Cornwall beach guide

Cornwall beach guide Rated the best beaches in the world

Cornwall's beaches are rated among the best in the UK and even the world. Thanks to our unique position on the UK's South West peninsula, 80% of Cornwall is surrounded by the sea with the longest stretch of coastline in the UK at 476km. 

Find a beach
On this website you can browse through more than one hundred beaches by using the left-hand filters to refine your search and help you find exactly what you're looking for.

Water quality
The Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide tested 82 beaches in Cornwall in 2014 for water quality with a 100% pass rate, and 91% scoring the highest marks available. 

Beach safety

Please note that RNLI Lifeguard cover is only provided at just over 20 selected beaches in Cornwall and at only at peak seasons. For more information please read Cornwall Council's Beach Safety Advice

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

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.

If you're looking for a dog-friendly beach...
Some beaches are dog friendly all year round, other beaches operate a seasonal dog ban usually from Easter to October. Activate the dog-friendly filter on the left-hand side to find dog-friendly beaches, checking each beach for seasonal ban details. For further information see Dog friendly holidays in Cornwall 

Search Results


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  1. Harlyn Bay Beach | Padstow | Beaches in Cornwall

    Harlyn Bay Beach


    Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014. Considered one of the best family beaches in Cornwall, Harlyn Bay is a wide and spacious beach of yellow sand and pebbles with plenty of interesting rock pools backed by dunes

  2. Upton Towans Beach, Hayle, Cornwall c Mike Murphy

    Upton Towans Beach


    Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014 - Upton Towans beach is situated near Hayle in west Cornwall.

  3. Trevone Bay Beach | Padstow | Beaches in Cornwall c James Penman

    Trevone Bay beach


    Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014. Popular with surfers, excellent walking & marine wildlife. Golden sandy beach with little alcoves to sit and watch away the day.  Seasonal dog ban.

  4. Porthoustock Beach, The Lizard, Cornwall

    Porthoustock Beach

    The Lizard

    Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014: Known locally as Pro'stock, Porthoustock is an east-facing beach with a large flat expanse of coarse darksand and shingle that is popular with divers

  5. Maenporth Beach, Falmouth

    Maenporth Beach


    Maenporth Beach is an attractive sheltered east-facing sandy beach set between small headlands. The gently sloping beach has shallow water which is great for children.   A seasonal dog ban operates on this beach.