Category: Favourite beaches

Walk through Polly Joke

Polly Joke Beach with waves and green cliffs

Follow the path between wildflower-bursting meadows and endless fields towards this secluded cove.

Lowenna from our marketing team takes us on the walk down to Polly Joke, a peaceful beach just ten minutes from Crantock village.

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Its only half past nine in the morning but the sun is high in the sky above this stretch of coastline, as I set off on my walk towards Polly Joke beach. A lesser-known gem tucked away in a valley of sheep-dotted hills, this cove is walkable from nearby Crantock village and also can be visited by car, with three car parks nearby.

Want to stay in Crantock, Newquay near to Fistral and Watergate? Have a look at our properties in Crantock.

Starting on a bumpy path on the West Pentire side of the cliffs, this route takes you through wooden gates, colourful fields and unruly hedgerows on the gradual decline down to the sand. On my right as I begin is Crantock beach, its crescent of sand separated by a stretch of ocean. Immediately to either side of me lies fields of yellow and red wildflowers. If you visit in late spring to early summer, these fields will be blooming with vibrant poppies, filling the space with a dazzling burst of scarlet.

At the signpost, turn left down towards the beach. As you wander down, delight in the uninterrupted sounds of bees buzzing in and out of the meadows, the low rumble of the ocean becoming audible in the distance. This walk to the beach is one of the most peaceful in the area- with no roads or buildings and few people, you become cocooned by the sounds, sights and smells of nature.

The moment that the beach comes into clear view is always special. White waves gallop onto the sand, curling around the shapes of early morning swimmers. Down on the beach, you can cross a trickling river by a small footbridge or paddle through it, letting the water lap onto your feet. At this time in the morning, the beach is relatively quiet, the perfect time to secure a sheltered spot tucked into one of the nooks of the cliff for a day of sunbathing. Polly Joke is dog friendly all year round, and it has no lifeguards so be sure to be careful if going in the water.

Discover the scenic walk from Crantock to a mystery location, exploring hidden gems and stunning coastal vistas along the way in Cornwall.

In just under ten minutes, you have reached a waterside haven. However, if you would like to carry on the walk, you can climb up onto the other side of the cliff, where uninterrupted coastpath leads you round to Holywell bay. This route takes you past sheep which populate the fields, so be sure to keep dogs on leads. If you look down you may spot the colony of grey seals who bask down on the cliffside coves at low tide.

If a day down on the beach leaves you feeling peckish, head back into Crantock village where you will find an array of tearooms and pubs serving light snacks, hearty meals and everything in between. Our particular favourite is Jam Jar Kitchen, a courtyard café tucked underneath a canopy of grapevines which serves superfood smoothies and bagels by day and wood fired sourdough pizza with rosé by night.

Escape to the sea 

People standing on a beach with a surfboards.


Think of yourself as a thalassophile? If you relish the calm of a secluded cove or crave the adrenalin rush of roaring surf, then, whether you know it or not, you are one.

Derived from the Greek thalassa, meaning sea, and philein, meaning ‘to love’, a thalassophile is someone who feels a connection with the ocean.

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As an island nation nibbled by hungry tides, our natural bond with our watery border is strong.

“Being British comes with a catalogue of sea-themed clichés,” writes Charlotte Runcie in her book, Salt on Your Tongue. “Fish and chips on the beach, or in the car while the rain pelts down, ‘Rule, Britannia!’ at the BBC Proms, the shipping forecast playing out over and over.”

The mystical pull of the sea is universal. Children lift a conch to their ear to listen out for the ghostly whooshing of waves. Adults, weathered by life’s storms, find comfort in the shock of a bracing dip.

But the therapeutic benefits of blue spaces go beyond hearsay. From higher dopamine levels to reduced anxiety, closeness to water is associated with greater wellbeing. In a study on happiness in different natural environments, coastal areas came out top.

Want to stay near several beaches? Have a look at our luxury holiday cottages in Fistral, a next to Fistral Beach, and a short drive from Porth, Watergate Bay and Crantock Beaches.

Focusing on the ebb and flow seems to have a mindful, meditative effect. By immersing ourselves in the elemental force of the sea, we access a restorative cognitive state.

Discover the best ways to celebrate by the sea with unforgettable coastal experiences.

