Category: Favourite beaches

6 must-visit sundowner spots

Six sublime places to watch the sunset over the ocean with your favourite tipple in hand…

After a day at the beach in Cornwall, nothing beats watching the sun go down over the waves. If you’re lucky you might even get to see the ‘Green Flash’ – a ray of green light that can be momentarily seen as the sun dips below the horizon. Here are some of our favourite bars to order a sundowner and watch the sunset in style:

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The Bay View Inn, Bude

Fancy some gin-spiration as the sun goes down? Settle into a sea-view seat overlooking Widemouth Bay and sip a world-class gin as the horizon turns from blue to orange and fuzzy shades of pink. You might prefer a local Tarquin’s Gin – handcrafted on the wild North Cornish Coast; a Hernö Tom – crowned the world’s best gin for two years straight; or even a Sharish Blue Magic, that turns from blue to dusky pink when you add tonic – much like the horizon you’re gazing out at.

The Bay View Inn.
Self-catering properties in Bude.

Have a look at our other holiday properties & book your stay in Bude and discover more of the North Cornwall coast.

Emily Scott Food, Watergate Bay

With The Beach Hut and The Living Space nudging the waves, Watergate Bay already topped the list as one of the most stunning – and stylish – spots to watch the sunset over the sea. And it’s also a location where many – including one of Watergate Bay Hotel’s modern founders, Mary Ashworth – have claimed to see the elusive green flash.

So this summer there is nowhere more iconic to catch the sunset whilst dining on a fresh delicious meal than the brand new restaurant Emily Scott Food. Whether or not you get to see the flash, it’s set to be Cornwall’s hottest spot for a sundowner about as close to the horizon as you can get without getting your feet wet.

Emily Scott Food.
Self-catering properties in Watergate Bay.

Alcatraz, Perranporth

Perranporth’s Watering Hole has long been dubbed one of Cornwall’s coolest beach bars to enjoy cracking sunsets, live music and a front-row view of the surf. However, it’s now rivalled by the trendy new Alcatraz bar and café, where you can soak up those sublime sunsets from a stylish cliff-top setting. Affectionately given its name when staff from the Watering Hole were ‘banished’ to work alone here when it was a simple kiosk on the cliff side, these days the staff and the punters are clamouring for a spot on the upper deck – especially at the golden sunset hour.

Self-catering properties in Perranporth.

Blue, Porthtowan

A well established favourite, there are few better places than Blue to sink a beer gazing out to eye-popping sea views and sunsets. Nudging surf-lashed Porthtowan and boasting breathtaking views from bay window booths and a surfside terrace, it’s arguably the coolest place in Cornwall to kickback post-surf with the sand between your toes. Order a pint and a legendary Blue Burger as the sun goes down, and stay on to enjoy the après-beach vibes as the tunes get cranked up and live bands or comedy acts take the stage.

Blue, Porthtowan.
Self-catering properties in Porthtowan.

Surf Beach Bar, Sennen

Just a mile from the south-westerly tip of Cornwall, Sennen Cove is one of the most wild and beautiful places to see the sun descend into the Atlantic. Relax on a sofa on the terrace of The Surf Den (boasting a surfboard bar crafted using surfboard construction techniques) and sip a ‘Head Launcher’ ale, made by the local Skinner’s Brewery and inspired by the Sennen Cove lifeboat. As the sun dips behind the rolling surf, stay to listen to atmospheric beach sounds when resident DJs take over the decks every Friday and Saturday evening throughout summer.

Surf Beach Bar.
Self-catering properies in Sennen.

Sandbar, Praa Sands

Being on the south coast, you can’t actually see the sunset from this trendy bar where you’ve got the beach at your feet. However, whether you’ve been dipping into beach life on the north or south coast, you still need a decent beachside bar to toast the day at sundowner hour. And true to its name, a trail of sandy footprints leads from the beach into the Sand Bar, where you can soak up panoramic sea views with your favourite tipple and a platter of Med-style food.

Self-catering holidays in Praa Sands.

Discover more of Cornwall with our favourite places to watch the ocean and go sea spotting.

Book your self-catering holiday with Beach Retreats.

Beach Retreats set the record for most visited Cornish beaches in one day

On 21st June 2018 (the Summer Solstice) we proudly set the record of visiting the most Cornish beaches in one day. Visiting 47 beaches across the county, we started at sunrise at 5am in Cawsand and ended just in time for a beautiful sunset at 9.30pm in Bude. Our activity marks the beginning of our new partnership with the South West Coast Path Association, with donations being taken to support our record attempt.

