Holywell Bay Beach

    A wide, sandy beach backed by grassy dunes and surrounded by rugged headlands and rocky islands. On sunny days, Holywell Bay might as well be paradise.


    Experience Holywell Bay

    No matter what your heart desires, there's something to do at Holywell Bay Beach. While best-regarded amongst swimmers, surfers, and bodyboarders, there is ample room to find a secluded spot to sunbathe. At low tide, shallow streams and rock pools provide a great spot for children to paddle. On the east of the beach, the vast 5000 year old sand dune system makes for fantastic sandboarding in the summer.

    Explore Holywell Bay

    Holywell Bay provides breathtaking spectacle both above and under the cliffs. The South West Coast Path travels across to the sheer cliffs giving panoramic ocean views of Penhale Point and Kelsey Head. Underneath the cliffs on the north end is St Cuthbert's Cave, accessible only at low tide. Take a torch inside and explore the cave's bizarre and colourful mineral formations, though ensure you leave long before the tide comes in.

    A Westerosi Connection

    Holywell Bay recently made its way onto our TV screens in the fantasy drama 'House of the Dragon.' In the show, Holywell is used to portray the beach at Driftmark, the seat of House Velaryon.


    Surfing at Holywell

    On its best days, Holywell Bay beach can produce some of Cornwall's best surf conditions. Exposed to large swells that are popular with surfers and bodyboarders, the break is at its best at low and mid tide. At the north end of the beach the waves are considerably larger, being hit by the full force of the Atlantic swell. On days when the north end and some of the other local beaches are looking a bit too big to surf, you can head down to Holywell's south end, where the large rock islands offer some shelter from the south-westerly winds.

    If you're new to surfing and want to have a crack, there's no reason why you should miss out on all the fun! The local surf school offers lessons throughout the year. Additionally, you can also take part in stand up paddle boarding, coasteering and even scuba diving!

    A perfect spot for swimmers, surfers and walkers alike, this golden sandy beach is one of the North Coast's very best.

    Plan your trip

    Everything you need to know about getting to Holywell Bay Beach.

    • Holywell Bay, Nr Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 5PP

    • Holywell Bay Car Park is a National Trust pay and display located on the west side of Holywell village, near the beach. The car park is free for National Trust members, or otherwise can be paid for by coins or with the PayByPhone app.

    • Several buses have lines travelling through Holywell Bay, including: the 850 between Newquay and Truro College; the 85 between Newquay and Truro; and the U1A Coast to Coast, between Falmouth and Newquay.


    Everything else you might need to know about Holywell Bay Beach.

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    • Holywell Bay Beach is patrolled by RNLI Lifeguards from the 13th of May to the 24th of September, between 10am and 6pm. (2023)

      RNLI Lifeguards
    • Holywell Beach is dog friendly all year round.

    • In Die Another Day (2002), starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, Holywell Bay was used to depict Bond's surfboard landing in North Korea. More recently, Holywell Bay portrayed Driftmark in the fantasy drama 'House of the Dragon' and has also been used in Poldark.

    Things to do

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