Dr. Catherine Kelly, author of Blue Spaces: How and Why Water Makes Us Feel Better says in The Guardian that “the sea is synonymous with letting go. It could be lying on a beach or somebody handing you a cocktail. For somebody else, it could be a wild, empty coast. But there is this really human sense of: ‘Oh, look, there’s the sea’ – and the shoulders drop.”

Not just a balm for the senses, the sea is essential to life on earth. It’s said that every second breath we take comes from the ocean, and that the ocean is the thermostat of the global climate system. But with climate change, overfishing, deep-sea mining and plastic pollution threatening to destroy the blue planet and drive species to extinction, experts warn that we must act now to protect our future.

So, we’re diving into the wonders of the ocean with eyes wide open – revealing the hidden Cornish coves, asking how we can eat more sustainable seafood and discovering what we can do to reduce ocean pollution. Join us as we #escapetothesea…

Support calls for more ocean protection and restoration

Five Cornish Sea Pools

There’s nothing like a swim in the wild Cornish ocean- fresh saltwater kisses your skin, seaweed-tinged coastal air fills your nostrils and endless blue fills your vision. Yet the sea’s unpredictable nature means some days see a raging swell and visceral currents, making even the most sheltered beach non-swimmable. So, we have compiled a list of five Cornish sea pools, some hidden behind rocky shorelines or existing only at low tide, which provide the perfect spot for a dip, sheltered from the Atlantic surges.

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a swimming pool? Check out our cottages with a swimming pool for a relaxing getaway.

Chapel Rock Pool, Perranporth

Nestled amongst the rockpools on the far side of Chapel Rock, this small tidal pool is easily missed unless you know where to find it. Replenished by the sea twice a day, this pool fills with water which is often warmed by the sun and is the perfect spot for children to frolic, safe from the swirling pull of Perranporth’s main waters.

Dive into the fascinating world of Cornwall’s rockpools.

Check out our other holiday lets in Perranporth.

Children’s Pool, Priest’s Cove

In this rugged, rocky cove in Cape Cornwall, a small pool has been carved out, the perfect spot for dipping your feet and splashing about amongst the shingle-dotted shoreline. This pool was built in the 1950s and is only accessible at low tide. The surrounding currents of Cape Cornwall can be strong, so this pool offers provides solace for younger ones to safely play.

Porthtowan Tidal Pool

Tucked away between cliff faces and secret caves to the north of the main beach, this swimming spot can only be reached at low tide. During powerful swells, waves will crash into the pool, but on a calm day as the tide drops this pool transforms into a haven to bob about in, taking pleasure in the largely undisturbed environment. Previously, there was a set of ‘secret’ steps leading down from the coast path, but these have eroded away over the years. This means that there is a chance of getting cut off at high tide so do take care when visiting and always check the tide times.

Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze beach

At the base of the cliffs of Summerleaze beach you’ll find a large, unique tidal swimming pool. Built for bathing out of the waves, this pool is especially spectacular on stormy days where you can gaze out to the raging swells from the serenity of your protected spot. This pool is popular all year round yet its generous size allows for plenty of space to breathe in the fresh sea air and listen to the gulls as you swim uninterrupted.

Jubilee Lido, Penzance

Proudly sitting on the sea front of Penzance, you will find the Jubilee Lido, an art deco sea water lido. As the UK’s largest and most celebrated sea water pool, it is famous for its contemporary design and seaside location. Head here for a sunbathe on the sun-trap poolside before enjoying the calm of the natural sea water, generally two degrees warmer than the water of Mount’s Bay just beyond the walls.

A Full Guide to Falmouth’s Beaches | Insider Information

When we picture Falmouth, we see sailing boat masts bobbing on the harbour and cruise liners slowly rolling along the horizon. The town is famed for its connection to maritime heritage, and this is integral to its identity. Yet on spending a day in Falmouth, it is easy to get sucked into the allure of its clothing boutique and eatery-dotted streets, whiling away the hours in the busy hub of the town whilst barely catching a glimpse of the ocean beyond.

So, we’ve created this handy guide to Falmouth’s 5 bays, helping you to drift away from the chatter of the main strip and towards the serenity of what are some of south Cornwall’s finest beaches.

Want to stay in a luxury holiday house with a view of the sea? Check out our cottages with sea views.

