13 Of The Best Cornwall Beaches

Dreamin' of miles of white sand, crystal clear water and secret rocky coves? Look no further than this gorgeous part of the UK. The coastal paradise of Cornwall is famously known for its stunning beaches and surf-friendly waters, with plenty of hidden spots to taste local produce, ranging from fresh seafood to indulgent cream tea. Whether you're after a day of riding the waves or taking a picturesque walk across the sandy shores, we've compiled a list of 13 of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall to help you out.

ūüĆä ūüć¶ ūüĆä

Fistral Beach

Best surfing beaches in Cornwall, you ask? Just a short distance from Holywell Bay, Fistral beach is loved by both swimmers and surfers. Famously known for the Cribbar, a reef at the north end of the shore that creates waves with heights up to 30 feet, this site is a premier location for those keen to ride some of the best swells in the country. If you've worked up an appetite, check out The Fistral Beach Stable just a short walk from the beach for sourdough pizza and an extensive collection of cider.

Fistral Beach Cornwall | DesignMyNight

If you're a beginner on the hunt for smoother waves, get surfing between May and September at Fistral beach.

Pedn Vounder Beach

Just a stone's throw away from Porthcurno, Pedn Vounder Beach is one of Cornwall's most gorgeous well-kept secrets. Located just below the cliff of Treryn Dinas, this little corner of paradise can only be seen at low tide, where you can admire its rocky coves with breathtaking clear and turquoise waters. This magical point is also a top pick for nature lovers, so if you're up for a cheeky dip in the sea, this secluded beach has got you covered.

Pedn Vounder Cornwall Beach | DesignMyNight

Reenact the famous Poldark dream sequence at this stunning location.

Gyllyngvase Beach

Gyllyngvase beach is Falmouth's largest and one of the most popular in Cornwall for families. Take in breathtaking coastal views of the water before checking out a fabulous variety of sub-tropical flowers at Queen Mary Gardens. Feeling hungry? Dry off at nearby Harbour Lights, which is less than a five-minute drive away, to enjoy home-made fish 'n' chips with a view.

Gyllyngvase Beach Cornwall | DesignMyNight

After a day of paddle boarding, grab a plate or two of Cornish hake at Harbour Lights.

Perranporth Beach

Great for surfers and families alike, Perranporth beach is another one of Cornwall's treasures, known for its distinctive arch. This long stretch of golden sands is one of the largest on the North Coast, as it connects in low tide with the neighbouring beach, Penhale Sands. Be sure to make your way into the archetypal town for its great high street and a fabulous selection of local eateries and pubs.

Perranporth Best Cornwall Beaches | DesignMyNight

Get that perfect snapshot of Perranporth's stunning arch.

Port Isaac

Located in North Cornwall between Polzeath and Tintagel Much, Port Isaac is a vibrant fishing village with plenty of things to do. Wander through the quaint streets, make your way down to the historic harbour or venture out to explore many of its local coastal walks. For those in the mood for some tasty grub, go to Outlaw's New Road to enjoy the catch of the day with stunning views overlooking the sea.

Port Isaac Beautiful Beach In Cornwall | DesignMyNight

Sit at the harbour and watch the fishermen deliver fresh seafood as you take in the fresh air.

Kynance Cove

Owned by the National Trust, Kynance Cove is one of the best Cornwall beaches and is known for its stunning contrast of clear waters with dark red and green serpentine rock. Located beneath the undulating green cliffs of the Lizard Peninsula, this sandy landscape features mysterious open spaces and the most gorgeous white sand. P.S. Keep an eye out for the critters and greenery in the cove. The diverse flora and fauna, ranging from Cornish heath to ferns, lichens, and elusive moths, make for a wild sight. At low tide, you can also explore the fascinating rock caves such as The Parlour and The Drawing Room. 

Kynance Cove Cornwall Beach | DesignMyNight

You might think you're abroad at this stunning Cornwall beach with tropical-looking waters.

