and Seaside awards are only awarded to coastal destinations that boast the absolute highest qualities of water, facilities, safety, Keep Clean programmes, environmental education and management.

The Blue Flag programme was launched in 1987 and is owned internationally by The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental and non-profit organisation. Keep Britain Tidy administers the scheme in England. To be awarded a Blue Flag, beaches must comply with a number of criteria covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

The Seaside Award is run by Keep Britain Tidy and recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and, in the case of bathing beaches, meet the required standards for water quality