Prestigious Blue Flags, the international standard for the best beaches in the world, are flying at eight of Cornwall’s top beaches.
Located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this beach is one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing beaches. With dramatic cliff faces it is a beautiful place to walk along the soft golden sands or take the footpath over the cliff heading east to St Agnes. Blue Bar on the beach is a great place to grab a drink while enjoying this award winning beach. From the beach at low tide you can walk to the neighbouring and equally stunning beach at Chapel Porth and as well as the large expanse of sand which is perfect for a game of rounders or cricket, there’s a children’s play park at the top end of the beach.
Porthmeor is a popular and safe beach for both surfers and swimmers alike that can be found in the shadow of the iconic Tate St Ives building. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the centre of St Ives where you can find ancient pubs and trendy cafes. The beach has won awards for its excellent water quality and in summer proves popular with families with fully trained lifeguards patrolling from Easter to autumn. It’s the ideal place to relax and take in the beautiful setting or you can try out new watersports from the Surf School.
Only 3 miles South of Bude and accessible by the South West Coast Path this long open bay is popular with families and surfers. At low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore and the beach is home to many local surf schools as the fantastic conditions of Widemouth Bay are perfect for those learning to surf or body-board. If watersports aren’t for you, you can take in the stunning panoramic views from the viewing area at the north or south end of the bay.
Gyllngvase beach is Falmouth’s largest beach and as it is a 10 minute walk away from the centre of town it is a popular beach year round. With great amenities like the Gylly Beach Café that offers a fresh contemporary menu using local produce, it is no surprise that it is very popular with locals and tourists. Gyllyngvase beach is a great place for watersports, including stand-up paddleboarding; you can enjoy this while taking in the views of Pendennis Castle and the panoramic views of the Lizard Peninsula.
Surrounded by high cliffs on one side and big rocky ledges and outcrops on the other, Trevone beach near Padstow has sheltered coves to sit and watch away the day. With the golden sands it makes it a favoured spot for sand castle building, rounders and simply soaking up the sea air. The beach is located around 2 miles west of Padstow making it easy to visit the charming working fishing port.
Newly awarded the Blue Flag for the first time in May 2018, Great Western Beach is one of several beautiful beaches easily accessed from the town centre of Newquay. It's popular with both surfers and families alike, with caves in the surrounding cliffs and rock pools to explore at low tide.
With a wide expanse of golden sand exposed at low tide and bordered by rocky outcrops, this beach is ideal for rock-pooling and relaxing. Crooklets is at the north side of Bude and can be reached by a short walk over the Summerleaze Down or down the hill from the town centre. It's very popular with surfers and is home to the Bude Surf Life Saving Club.
This large beach on Cornwall's north coast attracts everybody from families to profesional surfers due to its easily accessible location and long slow breaking consistent waves. When the tide is out, Polzeath offers a huge expanse of sand stretching a quarter of a mile out to the sea, plenty of space to while the day away digging sandcastles and sun bathing.
As well as the Blue Flag, these Cornish beaches have been awarded Seaside Awards in 2021
Perranporth, Porth at Newquay, Porthminster in St Ives, Sennen Cove, Portreath, and Summerleaze in Bude.
Main Image © Copyright Tom Chambers