Our partnership with South West Coast Path Association

With more than 400 miles of Cornish coastline and over 300 beaches in Cornwall, we broke past our target of visiting a minimum of 40 Cornish beaches to raise money for the Path’s “40for40” campaign. The campaign is a bid to raise £40,000 by the end of October 2018 to celebrate its 40-year anniversary. As part of the partnership, we sponsored the Association with £2,500 and have challenged the public to match this through donations, setting a fundraising target of £2,500.

Why we love the South West Coast Path

With 161 holiday properties located all along the coast, we want to do our bit to support the charity, which sees nearly nine million visitors enjoy the Path and the many beautiful beaches it overlooks each year. We know the Coast Path and the beautiful Cornish beaches are cherished by our guests and residents of Cornwall, so not only do we want to celebrate the amazing beaches and the breathtaking walks right on our properties’ doorsteps – we also want to ensure we’re raising awareness and supporting the maintenance of these areas, so they can continue to be enjoyed for many, many more years to come.

Visiting with a large group? Discover our large holiday homes perfect for big families or friend groups.

Our 47 beaches

Below are all the beaches we visited on 21 June.

1 Cawsand


As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. Beautiful lighting at Cawsand to start the day off. Cawsand is located on the Rame Peninsula next to its neighbouring villages Kingsand. The sheltered bay looks out of Plymouth Sound and has lots of rockpools perfect for young families.

2 Whitsand Bay


Home to many of our coastal cabins, Whitsand offers three miles of golden sand backed by high cliffs and vegitation. Dogs are welcome here all year round due to the beache never being too crowded. Go rockpooling, enjoy a morning job and build sandcastles.


3 Looe


Lovely Looe is just a 30 minute drive from our Whitsand Bay properties and is a great spot for families wanting to explore. Many come here for a spot of crabbing, to walk the Banjo Pier or for the annual Looe Music Festival where you’ll be spoilt with great music, food and Cornish ales.

4 Charlestown


Used for many filming locations including the latest series off the BBC One Poldark, Charlestown is an example of a late Georgian working port, built in 1791. Walk the harbour wall, enjoy one of its fantastic eateries or head to beach and watch the fishing boats come and go.

Check our Charlestown holiday properties.

5 Porthpean


With soft white sand and clear waters, its no surprise this is a family famourite. The cliffs to the east of the beach are used nesting birds, great for those that want to see some wildlife during there stay. Its shallow waters make this a great spot for swimming in the warmer months.


6 Pentewan


Fancy a bit of sea kayaking? This beach is perfect for just that. Bring your own or hire a kayak from Pentewan Watersports and enjoy a gentle trip along the water. The beach is half a mile long and is south east facing, receiving plenty of sunshine throughout the year. There’s even free parking.

7 Portmelon


Accessible from Gorran Haven or Mevagissey via the South West Coast Path, this sand and shingle beach stays relatively quiet throughout the summer months. At high tide the beach is completely covered, leaving lots of fantastic rockpools just waiting to be explore. Parking is limited.

8 Gorran Haven


Two miles south of Mevagissey, Gorran Haven beach sits in a pretty fishing village and is popular with families and kayakers. It has a beach car park for your Cornish ice cream and pasty fix, as well as parking for up to 500 cars just 400 metres away. Dog friendly all year round, please keep on leads.


9 Porthluney


Privately owned, this golden sanded beach boasts a striking backdrop with the magical Caerhays Castle and Gardens located right behind it. Its visitors often enjoy a morning exploring the castle before heading to the beach for a Cornish picnic and an afternoon dip. Dogs welcome all year round.

10 Gyllyngvase


We absolutely love this beach in Falmouth, located just 200 metres from five of our luxury apartments.  It’s also home to the Gylly Beach Cafe, serving delicious local produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll spot many giving stand up paddle boarding a go, due to its calm and shallow waters.

11 Swanpool


Described as a ‘delightful swimming cove’ by some, Swanpool beach is located on the outskirts of Falmouth with perfect water conditions for SUP, Kayaking and wild swimming. Enjoy a spot of lunch in the cafe, or why not have a round of crazy golf, fun for all ages.


12 Maenporth


Perfectly located near a wooded valley, a few miles west of Falmouth, Maenporth’s beautiful scenery and shallow waters make it a perfect beach for all to enjoy, with a mixture of sandy shores and rock pools. Look out for the Ben Asdale, a famouth shipwreck only visible at low tide.

