A destination often overshadowed by its busy neighbour Padstow, Polzeath Beach serves as one of the north coast’s best surfing destinations, and is a real Cornish gem.
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Address: Polzeath Beach, Polzeath, Cornwall, PL27 6SS
Surfing at Polzeath Beach
Over the years, Polzeath Beach has built up its reputation as a real surfing hotspot. Though advanced surfers may wish to look elsewhere for a more exhilarating swell, Polzeath's long, consistent, slow-breaking waves make the beach a haven for novice and intermediate surfers as well as body boarders. Local surf schools located by the beach can provide any newcomers a chance to get on a board as well.
Experience Polzeath Beach
Though Polzeath's watersports are its main attraction, the beach is still ideal for a warm, lazy day in the sand. At low tide there’s rock pools to explore underneath the cliffs, where little ones can peek at some of the sea life waiting to catch the next tide out. Swimming is generally safe, and the beach is lifeguarded in the summer, but swimmers should nonetheless still be wary of occasional rips and large waves.
Located in Padstow Bay with the benefits of an Atlantic swell, Polzeath is the perfect day out for surfers and casual beachgoers alike.
The History of Polzeath
In the 19th century, Polzeath's tourism industry developed greatly, eventually becoming the largest sector in the local economy. Polzeath has been associated with a great number of famous visitors over the years. Sir John Betjeman, the poet laureate, celebrated Polzeath in some of his works, while the poet Laurence Binyon wrote the Remembrance Day ode "For the Fallen" on the nearby Pentire Headland.
Polzeath's literary connections are in no way limited to poetry. In fiction, Polzeath was a holiday haunt of Enid Blyton's Famous Five, who missed out on a trip to the beach in the first book.
In more recent times, Polzeath was reported to be a favourite surfing destination of Princes William and Harry when they were children, while former Prime Minister David Cameron also holidayed nearby during his premiership.
North of Polzeath Beach is The Pentire Head peninsular. It's a fantastic place for spotting birdlife with puffins sometimes seen on the off-shore islands. There are also many other coastal birds that can be seen here including birds of prey. Keep an eye out for seals and dolphins which frequent the waters around the headlands.
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know about getting to Polzeath Beach.
For convenience, Polzeath Beach Car Park is located on the south end of the beach itself and is pay and display. If this is full, then there are a couple other pay and display car parks located around Polzeath.
The 96 bus line travels in a loop from Bodmin via Wadebridge, and has several stops in Polzeath, including right next to the beach.
Everything else you might need to know about Polzeath Beach.View all
There is a seasonal dog ban in place at Polzeath Beath, spanning from 15th of May to 30th of September from 10am to 6pm as of 2022. Dogs are welcome at all other times.
There is a pay and display car park located on Polzeath Beach itself, just off Dunders Hill.
- RNLI Lifeguards
Polzeath Beach is an RNLI lifeguarded beach, and is patrolled from the 29th of April to the 24th of September between 10am and 6pm (2023). The beach is additionally patrolled in the Easter school holidays and October half-term.
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