Beaches and Watersports The Atlantic Coast Cornwall

North Cornwall enjoys 60 miles of dramatic atlantic heritage coast. From quiet nooks and coves to exciting surfing venues, all flanked by magnificent coastal scenery, The Atlantic Coast of Cornwall has some of the cleanest beaches in the county and Polzeath beach has been awarded the coveted Blue Flag award.



Harlyn Bay is one of the best family beaches in Cornwall, it is a wide and spacious beach popular with families and surfers. There are several access points to Harlyn Bay beach. The coast path can be walked from Harlyn Bay to Mother Iveys Bay and Trevose Head. Note that part of the coast path is on Harlyn Bay beach, so this route may be impassable at high tide.

Crackington Haven is a popular sand and pebble beach with plenty of sand at low tide. There is a stream that cuts through the upper half of the beach that enters the beach from a quaint road bridge. There are excellent views from the 400 foot cliffs that tower above the north end of the beach. A great central point for walks in the area.

Holywell Bay is a huge sandy beach with extensive sand dunes, popular with families and surfers. Facilities are in Holywell village which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. The path to the beach is level.


Perranporth is a popular seaside town with a huge sandy beach which stretches 2 miles to the north. There are also extensive sand dunes and all the expected facilities. You can park at Perran Sands holiday park and access the north end of the beach via the dunes.


Bude - Sandymouth Bay - A beautiful National trust beach that is not only the largest but also one of the quietest Bude beaches.  Access is down a 200m gravel path from the car park to the beach. The walk down to the beach passes through a small green valley before being confronted by a waterfall cascading on to the pebble ridge. The beach is cut off at high tides, however at low tide there is over 1 mile of beach to play with. On spring tides you can walk all the way to Summerleaze beach bude (3 miles), however seek advice before you set off. The surf school and the cafe are a must on any visit to the area. A great surfing beach for details of lessons contact:


Sandymouth Surf School
Tel: 07870 472448
Try a fantastic experience with people that love to teach you about their passion.......surfing waves!

Sandymouth Surf School provides fun and safe surf tuition that is tailored to meet the needs of individuals of all ages. 

Sandymouth Surf School operates in smaller group sizes than industry standard, with high quality equipment and provides personable instruction to ensure that each client reaches their full potential. 

The sessions are great fun and take place on a stunning National Trust beach.

Bude - Crooklets.  Close to the town, Crooklets is overlooked by a cafe, the surf club and some local accommodation. It has a sand/pebble ridge at high tide and is popular with the local surfers at higher tides. At low tide, Crooklets is connected to Summerleaze beach and has plenty of space. It is known as one of the town beaches so everything is available within walking distance. No dogs.

Bude - Summerleeze. The perfect summer holiday family beach with expanses of golden sand and dunes. This is the closest beach to Bude town centre and has a large car-park behind the dunes. There is so much to look at and do on Summerleaze from the active victorian sea pool, the gentlemen only plunge pool, watching the fishing boats coming in and out of the harbour or watching the lifeboat launch for practice and testing. No dogs.

Duckpool is a fairy small sheltered cove, mainly pebbles but it does have sand at low tide. Parking is quite limited with a small car park and some off road parking too. Toiltes are provided. 

Daymer Bay is accessed by some steps from the large car park which has a shop and toilets. The large mostly sandy beach also has rock pools and at low tide joins with Rock beach to afford a huge expanse of sand. Dog friendly all year.

Newquay - Crantock Beach is a huge sandy beach close to Holywell Bay and is popular with families, surfers and is also dog friendly all year. Parking close by and with many sand dunes, it also has a cafe and toilets.

Newquay - Fistral Beach is a huge sandy beach on the western edge of Newquay and is one of the most popular surfing beaches, however can be very crowded during summer months. Access is via short slopes from the beach car park or the coast path. At the southern end there are steps to the beach.

Newquay - Watergate Bay is an excellent mile long beach with good surfing and also plenty of sand for families. Access is via a sloping path to Watergate Bay beach. Watergate is also overlooked by the Jamie Oliver restaurant, if your feeling like treating yourself then it's well worth a visit.

Polzeath is a super family beach with a large expanse of sand and excellent surfing. There is also a small cove at the north of Polzeath beach called Pentireglaze Haven. At Polzeath there is level access to the beach by the beach car park. At New Polzeath there are steps down to the beach.

For Surf Reports and Web Cams for Polzeath and Fistral Beaches:

Widemouth Bay - A large popular beach consisting of three areas. The southern end is dog friendly and a little quieter. The middle area of the beach has access at all tides and has a longer lifeguarded season and a zoned surf area due to the popularity. The large car-park looks straight on to the beach so you can enjoy the view from your front seat if you wish.

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