13 Kennack


With its large expanse of sand, shallow stream and plenty of rockpools, Kennack Sands is the perfect spot for those with little ones in tow. Build a sandcastle as the tide goes out, discover new sealife creatures or walk the south west coast path for awe-inspiring views.

14 Cadgwith


With its small fleet of fishing boats, the beach here is still very much the centre of it all when visiting Cadgwith village. Walk south along the coast path and you’ll reach the Devil’s Frying Pan, a 200 foot deep hole in the cliffs formed many years ago when a cave collapsed. Toilets, cafe and shop nearby.

15 Kynance


One of Cornwall’s most photographed locations, Kynance has become one of Cornwall’s most ‘Instagramable’ locations. Owned by the National Trust, its famous for its white sand, turquoise sea and large rock stacks. Make sure you try a Cornish cream tea at kynance Cove Cafe.

16 Porthleven


Its long stretch of sand and shingle is three miles long, reaching Loe Bar and Gunwalloe Fishing Cove. Many surfers flock to the right hand side of the harbour wall as its considered one of the best reef breaks in the UK. There is a great choice of resturants nearby including Rick Stein’s Porthleven.

17 Praa Sands


Praa Sands (pronounced pray) is best known for its white sand and powerful waves making it a very busy beach in the summer months. The sand stretches between Hoe Point in the west and Rinsey Head in the east, offering fantastic coastal walks from either side.

18 Mousehole


One of Cornwall’s prettiest fishing villages, Mousehole harbour and its small beach is located just a few miles from Penzance. The beach is known to be very safe for families and is surrounded by a stunning backdrop of yellow lichened fishermen’s cottages, shops and restaurants.

19 Porthcurno


Porthcurno is truely worth a fun filled day out, not just because of its beautiful crystal clear waters and white caribbean looking sand, but because the world famous Minack Theatre is right on its doorstep. Enjoy a bite to eat and catch an afternoon show in the open air theatre.

20 Pedn Vounder


Accessible by climbing down the rocks, Pedn Vounder beach is described as ‘paradise’ and Cornwall’s secret ‘Caribbean’. At low tide, the water is perfectly calm, leaving a ring of sand creating its own second island in the centre of the beach. Also known as a popular nudist beach.

21 Sennen


As you approach the village it’s not long before you spot the huge blue rollers heading towards the shore which makes Sennen Cornwall’s most westerly surf hotspot. Along the seafront you’ll find plenty of cafes, pubs, restaurants and galleries.

Find out more about Sennen in our blog all about the area.

22 Porthmeor


Just one of St Ives’ beautiful beaches, Porthmeor beach is located below the famous Tate St Ives gallery. Porthmeor is also St Ives’ most dramatic beach facing the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by rugged headlands. This beach wins its Blue Flag status almost annually.

23 St Ives Harbour


Part harbour, part beach, this bay has plenty going on, both in the working harbour and the town behind. At low tide stroll around to neighbouring beaches, or perch yourself near harbour pier at high tide. Bobbing boats, old fishermen’s houses, this is the perfect spot for watching the world go by.

24 Porthgwidden


Known as one of the cleanest beaches in the South West with its Blue Flag status, Porthgwidden benefits from being more sheltered than all the other St Ives beaches. Facilities include pretty beach huts and a splendid cafe overlooking the beach. Please note there is no lifeguard cover here.

25 Carbis Bay


Another award-winning beach near St Ives with a Blue Flag status, this white sand beach is privately owned by Carbis Bay Hotel. The beach rarely has any surf, making it the perfect spot for families with toddlers in tow. Take your camera, it’s surrounded by beautiful sub-tropical plants.

26 Gwithian


Blasted by the breeze off the Atlantic, the magnificent beach at Gwithian Towans is always a colourful scene of windsurfers on the water. The constant swell of the Atlantic Ocean brings in surfers all year round and is a well know breeding spot for colonies of seabirds.

27 Godrevy


Godrevy is one of Cornwall’s most popular sunset spots, with an iconic lighthouse and island creating a stunning backdrop. Located directly next door to Gwithian, it makes up one of Cornwall’s longest stretches of sand at low tide. There is a lovely cafe and plenty of parking nearby.

28 Portreath


Made up of soft golden sand and shingles on the shoreline, Portreath is popular with both families and surfers throughout the year. There are two surf shops and an amusement arcade located on the seafront, as well as a bakery, cafe, tearoom,  parking and toilets.