Castle beach

Greenery sways in the gentle sea breeze at this peaceful and sheltered cove. At high tide, Castle Beach is mainly shingle, but as the water stretches out a map of barnacle-dotted rockpools are revealed, perfect for any little explorers you might have in tow. Looking out to the sea, which glitters under the heat of the midday sun, you have views of Falmouth Bay in one direction and Pendennis Castle and St Anthony headland in the other. Head to Castle Beach for a ramble along the rocky shoreline before joining the South West Coast Path to explore further afield.

Gyllyngvase beach

Neighboured by sub-tropical gardens, Gylly beach is a haven of the beachside lifestyle. Sitting on the soft white sand, you can gaze out at the ships and sailboats dotted along the water. Its crescent shape harbors a gentle pool of sea water which is mostly flat, making it perfect for activities such as sea swimming and stand up paddleboarding. Gylly Beach Café sits right on the sand and serves hot food and drinks all day and evening long. Taste the chilli kick of panko breaded squid or the zest of fresh lemongrass seabass with the buzz of the beach in the background.

Looking for a fantastic restaurant in Cornwall? Check out some of our favourite restaurants with stunning sea views.

Swanpool beach

Time rolls at a slower pace at Swanpool Beach, a serene sand and shingle bay on the outskirts of Falmouth. Its adjoining lake is a Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Its glassy clear water reflects the colour of the sky in the summer sun, the sheet of blue only breaking as you submerge into its icy water for a dip. Looking to get your heart pumping? Head to the beach’s watersports centre to try your hand at kayaking, dinghy sailing, windsurfing or coasteering.

Nansidwell beach

This beach is often known as Woodlands, and this is because of its surroundings- walk the footpath between Maenporth and Mawnan Smith through green woodland and you will come out at the hidden cove, an area looked after by the National Trust. Nestled out of the wind, the beach is a sun trap where you can listen to the rustle of the trees behind you as your eyes rest on the topaz blue moana ahead.

Maenporth Beach

Green rolling headlands curve down towards Maenporth Beach, an adorable cove dotted with the pink and blues of parasols and beach towels across its yellow sand. Slightly further out from Falmouth town, this beach is lined with sub-tropical trees which stand tall around the perimeter of the bay. Head here for a family day out or a solo sunbathe, hearing the birds chirping in the sub-exotic foliage.

Check out our other locations and other retreats across South Cornwall.

Browse our beach locations in Cornwall to explore further, and keep an eye out on our special offers page for discounted stays in Falmouth.

Six places to watch the sunrise in Cornwall

Its 6am and you’ve stepped, still bleary eyed, out of your door and down towards the empty stretch of sand. Soft amber light appears to float in the atmosphere- it is not like the harsh mid-day sun which causes you to squint, rather, this light is gentle, inviting, warm. Slowly becoming more awake and alert, you look at the ocean, glimmering in the morning haze as the large orange ball of the sun steadily rolls itself up into the sky.

The magic of the sunrise hours can’t be overstated- it is a peaceful time, before the crowds flock to the sand, where you truly feel like the shoreline belongs to you alone. With all of our properties positioned footsteps from the beach, we have compiled a list of the six best places to see the sunrise, to tempt you out of bed and towards the golden glow of first light.

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Carlyon Bay

With its south-facing stretch of soft sand, Carlyon Bay, near St Austell, is the place to capture a picture-perfect sunrise. The sun paints the sky with tones of pink and orange which perfectly contrast with the pale blue of the sea in the morning light. The beach will be largely empty at this time in the morning, the only company being the birds wandering around freely as you leave the day’s first footprints in the sand.

Want to stay in Carylon Bay? Check out our luxury Carylon Bay holiday properties.

Whitsand Bay

Whitsand Bay runs from Rame Head to Portwrinkle, and its sheer cliffs, long stretches of beach and panoramic scenery make for a dramatic sunrise. Head onto the clifftop to capture the purple sky as the sun bursts its first light above the sloping fields. You may even be joined by some sheep, who populate the clifftop, to watch it with you.

Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

Falmouth’s Gylly Beach is famed as a swimming spot, stand-up paddleboarder’s dream and for its vibrant beachfront café. Yet head down at dawn and you will experience a different atmosphere. As the sun rises, the water takes on a glassy effect and mirrors the kaleidoscope of colours spread across the sky. Spot the daisies that line the beach complimenting the pink hues around them.


