Don’t be fooled by the hint of a Victorian façade of the hotel at Watergate Bay – this beach is arguably the most imaginative and contemporary coastal playground in Cornwall. Watergate Bay has always had a natural advantage – over two miles of sand backed by high cliffs make this stretch of coastline feel deliciously dramatic. The wide, gently sloping bay makes Watergate an ideal place for learning every kind of shoreline water sport; it also catches any swell, so if there are no waves at Watergate, you can be fairly confident that there are no waves anywhere in North Cornwall.
It’s not just the landscape that makes this beach such a must-see destination. Watergate Bay has been created with – and this might sound slightly incongruous – the best kind of ski resort in mind. It’s about combining the natural wonders outside with modern luxuries inside. You’ve got a chic hotel that seems to spill seamlessly onto the sand, five places to eat that span the range from an award-winning beach take-away through the legendary Beach Hut restaurant to the Jamie Oliver-inspired Fifteen Cornwall, plus a sports school teaching everything from surfing and hand-planing to powerkiting and kitesurfing. Add in the beach shop and you can happily spend two weeks at Watergate Bay without ever needing your car keys; in a world where frantic travel seems to be a daily chore, this could be just what the doctor ordered.
Watergate Bay has a busy calendar of events, too, playing host to the unique Polo on the Beach weekend, music festivals and surf, kitesurf and Thundercat racing competitions. In the depths of winter, when other Cornish beaches are deserted, Watergate Bay is often still a hive of activity.
Dog friendly all year round, the bay is a magnet for walkers and lovers of the great outdoors with acres of sand giving you plenty of opportunity to find peace and relaxation, caves and rock pools to explore and great cliff walks in both directions. It’s a beach that offers you every facility you could want or lets you simply get away from it all and find some space all to yourself.