29 Porthtowan


Boasting a Blue Flag status and located between St Ives and St Agnes, Porthtowan is set within a World Heritage Mining area. Here you’ll find many unused historic engine houses which are perfect for exploring, along with rockpools at low tide for the little ones.

30 Trevaunance Cove


The main beach in St Agnes and dog friendly all year round, this pretty little cove is backed by high cliffs with fantastic amenities including a shop, pub, cafes, parking and toilets. Here you’ll find plenty of caves to discover and a pretty coast path leading you to Trevella, the next cove along.

31 Perranporth


Located on Cornwall’s rugged north coast and making up three miles of beautiful golden sand, this popular beach boasts its very own natural sea pool, great snorkelling, plenty of surf and a bustling town filled with quirky shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Don’t forget to buy your ice cream.

32 Holywell Bay


Just three miles from Newquay is Holywell Bay, one of the main filming locations for the BBC One series Poldark. Its Gull rock stacks in the centre of the sea are one of the most photographed rocks in Cornwall. The beach is backed by golden sand dunes creating plenty of fun for the whole family.

33 Crantock


Dog friendly all year round, Crantock beach is best known for its crystal clear waters and shallow stream as the Atlantic Ocean meets the River Gannel. Here you’ll often see kayakers and stand up paddleboarders at high tide. The perfect beach with small children and fury friends.

34 Fistral


World famous because of its pumping surf and annual surf contests, Fistral beach is Newquay’s largest and most popular. It’s recently become a fantastic foodie destination with the likes of Rick Stein Fistral, The Fish and The Stable on its doorstep. The beach is just a short stroll from the town centre.

35 Little Fistral


Lesser known, but adjacent to Fistral beach is a small sandy cove where the locals bathe. With rockpools galore, hidden caves and a coast path walk to a high peak, you’ll be mesmerised by the panoramic views surrounding this beach. Toilets are nearby and there is plenty of parking nearby.

36 Towan


Home to the iconic house on the island, Towan beach is in Newquay’s town centre and is always bustling with plenty of families playing ball, building sandcastles and munching on Cornish pasties. Newquay harbour is next door to the left, with Great Western beach on the right.

37 Great Western


If you like your burgers then this is the spot for you. Head to Slope Restaurant on your way down to the beach and check out their fantastic food and drinks menu. The beach itself is surrounded by cliffs and rocky inlets, set inbetween Towan beach and Tolcarne. Be aware there is no parking here.

38 Lusty Glaze


A beautiful horseshoe shaped bay privately owned with plenty to offer. The restaurant and bar is popular all year round with live music and delicious food and throughout the summer, visitors can enjoy the late night sundowner sessions with great acts from all over the world. There are lots of steps to get down to it.

39 Porth


With many of our stunning self-catering properties located here, this is sure to be one of our favourites. Watch a Cornish sunset, walk the bridge to porth island and splash around in the shallow stream. Amenities nearby include a little tea room, cafe, shop and the Mermaid pub directly on the beach.

40 Watergate Bay


Just three miles from Newquay and a short drive from Mawgan Porth, you’ll find the large golden sanded beach, Watergate Bay. We have 50 beachside properties here giving out guests plenty of choice when finding their perfect holiday home by the sea. Restaurants and cafes nearby.

41 Mawgan Porth


Sheltered by steep cliffs either side, Mawgan Porth beach is 4 miles from Newquay and its hustle and bustle. This is a great family beach with lots of rockpools, caves and even a large stream running down the southern side of the beach. If you love seafood, be sure to check out Catch Seafood Restaurant.

42 Porthcothan


Dog friendly all year round and one of the BBC One Poldark filming locations, its not wonder this beach is a haven for dog lovers and families. At low tide you’ll be treated to plenty of secret coves and inlets, giving you the freedom and space you don’t always get on a Cornish beach.

43 Trevone


Ever seen an 80 foot Cornish blow hole? Trevone near Padstow has just that.Formed by a collapsed sea cave and can be seen on a sloping field above the east side of the beach, many visitors come here for a photograph opportunity. The South West Coast Path leads you to plenty of awe-inspiring views nearby.

44 Rock


Across the estuary from Padstow is the little well known town of Rock. The beach here provides a long expanse of golden sand at low tide, leading round to Brea Hill and the popular Daymer Bay. If you prefer to sit back and relax while enjoying the finer things in life, Rock has a great choice of sophisticated eateries.