To catch the sun breaking into the sky admist a serene harbour setting, try Fowey. The masts and sails of harbour boats will point upwards towards the orange splash of colour that rises above the seaside town. The sunrise here is the perfect time to enjoy the sights of Fowey in peace before the lively chatter of the working harbour life takes hold throughout the day.


Cobbled streets usually packed with beachgoers and fisherman alike are empty in Mevagissey at sunrise, touched only by the soft sun rays which fill the atmosphere. Wander the harbour walls as if they belong to you alone at the calmest point in the day, experiencing this classic Cornish village in a new and ethereal light.


Situated on the Lizard Penninsula, Coverack is one of the most Southerly points in Cornwall to watch the suns first light greet the land. Its small pebbly beach is like a secret haven, kissed by the first rays of light which will soon awaken the rest of Cornwall for a lively day of beach trips and water sports. Listen to the trickle of the water as it runs down the rocks which line the shore.

Explore the captivating contrasts of dawn and dusk along the Cornish coast, each offering its own magical ambience and breathtaking views.

Walk through Porthcothan

Meander down flower-lined paths, across white sand and above tropic-like lagoons on this short scenic stroll.

Lowenna from our marketing team takes us on a walk-through from Porthcothan Bay to the mesmerising Trescoe Islands.

It’s the morning of April 13th, and the spring sunshine feels surprisingly warm on my face as I head through the gate into the National Trust fields overlooking Porthcothan, where this walk begins. The fields gently slope towards the strip of sea in the distance, and acres of yellow of gorse beyond contrast with the bright blue of the sky. This view would make for a perfect painting, with its pops of primary colours. I can smell the sea breeze from here, its salty whisper inviting me towards the sand. When you depart on this route, be sure to stop and indulge in this moment- the feeling of promise at the beginning of a walk, when you can see the ocean that awaits.

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Crossing green grass, you will be led down a winding coastal path, the gap between you and the sand below marked with a row of white hawthorn blossom. You will then cross a small bridge onto the bay, or if you fancy it, bare your feet and paddle through the gentle river. I reach the main stretch of beach and delight in the serenity of it- the skies are clear and it’s a popular time of year for holiday makers, yet the bay remains almost empty except for the occasional dog walker in the distance.

The walk across the bay is the perfect time to delight in the little things- the ebbs and patterns that the tide has formed in the sand, the geometrical structure of the rocky cliffs that line the cove, the odd gull soaring high in the sky. Head towards the left-hand side of the beach, where you can follow the cliffs around the corner and find the hidden coves which lie tucked away.

Out to sea, you can see Porthcothan’s iconic rocks and islands, striking in their stand-alone structure. This part of the beach starts to feel more like a Greek island, with its rich turquoise water and rocky sea stacks. It’s crucial to do this walk at low tide, when the water grants you entry to the secret lagoon behind Trescore Islands. At high tide, the vast swathes of sand disappear but the headlands protect the sea from the ocean swell, meaning the water is generally calm.

Explore Cornwall’s best seafood restaurants, where fresh catches and coastal charm promise an unforgettable dining experience by the sea.
There is a footpath here which is only accessible at low tide and leads you towards Trescore Islands, the end destination of this walk. I clamber up, excited by what might await on the other side of the scattered cliffs. The coastal breeze which meets you as you stand atop the cliff is refreshing under the heat of the spring sun. This path joins the South West Coast path, and in just a few meters, the lagoon of Trescore islands comes into sight. The tide must be fully out to be able to access the pool at ground level and swim in the water, so clear that you can see patterns of rocks and sand on the seabed.

After taking in the tropical feel of this private corner of the beach, I begin to head back along the coast path. However, if the beauty of this scenery leaves you wanting more, the walk can be continued along the South West coast path, where you can head North to Constantine Bay or South to the iconic Bedruthan steps. Feeling hungry? Just follow the coast path inland to find Porthcothan Bay stores, where you’ll find fresh takeaway food alongside surf hire, local produce and gifts. Tuck into a hot, foamy coffee and flaky pastry to refuel and delight in the peace and quiet that Porthcothan has to offer.

Fancy staying in Porthcothan, discover our Porthcothan holiday retreats.

