Cornwall's 15 best beaches
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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.
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.
- 1 WIN a holiday to the Isles of Scilly worth £1000
- 2 Win a 2 night beach stay at The Beachcroft Hotel in Sussex
- 3 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 4 WIN £500 worth of preloved designer clothes
- 5 Win £500 of English wine from Lyme Bay Winery
- 6 6 waterfall walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
- 7 9 lovely beaches in Cornwall that allow dogs all-year-round
- 8 Beautiful places to go wild swimming in Suffolk
- 9 20 of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire
- 10 Win a luxury break at The Draycott Hotel in Chelsea
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.
The village of Porthtowan sits in the north coast of Cornwall between St Agnes and St Ives and is much loved by locals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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