45 Polzeath


Polzeath is a haven for surfers and beach lovers alike. There is a sand and shingle beach, situated at the mouth of a river and backed by interesting cliffs. Amenities here are great, including the Waterfront Polzeath restaurant, toilets and a coast path leading you back to Rock, Daymer Bay and the Camel Estuary.

46 Widemouth Bay


Filled with beautiful rock formations at one end and golden sand and shingle at the other, this beach offers something for everyone. Go rockpooling, jump from bed to board and enjoy a surf, or visit one of the cafes dotted around the shoreline. Widemouth Bay is just a short drive from Bude town centre.

47 Crooklets


Last but by no means least is the lovely Crooklets beach. Backed by pretty beach huts, with a coast path leading you directly to the natural Bude Sea Pool, this is a firm favourite for our guests staying in Bude. be sure to stop off at the local cafe for a delicious Cornish ice cream.

A weekend of surf at Widemouth Bay

Hear how Holly from Beach Retreats got on during her stay at Chi An Mor in Widemouth Bay.

I spent the weekend at Chi An Mor in Widemouth Bay with a group of my good surfer friends. This self-catering property is located just outside of Bude and is home to some of Cornwall’s best surfers and beaches.

We arrived late Friday evening and though it was dark, we could hear the lapping of the waves nearby. After a good night’s sleep and a quick breakfast to refuel, we enjoyed a 50-metre walk to the beach to check the surf.

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

Widemouth is a long beach a couple of miles outside the town of Bude. It’s a popular spot, but there are plenty of peaks to break up the crowds, as well as Black Rock which occasionally serves up a decent wave over the reef. We had some fun surfing at Widemouth, it was small but by surfing on the incoming tide there was a little pulse which we made the most of. We later jumped in the car for s short drive down the road to Bude town centre and a couple more beaches.

As we reached Crooklets Beach, it was clear to see this had a really fun, good-quality beach break with multiple peaks. It breaks through all tides and can handle a decent amount of swell. Certainly one to keep coming back to.

Summerleaze located just around the corner from Crooklets is much more sheltered and closer to the centre of town. There are several peaks making this a good spot when there’s a big swell.

It was very easy to make our way back to Chi An Mor, it really was a great base for our weekend of surf. It was plenty big enough for six of us and all our surf kit, not to mention being so close to the beach. The light-filled property had a contemporary design, three bedrooms with two shower rooms and a family bathroom. Pets are also allowed so no need to leave part of the family at home.

We opted to eat in both nights, but we did treat ourselves to lunch at the Olive Tree, sat outside by the river. Other restaurants you may want to visit are Black Rock Cafe, Widemouth Bay Cafe, The Beach House bar and Trelawney Tea Rooms.

On our last evening at Chi An Mor, we watched the sun drop behind the horizon and built a fire on Widemouth beach – always take the nails out of any wood you intend to burn and wait until the wood has completely burnt through – don’t cover the embers up with sand as someone could walk along whilst it’s still hot.

On our way home we drove along the coastal road and pulled the car in at a few beaches along the way. We jumped in on the right hander at the north end of Constantine and surprisingly found some clean faces despite most of the north coast having messy conditions. We even had some nice spring sunshine to finish off the weekend. All in all a fantastic surfing weekend at Chi An Mor in Widemouth Bay.

Discover our other properties, and read what to expect from a week at Gaia.


The variety of beaches to choose from close to Chi An Mor.

The location of the property, being just 50 metres from Widemouth Bay.

The space in the property, big enough for six and all our surf equipment.

Discover our other Widemouth Bay holiday properties or talk to a member of our team on 01637 861 005.

Book your surfing break with Beach Retreats.

7 Must Do’s in Falmouth

Spend your family holiday on the beach this summer and enjoy the laid-back coastal lifestyle in Falmouth.

Known for its creative buzz, contemporary art galleries, maritime heritage and fantastic array of places to eat and drink, Falmouth in south Cornwall offers a wide range of activities suitable for all. To help you get planning, we’ve handpicked 7 must do’s, a stone’s throw from our Falmouth self-catering holiday homes.

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

Walk the South West Coast Path

Walk onto any beach in Falmouth and you’ll spot part of the South West Coast Path to your left or right. Marvel at the pretty sea pink flowers. Amble past Pendennis Castle. Stop for a picnic at Gyllyngvase beach. Catch the sun on the rocks as it begins to set. You’re sure to find something different and exciting each turn you take.