Walk through Portloe

Flaunting buckets full of Cornish charm and enveloped in eye-popping coastal scenery, Portloe well deserves its reputation as one of the ‘least spoiled and most impressive Cornish villages’. Here are some of our must do’s while staying in any of our Portloe self-catering cottages.

A true hideaway, even the likes of Dawn French and David Cameron have been know to squirrel themselves away here, rubbing shoulders with the local fishermen as they unload their catch or enjoy a pint after a day at sea. With a historic harbour and a sheltered little beach that exposes a small stretch of sand as the tide ebbs, there’s simply no reason for the crowds to descend on this picture-postcard village, making it a genuine escape from the tourist honeypots.

You could bring a picnic and hit the sand at low tide, but why not treat yourself to a front-row view of this Area of Outstanding Beauty from The Lugger, where you can dine on the likes of lobster, fresh fish and other finger-licking Cornish produce? Now one of Cornwall’s finest restaurants, The Lugger was once a smugglers’ haunt, and in the 18th century the innkeeper was sent to the gallows for smuggling French brandy.

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While you dine overlooking the harbour where many of the ingredients are landed, you might also recognise the scenery from classic films including ‘The Camomile Lawn’ and ‘About Time’. If you prefer a valley view in a more casual pub atmosphere, bag a table in the garden at The Ship Inn, originally a 17th century fisherman’s cottage that’s still decked out with maritime memorabilia.

Once you’ve set eyes on the stunning surroundings, it’s only natural that you’ll want to get out and explore. Sheltered by Nare Head and Dodman Point at either end of Veryan Bay, the water is usually calm enough to castaway on a paddleboarding or kayaking adventure. Paddle around Nare Head into Gerrans Bay, or spot seals on your way around Dodman Point, to land on the paradise (and naturist spot) of Vault Beach.

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If you prefer to explore on foot, strike out south along the cliff tops for 2.5km to Nare Head, rambling past a restored Cold War Nuclear Bunker and soaking up panoramic views of the Roseland Peninsula and out over the Whelps Reef. If you nudge on a little further you can bask on the perfect crescent of sand and shingle that’s Carne Beach, making sure you have a pit stop for homemade cakes at the Tea by the Sea van if it’s open. Other beaches nearby include Gorran Haven as pictured below and Hemmick beach.

Heading north along the South West Coast Path from Portloe, it’s also about 2.5 miles to Portholland’s duo of beaches, backed by the only surviving mediaeval coastal farmland in Cornwall. Rest on the secluded grey-stone and sand coves, and tuck into a slice of cake served from the kitchen of one of the waterside cottages. If you’re looking for a longer coastal route, keeping going to the tip of Dodman Point, spotting seabirds and looking out for the whiskered noses of seals popping up between the rocks below.

Explore The Old Store in Portloe, our staff pick of the month for a perfect holiday cottage experience, blending comfort with coastal charm in Cornwall.

While there’s little to do except eat, stroll, soak up the scenery or get your fill of Vitamin Sea, that’s the beauty of Portloe. It really is a low-key and divine little corner that’s been left to its natural charms. Yet while it’s tucked away, it’s not inaccessible from some of Cornwall’s more popular attractions. Being on the Roseland it’s only a short drive to the sailing hub of Portscatho, the much-lauded foodie hotspot of the Hidden Hut at Porthcurnick Beach, and the historic Caerhays Castle. Or, if you want to stray from the beaches, you’re not far from the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project.

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Bringing our favourite Whistlefish artwork to life

Have you been to any of these Cornwall locations?

Chances are, you’ve stepped into one of our Beach Retreats and spotted a beautiful piece of artwork from Whistlefish. Whistlefish supports artists locally and nationally, handpicking a selection of their favourites in traditional, contemporary and modern artistic styles.

Below we will be sharing some of our favourite pieces, pairing them with our must do activities in the locations painted. If you like any of the artwork shown, click the photo to each print and head over to their online shop or visit one of their galleries across Cornwall and Devon.

How many of these locations have you explored?

Interested in staying in our most luxurious holiday cottages? Check out our luxury coastal cottages.

Camel Estuary

We just love walking the coast path that follows the Camel Estuary. Start off in Rock (home to two of our luxury Beach Retreats) and walk around to Daymer Bay and onto Polzeath. For a truly unique experience, like no other, jump on the ferry that pulls into Rock Road, and sail over to the opposite side to the estuary to the picture perfect Padstow Harbour. Here you’ll find a wonderful collections of shops, galleries (including our go to Whistlefish store) restaurants and bars. Tuck into some fish and chips on the harbour wall, but be sure to watch out for those pesky seagulls.

