Best beaches in Cornwall according to TripAdvisor
Cornwall is famed for its beaches, but have you ever wondered which one is considered to be the best of them all? Sure, we all have our favourites – be it the surf havens on Newquay’s shoreline, the golden sands in St Ives or the TV and film locations that can take us back to times gone by. And, if you ever find yourself wanting to venture somewhere new, many would turn to TripAdvisor for the recommendations of others.
So, what did the people who visited these top ten beaches have to say? Share your views and recommendations on your favourite beaches in Cornwall in the comments below, or email email@example.com.
Stunning Crantock Beach
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0
What the reviews say: One reviewer, who visited during the coronavirus pandemic in October 2020, wrote: “My husband and I love the north side of Cornwall and often visit for not only the surf but coastal walks. “The beach is breathtaking and often we have the beach nearly to ourselves as only visit when it’s not school holidays.
“We were surprised this year by the amount of children taken out of school plus all the staycationers but still managed to enjoy the peace and quiet away from the maddening crowd. “Once again we were blessed with fab weather.” Back in the summers before coronavirus took over our lives, Crantock still stood out.
One reviewer even thought it could compete with some of the best in the world, writing: “Crantock beach is definitely one of the most stunning and beautiful beaches in the southwest of England. “As the tide goes out the beach becomes a vast expanse of sand and the river becomes a fabulous place to paddle and swim. Also very good for surfing, with lifeguards in attendance during summer.
“There are some huge dunes at the back of the beach which are great fun to explore and for kids to slide down on body boards etc. “When we went in August there was a coffee shop truck on the beach which was very good. “If you are a National Trust member you can park for free in the main car park, otherwise it is GBP6 for the day, there is also an alternative car park close by.
“If you want food locally, then I’d strongly recommend The Bowgie pub just up the road in West Pentire “On a sunny day this beach can easily compete with some of the best beaches in the world – it’s clean, safe and absolutely beautiful.”
Porthminster beach in St Ives (Image: Greg Martin)
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 Renowned for being a luscious golden sandy beach, family friendly and not too far from the centre of the town, Porthminster has plenty of amenities to suit your needs – be it a day of relaxation, or something a bit more adventurous. Plus, there’s toilets, a restaurant and takeaway too, so it’s no wonder people can spend the whole day here.
What the reviews say: Back in September 2020, one reviewer wrote: “This beach is so nice it could pass for being in Spain or Portugal. “Lovely and clean, nice bar and putting green at the back.
“Pleasant public toilets too. “Just five minutes from St Ives and boasting beautiful views.” You can stay up to date on the top news and events near you with CornwallLive’s FREE newsletters – find out more about our range of daily and weekly bulletins and sign up here or enter your email address at the top of the page.
Another, visiting in August, wrote: “Absolutely stunning beach with plenty of amenities and activities. “A must visit if you go to St Ives.” While, in 2019 before the pandemic, a third said: “Lovely beach, we come down every sunny day of the holiday!
“Always clean, gorgeous white sand and the sea is great for body boarding and swimming! “Lots of waves but not as rough as Porthmeor beach. “Lovely beach cafe to get my 11s cappuccino fix!
Or afternoon Sangria!! “Sell lots of food and ice creams! Toilets too.”
Gwithian beach, Cornwall
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 What the reviews say: A review from September 2020 reads: “Hands down our favourite beach, and we’ve visited A LOT of beaches in the world.
“Not only is there miles of beautiful sand for space from other people, and perfect waves for bodyboarding (we were in the sea non-stop for 3 hours) but also this beach has ample parking, a cafe with toilets and the best rock pools and caves to explore. “There are also sea pools that collect near the rocks on the beach for granny or the kids to swim in when the sea is too far out. “I’ve dreamt about beaches this perfect, finally I’ve found it.”
