Winter beach walks
This winter why not spend some time in Cornwall and discover our deserted beaches? The water may not be so inviting, but wrap up warm and there’s nothing better than a bracing walk along the sand with the waves crashing a safe distance away…
Here’s a small selection of beach walks we recommend for blowing the cobwebs away…
With two miles of golden sand at low tide, this large expanse of sand frequently picks up Atlantic swells in the winter, making it a haven for surfers. Dog friendly all year round. The best place to access it is in front of the Watergate Bay Hotel where there's a public carpark. After your invigorating walk, warm yourself up in one of the local cafes with a drink or a meal overlooking the wonderful view.
Situated between Polperro and Fowey on the south coast, this little cove is as far removed from Watergate Bay as you can get. A 20 minute walk down the valley from the National Trust carpark reaches the cove via a man-made cut in the rocks. Reputedly a haunt of smugglers, you will be lucky to meet anybody here on a winter’s day, but make sure the tide is out, otherwise there’s very little beach to explore.
West of St Agnes and overshadowed by the iconic remains of Wheal Coates engine house, Chapel Porth is another beach that is best explored as the tide is going out (when the tides in there’s no beach!). There are caves and rockpools to explore, as well as miles of sand, and afterwards head to the cafe for a hot chocolate or perhaps a legendary 'hedgehog' ice cream (yes, even in the winter!).
There are better known beaches on the Lizard, which is why we like this one. Comprised of two beaches, divided by the small hill of Carn Kennack and a rocky outcrop, it’s a favourite of geologists, both because of the local rock formations, but also the pebbles that can be found there, especially on the eastern beach. Behind the beach are sand dunes (known as towans in Cornwall), they are a local nature reserve and in the winter are often home to ponies who keep the scrub down.
This half mile shingle bank separates Loe Pool, the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall, from the sea. It can be walked to from either Porthleven along the SWCP or down through the Penrose estate from Helston. Possibly the location of King Arthur’s death as described by Tennyson, the bar is also connected with the Cornish legend of Tregeagle. Walk along it on a crisp winters day and see if you feel the inspiration for a story?
When is a beach not a beach? Here only a mile or so south of Land’s End is a cove where there’s sometimes a nice sandy beach and at other times just a cove full of boulders and rocks. It all depends on the winter storms which crash into this exposed stretch of coastline, sometimes taking, sometimes giving… To reach Nanjizel you have to walk along the coastal path, either from Land’s End or Porthgwarra, so make sure it’s a fine day.
Time and tide....
Like all beaches, always check the tide before walking any distance. It's always best to start a walk when the tide is going out and be aware that some days the tide will come in quicker and higher than at other times.. Tide Times can be viewed here, just select the beach you wish to visit.