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Camel Estuary – Whistlefish



If we could show you what paradise looks like in Cornwall, this would be it. Porthcurno is located in west Cornwall, close to Land’s End and is an artists dream to paint. It’s azure blue waters, wild flowered clifftops and rock formations attract visitors all year round. Walk the clifftops over to Pedn Vounder and Treen, if you’re lucky you may even spot the wild ponies that roam here.

The famous Minack Theatre is located opposite the beach, perfectly carved into the cliffs. Take a seat in the cliff-side amphitheatre to watch one of their plays, a unique experience you’ll never forget.

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Cornwall Path – Rick Smith

Want to explore more of Cornwall? Have a look at our Sennen holiday properties.

Mother Ivey’s Bay

Soft powder sands, turquoise waters and the most stunning surroundings. Mother Ivey’s Bay is a quiet beach all year round, tucked away behind Trevose Head near Padstow, with the headland to the north and cliffs to the rear providing this beautiful beach with plenty of shelter from the wind. Parking is a mile away at Harlyn Bay, making this a little more difficult to get to, but if you have time, the coastal walk is breathtaking and having a beach to yourselves is certainly a reward for the walk.

Grab a photo of the lifeboat station that is located here.

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Mother Ivey’s Bay – Whistlefish


Fistral beach

You should have all heard of the world famous Fistral beach in Newquay. Described as Cornwall’s surfing capital and home to some of the most popular surfing competitions in the world. Ramble along the coast path to neighbouring Little Fistral and home to where Newquay Activity Centre offer a fantastic selection of activities.

For some fun that involves the whole family, we recommend the Family Fistral Rangers, a unique exploration of Newquay’s incredible coastline, pitched to suit all ages. They combine the skills of surfing, bodyboarding, eco coasteering, rock pooling and beach safety on the stunning shores surrounding the Fistral coastline, to create a family adventure like no other. The coastal weather and sea state dictate the activities but our instructors are fully qualified in delivering super-fun sessions with embedded ocean safety, heritage and wildlife lessons.

Find out more on what Newquay Activity Centre have to offer.

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Fistral Beach – Whistlefish



Oh sweet Marazion, home to the majestic St Michael’s Mount, our favourite National Trust attraction. Take the journey over to the unique tidal island and breathe in the sea air. Scented with springtime blossom or summer herbs, view the collection that includes puya, aloe, and agave rearing out of the bedrock, with succulents forming hot spots of suprise throughout the garden.

The castle itself has shades of the past in every room and new discoveries waiting around every corner, dig deep into the Mount’s history, experience a different kind of family home or simply let your imagination run wild.

Book tickets online ahead of your visit.

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St Michael’s Mount – Simon Harmer


Watergate Bay

With two miles of golden, wave-lashed sands flanked by cliffs flecked with sea pinks and gorse, it’s little wonder that surfers, dog walkers and beach lovers flock here for the fusion of wild scenery, rolling waves and beachside restaurants.

A true haven on the edge of the UK’s surfing capital, Watergate Bay was once a hot spot for dedicated surfers awaiting the Atlantic swells. But in recent years it’s stepped up to cater for the well-heeled wannabe surf gang, who can hit the waves and return to the creature comforts of swanky beachside accommodation, and dine in some of the region’s foodie hotspots.

Here our go to activity is to dine at Emily Scott Food, watch the waves roll in and grab an after dinner cocktail at the iconic Beach Hut.

View our Watergate Bay Beach Retreats.

Watergate Bay – Whistlefish


Wheal Coates Mine

For a real Cornish experience we highly recommend a visit to Wheal Coates Mine in St Agnes. Located on Cornwall’s rugged north coast, this is the most photographed former tin mine in Cornwall. Park at Chapel Porth Beach car park and step onto the coast path following the ebb & flow of the ocean. If you have time, pack up a picnic and perch in front of the mine with a traditional Cornish pasty or a cream tea (jam first of course).

Love ice cream? The beach below is famous for its ‘Hedgehog ice cream’. Enjoy a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, with a large dollop of clotted cream rolled in caramelised hazelnuts or fudge. Sounds delicious right?

