Cornwall Beaches and Watersports Cornish Riviera

The Cornish Riviera has a wide range of beaches to choose from and there is sure to be one that will suit your particular requirements.

There are ‘family friendly’ beaches such as Looe, Hannafore and Par Sands which all the family can enjoy as there is car parking, facilities, toilets and they are accessible if you have small children in pushchairs or disabled members of your family. Many have lifeguards in the summer.

There are also hidden beaches and coves with no facilities at all and which are difficult to get to, often involving a walk down a steep cliff path. Often, car parking can be difficult and they are best accessed by walking along the coastal path. Lantic Bay, between Polperro and Polruan, is a good example of one such beach. If you want quiet seclusion, then these beaches are definitely for you.

There are ‘ surfer beaches’ which offer opportunities for beginner and intermediate surfers such as Whitsand Bay.

Whatever you are looking for in a beach, you will find it on the Riviera Coast. We are developing our beach section to have a search facility but for now, enjoy reading about the beaches and choose one or more that meet your needs. For sure, you could spend a happy week on the sheltered, sunny Riviera Coast and visit a different beach or two everyday if you wanted to !

We have found an excellent site on the internet  - the Cornwall Beach Guide. For your convenience, we have provided links to this site from every beach listed and so whether we have reviewed the beach ourselves or it has been reviewed by Simon Lewis, webmaster of the Cornwall Beach Guide, you can discover information about the beach, it’s facilities and location. 


Please note that all information provided is copyrighted and may not be used for commercial purposes without express permission of or, in the case of linked information . Photographs which appear in this section are also copyrighted by either or by



For a review of this beach, please visit the Cornwall Beach Guide


Portwrinkle has two beaches  - a shingle beach to the west and an ever  popular sandy beach, Finnygook, to the east of the village. Portwrinkle is located at the western extreme of Whitsand Bay where the Royal Navy recently sank HMS Scylla to create an artificial reef. There are great views of Rame Head and Looe from Portwrinkle and there are some very nice beach lodges.  If you like the beach so much, you may wish to stay there !

Access to the beaches at Portwrinkle is not easy and they are probably not suitable for disabled people or pushchairs. There are two car parks but they are small and become very crowded. There are toilets but no other facilities at the beach.

Readymoney Cove

For a review of this beach, please visit the Cornwall Beach Guide


Seaton is a large and popular family beach with grey sand as is common in South East Cornwall. There are a number of facilities at Seaton such as public toilets, a café and a beach shop. There is a local pub, The Smugglers Inn, and a restaurant, Sands Bistro. 

The car parks at Seaton are small and will become full in the summer on hot days and at weekends. The beach is easily accessible and suitable for all the family. Dogs are banned at certain times of the year

St Mawes

For a review of this beach, please visit the Cornwall Beach Guide


For a review of this beach, please visit the Cornwall Beach Guide

Talland Bay

Talland Bay has two sheltered shingle beaches, Talland Sand and Rotterdam Beach, and some nice big rocks to the side which make for a comfortable place to sunbathe. A low tide there is some sand but of course it’s wet ! There are rock pools to explore.

On the beachfront is the Talland Bay Beach Café which was renovated in 2005 and is a very pleasant place to rest during a walk from Looe or Polperro or visit by car. Offering a good selection of Panninis, Sandwiches, Pasties, Soup, Cakes & Muffins as well as Cornish Cream Teas, fresh coffees and Roskillys award winning ice creams, the Talland Bay Beach Café also has car parking by the beach  and a number of nice tables outside the café.There are toilets and road parking at Talland. Up the hill is Talland Bay Hotel which is excellent for dining.

Talland is also a must for the snorkeller with the regular Pollack and colourful Rass, to the occasional flash of the silver Bass. Talland is a  good beach for catching edible crabs  - if they have not crawled in to the pots that are dotted a short distance out to sea by the local crab and lobster fishing boats.

Towan Beach

For a review of this beach, please visit the Cornwall Beach Guide

Vault Beach

For a review of this beach, please visit the Cornwall Beach Guide

Whitsand Bay

Whitsand Bay has the best beaches in the area for sand and surfing. It is a four mile long sandy beach but the problem is that it is not easily accessible. There are no toilets and the cliff path to the beach is very steep .

For surfers, the beach is suitable for beginners through to intermediates and there is a review of it on the BBC site  - beware the rip currents.

At the western end of Tregantle beach (also known as Long Sands Beach) is Tregantle Fort, a MOD firing range. During firing sessions, the beach is closed by means of a ‘red flag’. Details of firing times are posted through notices issued to the local parish councils, Harbour Masters, Post Offices, coastguards, and published in the Cornish Times and The Western Morning News or can be found by calling  01752 822516.

Around the middle of Whitsand Bay is Freathy Beach which has a café above it and to the easterly end is Tregonhawke Beach. There is some parking available in lay-bys along the coast road and there are lifeguards in summer.

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