Essential information for visitors to Cornwall
Staying safe at the coast
As you enjoy the natural environment there are dangers to be aware of especially while you spend time around the coast.
Cornwall Council Beach Safety Advice
Surfers, swimmers and all watersports enthusiasts should observe the advice of RNLI Lifeguards and carefully read notices at the beach entrances.
Please note that RNLI Lifeguard cover is only provided at just over 20 selected beaches in Cornwall and at only at peak seasons.
The RNLI provide the following advice:
• Always swim at a lifeguarded beach
• Swim between the red and yellow flags
• Never swim alone
• Know your beach safety flags
• Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas
• If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
• If you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
• Find out about the beach you’re going to before you visit
• Check tide times before you go
•Read and obey local hazard signs
For more information visit www.rnli.org
Tides and currents
When on the beach be aware of the tide times, especially high tide, as you might get caught off-guard unable return the way you came and face the dangers of rocks, cliffs and strong underwater 'rip' currents.
During the warmer months of the year from Spring through until Autumn there are dangers from over-exposure to the sun resulting in sun-stroke, sunburn and long term risks of skin disease. Suitable sun protection creams should be used and when sunbathing be aware of the added risks of dehydration. Extra care is required for babies and small children.
Popular coastal paths and headland walks present great opportunities for walking and enjoying the scenery. However there is always danger from coastal erosion, falling rocks and from the risks of falling over the cliff edges. The South West Coast Path is maintained to reduce these risks but every care should be taken especially in poor visibility. The Coastguard service should be alerted in the event of danger to life - call 999 and ask for Coastguard or Ambulance as required.
Check out our accessibility information guide for people with disabilities and special needs.
Dog friendly advice
If you are planning to bring your dog on holiday to Cornwall it is essential that you confirm your holiday accommodation provider's policy on accepting pets before you leave home. Consider what to do with your dog whilst visiting attractions or eating in restaurants that don't welcome pets, and how you are going to travel around Cornwall. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, even for a short while, when its warm or hot outside. The temperature inside your car will double that outside in 6-10 minutes. Dogs will quickly suffer from heat exhaustion and possibly die. If you do see a dog left in a car on a warm day and it appears to be distressed, call the RSPCA on 0870 5555999 or the Police on 08452 777 444. They will take the appropriate action and, if necessary, break into the car to release the animal. If you should have to leave a dog in a car for a short time, leave a note stating your time of return. AND RETURN ON TIME! Otherwise an embarrassing rescue operation may be launched by a concerned passer-by.
Dogs, particularly elderly ones, should be exercised in the early morning and late evening to avoid over-exertion in hot weather. All dogs are required by law to wear a collar and tag bearing the name and address of the owner. If you are on holiday, it is a good idea to have a temporary tag with your holiday address on it. If you lose your dog, please contact an appropriate local council as soon as possible. A dog ban operates on some Cornish beaches from Easter Sunday to October 1st. Check our beaches pages for more detailed information. If you have lost your dog please contact the Cornwall Council Dog Warden Service on 0300 1234 212 or you can now find details of dogs which have been handed into the Council or picked up by the Council’s Dog Welfare team online at www.cornwall.gov.uk/straydogs.
Caravan towing guide
Check out our caravan towing guide to ensure a safe journey to and from your destination.
Victim of crime
Cornwall has one of the lowest crime rates in the UK however there are a number of ways to help reduce the risk of crime whilst in the county. Where possible, leave valuables (such as large quantities of spending money) locked in your accommodation. Do not leave valuables on display within your car, keep them under seats or in the boot, well out of view. Use beach lockers where possible, or try and avoid taking valuable items to the beach. To report a crime, or for information and advice, you can call Devon and Cornwall Constabulary anytime on 08452 777444
If you, or a member of your party, fall ill whilst on holiday in Cornwall, in the first instance contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 where a qualified person will be able to offer free practical help and advice. NHS Direct will also be able to offer information on prescriptions and treatments and where you can obtain these across Cornwall. In an emergency dial 999.
In order to make the most of your holiday don't forget sufficient supplies of any medication for the duration of your stay. Chemists and pharmacies are found in every town across Cornwall, however opening hours will vary. If you have had a recent illness or hospital admission please check with your doctor that you are well enough to travel... and most of all enjoy your holiday!
Directgov - nearest health facilities through your mobile.
Royal Cornwall Hospital
Treliske, Truro, TR1 3LJ
Tel: 01872 250000
St Michael's Hospital
Hayle, TR27 4JA
Tel: 01736 753234
West Cornwall Hospital
St Clare Street
Penzance, TR18 2PF
Tel: 01736 874000
In Cornwall we take our recycling very seriously as we hope you do at home. In order to help us keep Cornwall a super holiday destination and free from litter and environmental damage, we would ask you to recycle the following items during your stay:
Glass bottles and jars
Newspapers and magazines
Metal drinks and food cans
You will find a comprehensive range of over 900 recycling banks in most supermarket and district council car parks across Cornwall.