View our St Agnes Beach Retreats.

A Sunny Day at Wheal Coates – Georgie Harrison

Capture Cornwall’s beauty with our guide to the most Instagrammable locations!

View the full collection of Beach Retreats in Cornwall.

To see more artwork from Whistlefish visit their online shop. 

5 webcams to watch in Cornwall

Stay close to Cornwall wherever you are with some of our favourite beachside webcams

We appreciate you are missing our amazing Cornish beaches at the moment, so we’ve handpicked five webcams that allow you enjoy a sneak peek at some of your favourite locations.

To see more of your special place by the sea and to keep up to date with all things Beach Retreats follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Want to stay in a luxury holiday house with a view of the sea? Check out our cottages with sea views.

Watergate Bay

Home to many of our contemporary self-catering holiday homes, you’ll find plenty to watch at Watergate Bay no matter what the season. See the local surfers catch a morning wave, watch wild swimmers take the plunge and spot wind surfers and dog walkers in abundance. This webcam is positioned at The Beach Hut, one of our favourite go to places to grab a bite to eat as the sun sets.

Watch Watergate Bay webcam.


Whitsand Bay

With its dramatic scenery, craggy cliffs and long stretch of golden sand, Whitsand Bay is located in south east Cornwall and is home to six of our contemporary coastal cabins. Surf brand Magic Seaweed have placed a webcam here for locals to check the surf before heading down the winding paths and cliff. This beautiful stretch of Cornish coast is bound by the Lynher and Tamar rivers, the Hamoaze and the sea. Known as Cornwall’s ‘Forgotten Corner’, Whitsand Bay is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Watch Whitsand Bay webcam.


Fistral Beach

If you miss jumping from bed to board and need a quick surf fix, this Fistral beach webcam will certainly do the trick. Known as one of Cornwall’s top surfing spots, Fistral is home to countless surf festivals, Rick Stein’s Fistral, The Fish House, Fistral Surf School and our luxury beachside apartments and houses. Watch the surfers head in at sunrise or catch a famous Fistral sunset. This large beach is dog friendly all year round, so you’ll certainly see some wagging tails.

Watch Fistral Beach webcam.

Want to stay in Newquay? Have a look at our luxury holiday properties in Newquay.

Interested in finding out more about Newquay? Discover what to do in and around Newquay.

Rock Beach

From bobbing boats, to kayakers and stand up paddle boarders, Rock in north Cornwall is an exclusive watersports destination giving you plenty to follow when missing your Cornish slice of heaven. The beach provides a long expanse of golden sand at low tide, leading round to Brea Hill and the popular Daymer Bay. Watch the world go by and start planning your next adventure to one of our brand new Rock properties, Bijou and Ferrypoint.

Watch Rock Beach webcam.


Minack Theatre and Porthcurno

Take a peek at Cornwall, way down west and watch the waves crash against the cliffs at the famous open air Minack Theatre. Its backdrop can’t be beaten with Pedn Vounder and Porthcurno’s white Caribbean like sand and crystal clear water. Keep your eyes peeled between May and September and sit back whilst a live theatrical play takes place.

Watch Minack Theatre webcam.

School’s out and Surf’s Up

Hit the waves with a surf break in Cornwall…

So far this summer, Cornwall has been blessed with sunshine and swell – which means plenty of surfers are flocking here with their boards, ready to enjoy the waves from sunrise to sunset. Here are some of our favourite surfing beaches on the doorstep of our Beach Retreats:

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a swimming pool? Check out our cottages with a swimming pool for a relaxing getaway.

Watergate Bay

The home of Beach Retreats HQ and one of the most consistent beach breaks in Cornwall, Watergate Bay is one of the most popular surf spots on the outskirts of Newquay. When the swell forecast is good make sure you’re up at dawn if you want to beat the crowds, or stay in until the sun sets over the corduroy lines peeling in from the horizon. If you need to hone your surfing skills you can book a session with the experts at the Extreme Academy, or hire any kit you need if you don’t have your own. Check the waves from one of our apartments nudging the ocean.