Another dubbed it “paradise”, writing: “If you are worried about social distancing in Cornwall, then this is the beach for you! “Granted we decided to go on the windiest day of the week (thanks Storm Francis!) but there is acres of space to explore. “A drive down a single track brings you to a large car park with parking for two hours at about GBP2.70.
“Good news is there are toilet facilities – these are on the upper level near the car park, so a walk up stairs from the beach. “No food or drink facilities, so bring your own. “The views as you walk down the path to the beach are breathtaking.
Sweeping expanse of sand with the Godrevy Lighthouse ahead of you. “I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the vista. “The beach has little caves, rock pools and other places to explore as well as surfing, walking the vast sands or just sitting and contemplating life.
“It felt like a world away from being stuck at home for weeks earlier in the year, and the wind definitely blew the cobwebs away!”
4. Hayle Towans
Cove Cafe, on Hayle Towans Beach. (Image: SBC Property)
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 What the reviews say:
If you’re after a vast expanse of sand, then Hayle Towans is for you. A review from October 2020 simply reads: “‘Three miles of golden sands’…enough said; probably the best beach in the South West. “Easy to access from Hayle town itself or across the dunes from the outskirts.
“Very clean and not littered, with plenty of water sports going on too, making the beach lively and interesting even in October!” Another, from August, 2019 said: “Didn’t know places like this existed in the UK. “This beach is unreal.
Miles of golden sand and clear blue seas. “Simply stunning. Kids loved climbing sand dunes, playing football, shell collecting, paddling in the sea.
“Had a brilliant time here, just gorgeous.”
Perranporth beach on May 20, 2020 (Image: Magicseaweed)
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 What the reviews say:
It’s been called ‘breathtaking’, ‘stunning’ and ‘fantastic’, but that’s not all past beachgoers have to say about the iconic Perranporth. One review from September 2020 said: “A wild and beautiful bay, perfect in the sun and a lovely spot for sunsets. “Framed by cliffs (where you can enjoy spectacular views from the coast path) this is a perfect sandy beach for a family holiday or a winter stroll watching the breakers.
“Bliss.” This review from August 2019 sums it up perfectly: “You did it again Perranporth beach. Thank heavens you were there in all your glory this holiday.
“Because without you our holiday would have been drab. “Firstly I’ve got to give a massive shout out to your amazing life guards and beach security!!!!! “Thank you for being there making us all feel safe.
You have the cleanest toilet block in the UK. “This is the cleanest doggy beach we’ve ever visited. “Everyone having fun.
If you haven’t been here you need to come and see for yourself. “The surf school gave folk the times of their lives. “Big up to you the watering hole and seiners arms for our yummy lunches and evening meals.
“The beach side shop and fast food outlets for pasties and ice cream. You have it all!!!! “And it takes no longer than a ten minute stroll to get anything you want with no queues.
“Don’t ever change Perranporth Beach because you are amazing.”
6. Treyarnon Bay
Treyarnon beach in Cornwall (Image: Geograph)
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 Treyarnon has been described as ‘heaven’ by one reviewer, who visited in September 2020 and wrote: “Stayed here for the week, what a beautiful bay, made better by the amenities of a coffee barista which also serves great food; a super shop that just about sold everything.”
While another in July said: “One of our favourite beaches. “Low tide explore of lagoon and we could have been in the Caribbean. “Good food and ice cream options too.”
August 2019 marked 29 years since this beachgoer first visited their “favourite beach in the UK”, adding: “We have been coming here every year since 1991 and I love it as much now as I did when I first saw it. “It is dog friendly all year round, has a huge car park, has rock pools and a huge one you can swim in when the tide is out, toilets and refreshments. “It has a couple of inlets which you can set up camp away from the masses.
“You can also walk to Porthcothan or Constantine if you need to stretch your legs.”
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 What the reviews say:
Famed for seals, its lighthouse and stunning views, Godrevy is a must-visit for even those who have been before – especially if you’re a National Trust member. This review from September 2020 says it all: “We spent the day at Godrevy on a beautiful sunny day. “The car park is free to National Trust members and there are toilets as well.