Porthleven Beach

This charming 3-mile-long stretch of golden sand surrounded by massive cliffs and rock formations is ideal for those seeking a quiet spot in the sun. Porthleven Beach has heaps to do, from watersports to strolling around the shops. In the mood for pan-Asian cuisine? Then stop off at Kota, a fine-dining restaurant situated in a 300-year-old pub that overlooks the stunning harbour for a taste of Porthilly oysters with wasabi tartare.

Porthleven Cornwall Beautiful Beach | DesignMyNight

Porthleven is a hotspot for both hometown folks and out-of-towners looking for some sun and fun.

Gwynver Beach

Although quiet and compact with little facilities, Gwynver beach has a cracking view complete with turquoise waters and granite cliffs to make up for the lack of amenities. Named after Guinevere, wife of the legendary King Arthur, this site is a lovely place to relish the countryside and take in the crisp Cornish air. If you're lucky, you might be able to watch some dolphins and basking sharks in the summer months.

Gwynver Beach | DesignMyNight

Gwynver Beach also happens to be one of the best beaches in Cornwall with parking.

East Looe Beach

A much-loved favourite with holidaymakers, East Looe beach is the perfect sandy location for swimming and picnics. Boasting shimmering golden sands, gentle waves, and a sheltered bay, all thanks to its unique Banjo pier, this seaside area is a quintessential Cornish destination. There's also plenty to do in the area, so you can check out the wildlife sanctuary just off Hannafore Point or a take trip on a glass-bottom boat. To top it off, you can enjoy some great eateries such as The Sardine Factory, with delicious produce sourced locally from their fishermen.

East Looe Beach Cornwall | DesignMyNight

This happens to be one of the prettiest spots in South Cornwall for a reason.

Porthcurno Beach

If you're on the lookout for an oasis of natural beauty in the far west of Cornwall, then make your way to the award-winning Porthcurno beach. Nestled between sheer cliffs, with beautiful white beaches caressed by aquamarine waves, this seaside spot is a dazzling Cornish natural paradise. What's more, this popular location is known for its delightful sea view and high cliffs, which provide plenty of shelter from the coastal winds and make it ideal for the cooler months.

Porthcurno Most Beautiful Beaches In Cornwall | DesignMyNight

Make sure to check out the open-air theatre on the west side of the bay.

Summerleaze Beach

Summerleaze beach is a popular destination and one of the best beaches in Cornwall for families. During the summer months, this sandy stretch is fantastic for a full day out and is just a short walk from Bude Castle, where there are plenty of seafood eateries and pubs to enjoy nearby. For those who love watersports, there's also a chance to rent a kayak on the shoreline or head to one of the local surf schools.

Summerleaze Cornwall Beach | DesignMyNight

Be sure to rent out one of the gorgeous beach huts on Summerleaze Beach.

Porthmeor Beach

An idyllic sandy hub that looks like something from a postcard, Porthmeor beach is superb for summer picnics, swimming and exploring. It does, however, get busy in the warmer months, but this is due to its closeness to the centre of St Ives, where you'll find heaps of ancient pubs, art galleries and restaurants. When it gets a little cooler, get your board shorts ready as this is one of the best beaches in Cornwall for surfing.

Porthmeor Beach In Cornwall | DesignMyNight

Porthmeor Beach is the perfect place for a spot of sunset watching with a chilled beer in hand.

Lantic Bay

Keeping your eyes peeled for one of the best beaches in Cornwall and Devon? This hidden gem is located on the spectacular stretch of the coast between Fowey and Polperro. Although access to Lantic Bay is a little difficult with a steep cliff path, this quiet and idyllic beach is a great place to sit back and listen to the soothing sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

Lantic Bay Cornwall Pretty Beach | DesignMyNight

Make sure to pack plenty of sun cream, as this bay can be a suntrap in the warmer months.

Looking for more places to eat? Check out the best restaurants in Cornwall or sign up for our UK newsletter here.