Cornwall has the most beautiful beaches in the world. There I said it. I know this is a contentious issue and it’s inevitably a subjective view. Some people might prefer the palm fringed beaches of Hawaii or Thailand. But for me the windswept beaches of Cornwall have a rugged beauty that is unmatched anywhere in the world. Of course, as a local, I’m more than a little bit biased. I’ve been visiting many of these beaches all my life so have a strong personal connection with these glorious, sandy beaches.

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Best Beaches for Families

Holywell Bay continues to be one of my favourite beaches in Cornwall. backed by high dunes which are fun for kids, this lifeguard patrolled beach has safe swimming areas and occasionally good waves for learning to swim. This National Trust Beach is also very, very beautiful. I used to come here as a kid and play for hours, enjoying a picnic and an ice cream in this sandy idyll. Holywell Beach would be my pick of the beaches for family visitors to Cornwall. Other great family friendly beaches in Cornwall include Looe Beach, Praa Sands and Porthcurno Beach which is great for rock-hopping and exploration by young adventurers.

Best Beaches for Surfers

Cornwall’s position on the Atlantic Ocean, make it a wave magnet for any swell that is travelling over the ocean. As such it is the UK’s prime surfing destination with more surf beaches and surf spots than any other location in the British Isles. Fistral Beach is the most famous surf beach. This is where all the competitions take place and where dozens of surf schools ply for the trade of visitors who want to learn to surf. But if, like me, you prefer your beaches a little bit quieter, I’d recommend Widemouth Bay near Bude, Mawgan Porth, Porthtowan and Sennen Cove as ideal surf beaches for a surf lesson while in Cornwall.

Best Beaches for Walkers

Cornwall is a perfect place for a holiday if you like walking. The South West Coast Path takes walkers along the beaches and clifftops of the beautifully rugged Cornish coast. But there are some beaches that could be considered walking destinations in themselves. Marazion beach is a lovely stretch of sand in Penzance Bay with a view dominated by the impressive St Michael’s Mount. Crantock Bay near Newquay is another great beach for a stroll.  It’s a long beach, with swirling waves, high sand dunes and a river estuary which it is possible to walk along partially at low tide. Walker looking for something more strenuous should take a hike along the creeks, inlets and headlands and find secret coves and beaches they can enjoy all to themselves.

Best Beaches for Dogs

Dogs are not allowed on all beaches in Cornwall. In fact there is a dog ban on many beaches during the summer months. Dog owners should plan their trip carefully and select only those beaches which welcome dogs. But please consider us locals and other beach users by cleaning up after your dog. Keep these lovely beaches nice and clean for everyone to enjoy. popular dog friendly beaches include Watergate Bay near Newquay, Gwithian Beach near Hayle and Whitsand Bay near Saltash. All these beaches are great for walkies, or for hanging out with your dog for the day.

Best Beaches for Foodies

While most people will pack a picnic for their visit to the beach, or at the very least pick up a famous Cornish pasty for a hot snack on the sand, those who want to make more of a meal of it have plenty of options for enjoying a fine food while overlooking a beautiful, sandy Cornish beach. One of my personal favourites is the Porthminster Cafe near St Ives. This cafe servers delicious seafood and snacks overlooking the white sands and blue sea of Porthminster Beach, which looks more Caribbean than Cornish. Over in Falmouth there is another great eatery galled the Gyllanvase Beach Cafe. They server a great selection of burgers, sandwiches and seafood tapas to enjoy while looking out over the tranquil waters of Cornwall’s south coast.  Lusty Glaze Beach near Newquay is a lovely little cove where you can dine on great food with the water almost lapping at your feet. It’s a great seaview dining experience.

The beaches listed here are just some of my personal favourites. There are hundreds of beaches to discover. Just get out there and explore. You will never be disappointed by a Cornish Beach. And it’s not just about summer, if you’re coming here in the winter check out this fantastic video from Visit Cornwall.