“We took a walk along the cliff top to see the stunning views across to the lighthouse and then further along to a small cove where the seals were basking in the sun and going in and out of the sea. “After our walk we went down to the beach and spent the rest of the day there. “We did lots of walking along the beach and shoreline and enjoyed watching the surfers.
“It is well worth a visit when in the area!” Godrevy makes for a good place to relax even on a busy summer’s day – as this June 2019 review puts it: “I love Godrevy – it’s peaceful and beautiful. “If you’re staying across the bay like me, it’s lovely to pull up in the National Trust car park right by the lighthouse and feel yourself unwinding.
“Nice to have loads of space and watch the wildlife after the hectic chaos of St Ives. “All the National Trust staff were friendly and helpful. “Definitely recommended!”
Porth Joke Beach, North Cornwall (Image: Tripadvisor)
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0 What the reviews say: If you’ve never visited before, the reviews will give you a glimpse into what’s waiting for you at Porth Joke.
Dubbed a ‘Cornish gem’, reviews from July 2020 include one that comments on the far reaching views and wild flower meadows: “This is an excellent beach; with access down a steep but well maintained track/access road. “The car park is at the top of the hill and doesn’t accept card payment so come prepared with pound coins! “The walk down to the beach is wonderful with wild flower meadows and far reaching views; once on the beach its lovely plenty of space and a shallow safe beach for all ages to enjoy.
“Rocks and rock pools off to both sides to explore as well.” Back in a review from May, 2018, one reviewer dubbed Porth Joke (also known as Polly Joke) a ‘hidden treasure’ and said: “The walk from the car park through the poppy fields and down to the beach, gives the family the feeling that they are discovering something special and they are … “A real hidden treasure.
Not too busy, decent body boarding surf and a complete sun trap. “A very special place: Sand, rock pools, mid sized surf, not too busy = great find.”
Beach huts on Summerleaze beach in Bude (Image: Nilfanion / Wikimedia)
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5
What the reviews say: A favourite for visitors to the area, one review from September 2020 tells us this beach has everything you might need for a day out: “This is one of my favourite beaches down here. “Plenty of parking at a reasonable price, beach is nice and sandy and seems to go on for miles.
“Dog friendly and even when busy, there is enough area for people not to be on top of each other. “It’s a lovely walk down the beach watching people swimming , surfing, chilling, sunbathing. “There’s rock pools to explore and a sea water pool to swim in if you don’t fancy the sea.
“Beautiful views of the sea and cliffs, very picturesque. “If you get peckish there is a moored boat on the canal serving excellent fish and chips otherwise take a brief walk up the hill in to town to the pasty shop, mmmm delicious.” Another visitor wrote: “Everything you want from a classic British seaside spot.
“With so many people looking for UK holiday destinations in the near future, Bude is well worth a look – it’s got more than one generous beach, of which Summerleaze with its sea pool is the pick, the car park is right next door, there’s a whole town to pick from if you tire of the sand and surf but nothing is too developed or overcrowded. “Ticks all the boxes, keep your fingers crossed for the weather.”
Porthcurno beach (Image: Greg Martin)
TripAdvisor rating: 5.0
What the reviews say: With Porthcurno, you can tick off two things from the bucket list, as the famed Minack Theatre is just a short walk away. One reviewer from October 2020 wrote: “Walked to Porthcurno beach from the Minack Theatre and the walk is naturally beautiful and the bay and beach are stunning.
“There were seals swimming in the bay and the water was turquoise in colour. “Beach was clean and beautiful, well worth a visit.” Of course, if you’re a Poldark fan like this next reviewer, of course you’ll need to make the journey to the famous Nampara Cove: “After viewing “Poldark” on television, I had to see his beach.
“The car park was busy, so we drove to the top of the road and got a much better from the theatre (that’s a whole other review!).
“The sand is brilliant and the water is a clear jade green.
And even in October, people were swimming.”