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Fistral Beach

Hailed as the surfing capital of Britain, Fistral is where many of Cornwall’s pro surfers cut their teeth. Its world-class waves lure surfers from far and wide, with plenty of peaks for all abilities to spread out across the bay. With a line-up of surf outlets and surf schools to get you looking the part and chasing your own surfing career down the line, it’s the place to become a bona fide surfer. Between sessions you can eat and drink in swanky beach bars, or escape the crowds and soak up the action from one of our apartments overlooking this legendary surfing location.

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Mawgan Porth

A short hop north of Newquay and much less crowded than the likes of Fistral, Mawgan Porth is home to a tight-knit surfing community. Its sandy runway is a swell magnet and the surf breaks on all tides, so whether you want to catch green waves or practise on the white water, there are always waves to be ridden. Get to your feet under the tutelage of one of Cornwall’s best-loved surf schools – Kingsurf – and grab any kit you need from the huddle of surfside hire shops and surf stores. When you’ve had enough of beach life, retreat to your beachside house, just minutes away and dry off in front of the log burner or bask on the balcony.

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Summerleaze, Bude

At the hub of Bude’s vibrant surfing community, Summerleaze beach offers a series of peaks to choose from and is a great location for beginners to hit the waves. In one of Cornwall’s top surf towns, it’s little surprise that it gets super crowded in summer, but if you opt for lessons with Bude Surfing Experience, Scott Marshall and his team will find the best peak for your ability, help you hone your surfing technique and offer you a hot shower at the end of your session. Veer just over mile inland from the crowds and enjoy the peace and quiet of your own family pile at Wychwood Lodge, where you can sink into the hot tub, curl up by the log burner and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle between surf sessions.

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Choose a self-catering house, apartment or penthouse at The Dunes behind Perranporth beach, and enjoy easy access onto a two-mile stretch of dune-backed beach. From the northern end of Perran Sands, all the way to the more sheltered Droskyn, which is protected by the cliffs at the southern end, there are plenty of peaks so you can spread out from the crowds. Just be aware of rips and if you need some know-how get some lessons with Perranporth Surf School.

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With easy parking, beachside amenities and peaks that work on all tides, Porthtowan is a popular spot with all levels of surfers. It can be a punchy break, but as the tide drops you can shift onto the (sometimes) more mellow waves at Lushingtons at the southern end. Tris Surf Shop has been in town since ’72, so it’s our go-to for lessons, gear and advice. Once you’ve got spaghetti arms and can surf no more, head back to The Beach apartments and while away the day watching the waves from balcony, or head to the surfside Blue Bar for a pint and a legendary burger.

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Whitsand Bay

While the south coast isn’t renowned for its surf, when the swell wraps around the tip of the rugged Rame Peninsula, Whitsand Bay’s four miles of golden sands are blessed with plenty of peaks where surfers can get their fill. From the decking or living room of Alpha, a two-bedroom cabin perched on Freathy Cliff, you can check the surf and wait for the waves while you relax on a sun lounger or on the sofa. And when the surf’s up, simply grab your board from the surfboard storage area and skip down the steps to the sea. If you need equipment or lessons tap up the Adventure Bay surf school, and if the waves are flat you can take the plunge on a thrilling coasteering trip instead.

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Check out our other locations and other retreats across North Cornwall.


A short hop from Land’s End, Sennen Cove is the breeding ground of a tribe of committed and talented surfers. A series of sand-bottomed peaks (watch out for rocks at the southern end) pick up any swell, so you can often find a wave here when no other spots on the north coast are working. Hit the surf with the British pros at Smart Surf School and kick back at Sea Salt, our new property perched above Sennen Cove, where you can eyeball the surf and the turquoise hues of the ocean from the comfort of your living room.

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Dive into the exciting world of alternative surf activities in Cornwall and discover new ways to enjoy the waves.

Surf Safely

    1. Use lifeguarded beaches and surf between the black and white flags, as this is where the lifeguards have designated as safe to use. A red flag indicates that it’s unsafe to enter the water.
    1. Be careful of rips – strong channels of water that can drag you quickly out to sea.
    1. Don’t drop-in on other surfers – if there is a surfer already on the wave, don’t try to catch it. The surfer who takes off closest to the peak (where the wave breaks) has the right of way.
    1. Don’t get in the way and don’t ditch your board – if you let go of your board to dive under a wave it may hit another surfer.
    1. Respect the locals and be friendly in the sea – it makes surfing much more fun.

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