From food with a view to watching the sun go down - Cornwall has the perfect beach for you

Gyllyngvase Beach. Falmouth on a sunny day

Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Throughout August – more than 50 beaches are covered by lifeguards. If you are looking for something extra special here’s a few ideas. 

Food Combining a day at the beach with great cuisine while in your swimming cossie is something Cornwall does best. Porthminster Beach Café in St Ives has its own cookbook and one of the best views, while Sam's on the Beach at Polkerris gets top marks. Gylly beach café in Falmouth has a fantastic breakfast and for proper on the beach dining, Gwithian’s horsebox snack bar is a moveable feast with a great homemade menu – from breakfast to dinner. 

Gylly Beach Cafe sign in Falmouth

Gylly Beach Cafe in Falmouth - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Wild swimming For lovers of wild swimming, few places are as popular as Mount’s Bay. Running from Penzance through Marazion, the magnificent St Michael’s Mount provides a useful landmark. Join a wild swimming group for safety and sociability.  

Family-friendly great facilities and safety makes Porthtowan and Portreath among Cornwall’s favourite family friendly spots. Easy parking, access to toilets, eateries, ice cream – and shops selling buckets, spades and beach toys are all short walks away. There’s lifeguard cover, small waves and beach that’s hard to get lost on. 

Small waves roll into shore on a warm summer day at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall. A popular su

Fistral beach in Newquay - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Surf  Fistral beach in Newquay is famous as the home of British surfing, but I am also always surprised how friendly it is for all beachgoers and those indulging in water play – from toddlers at the shore to swimming and splashing or having a go on a board. For strong surfers spectators - the Cribbar wave is a sight to behold.  

Further along the coast Watergate Bay has its Extreme Academy offering kite surfing and Harlyn Bay surf school can teach you to surf in two hours.

Accessibility Older and less physically able beachgoers are too often left behind when it comes to beaches – but Cornwall has plenty of accessible coves offering beach chairs – special wheelchairs for use on sand. Sand chairs can be hired at numerous locations including Fistral in Newquay, Portreath and Watergate Bay. Get the latest map at 

Secret spaces Get far away from the madding crowd with a visit to the wonderfully named Polly Joke Beach. Famed for the poppy fields you walk through to access it, the longer walk from the car park means it is less visited. Many of Cornwall’s 160-plus beaches are accessed from the South West Coast Path meaning a long and sometimes steep walk to get to them. For this reason, they are often quieter and less known. Some are pretty inaccessible and best enjoyed from the South West Coast Path.

Sun set over Gwithian Beach

Sun sets over Gwithian beach - Credit: Ewen MacDonald

Sunsets In the height of summer, few things are as magical as sitting on a beach watching the sun dip into the ocean. The best spots along the Atlantic coast include Fistral Beach and Godrevy, Tintagel and Bedruthan Steps. For storm watching – head to Porthtowan

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Something different Horse riding along the beach isn’t just for Bond babes. Cornwall’s equestrian centres offer a range of experiences. For the ultimate ride, head to the Isles of Scilly for riding along the beach and paddling in the sea on St Mary’s island.