Cornwall's Blue Flag beaches

Prestigious Blue Flags, the international standard for the best beaches in the world, are flying at seven of Cornwall’s top beaches. These beaches are the pick of the crop for facilities, seasonal RNLI lifeguard cover and cleanliness – see you there this summer!

For details of RNLI lifeguard cover, visit

For details on staying safe on the coast see our guide.

Porthtowan Beach, Porthtowan

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 Beach, St Ives

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 stones 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.  

Widemouth Bay Beach, Bude

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. 

Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

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. 

Trevone Beach, near Padstow

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.

Carbis Bay Beach, near St Ives

The Carbis Bay Hotel owns this safe bathing beach. It is surrounded by subtropical plants and lapped by turquoise waters and is part of an array of beaches that make up St Ives Bay, listed as one of the world’s best by the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Organisation. The beach rarely has hardly any surf so makes for an ideal spot for families with toddlers as the sea is perfect for swimming. Served by the picturesque St Ives branch line and around a mile long, the golden sands bathe in the bright light of west Cornwall and a short walk on the east side of the beach at low tide brings you to Porth Kidney sands where you’ll find a RSPB bird sanctuary, an important habitat for sea birds.

Great Western Beach, Newquay

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. 


As well as the Blue Flag, these Cornish beaches have been awarded Seaside Awards in 2019

Carbis Bay, Gyllyngvase in Falmouth, Great Western in Newquay, Perranporth, Polzeath, Porth, Porthtowan, Porthmeor and Porthminster in St Ives, Sennen Cove, Trevone Bay near Padstow, Crooklets and Summerleaze in Bude, Crackington Haven and Widemouth Bay.


For details of RNLI lifeguard cover, visit

For details on staying safe on the coast see our guide.

Do you have a favourite beach? Let us know by commenting in the box below.