Find your closest route.

Go rockpooling

In just a 12 minute walk from our luxury self-catering apartments, guests will find themselves at Castle beach, Falmouth’s go to spot for rockpooling. At low tide you’ll be pleasantly surprised with hundreds of rockpools just waiting to be explored. Keep your eyes peeled for the natural display of fascinating and tough creatures, including the Cornish Sucker fish, Worm Pipefish and the Common Shore Crab.

See our full guide to rockpooling and where to go.

See Falmouth from the ocean

Departing three times a day, between Truro and Falmouth, Fal River’s Enterprise Boats give you the chance to see Cornwall from a different perspective. This unique sea route will take you past iconic maritime locations, historic houses and landmarks, as well as taking you up close to the array of ocean-going vessels laid up at anchor on the upper reaches of the Fal River. Get your cameras ready while you sail past Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

See a Fal River time table.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Offering lots of giggles as you attempt to get on the board (and stay on it), Stand Up Paddle Boarding is quickly becoming one of the go to watersports for those holidaying and living in Cornwall. Whether you want to rent a board and explore the coast yourself, or hire an instructor that will teach you how to ‘ride the waves’ this sport offers plenty of fun for all abilities.

If you don’t want to try it alone, then check out Falmouth Surf School, where up to six of you give it a go…on one board!

Enjoy Sunday lunch at Star & Garter

Star & Garter take Sunday lunch very seriously and we love it! Whether it’s moorland aged rump of beef, a luscious leg of lamb or some proper roast pork with the best crackling you can imagine. All their meat is supplied by renowned Cornish butcher Phillip Warren and served with crispy duck fat roasties, monster Yorkies, silky gravy and a selection of local, seasonal veg. So, go in and while away the afternoon in front of the fire, enjoy the view over the bay and, well, tuck in.

Roast is served 12-3pm and 6pm – 9pm.

Explore more of our 10 favourite restaurants with amazing sea views.

Sunday Roast at Star & Garter, Falmouth

Get lost in Trebah Gardens

Cornwall’s not only known for its stunning beaches, its magical gardens are home to a wealth of exciting, rare and beautiful plants and trees just waiting to be explored. Visit Trebah Gardens is a sub-tropical paradise with its very own private beach, four miles of footpath and vibrant tunnels of colour. The gardens are open daily from 10am and can be reached in a 15 minute car ride from our Falmouth holiday homes.

Check out more of what Cornwall has to offer and explore our holiday lets in The Lizard Peninsula, West Cornwall.

Trebah Gardens

Book your stay in Falmouth with Beach Retreats.

6 Secret Beaches to Explore in Cornwall

Polly Joke Beach with waves and green cliffs

Leave footprints in untouched sand whilst you discover Cornwall’s hidden gems.

We’ve put together six beaches so you can avoid the crowds no matter what time of year. No queues for parking, plenty of space to throw a ball and your pick of where to set up camp for the day on your very own secret beach. What’s not to love?

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

Polly Joke

Polly Joke Beach with waves and green cliffs

Porth Joke (also known as Polly Joke to locals), is located deep between the two headlands Crantock and Holywell Bay. Filled with rockpools, caves and a shallow stream, Porth Joke is the perfect beach for those with little ones in tow.

Dogs welcome all year round. No lifeguard cover.

Rinsey Cove

Just a few miles west of Porthleven is the pretty Rinsey Cove. Allowing dogs all year round, this cove is perfect for those holidaying with their canine friends. Spot the charming Wheal Prosper Mine as seen on the BBC One Poldark series set above its cliffs.

The beach is just a 10-minute walk from a National Trust car park, however access is steep and visitors need to climb over rocks to reach the beach.

Dogs welcome all year round. No lifeguard cover.

The Strangles

For stunning rock formations and soft sand, head to Strangles beach in north Cornwall, just 1 mile from Crackington Haven. Local photographers often come here for its stone arch and Cornwall’s highest cliff reaching over 700 feet high. When the tides out Strangles joins up with its neighbouring beach, Little Strand. Are you brave enough to join the naturists that bathe here in the summer months?

Dogs welcome all year round. No lifeguard cover.

Leggan Cove

Uniquely positioned between two quarries, Leggan Beach sits east of the Lizard Peninsula backed by high cliffs, ideal for sun worshippers wanting to shelter from the wind. The crystal-clear water makes this a great spot for snorkeling and diving and a great rock pooling for children.

Dogs welcome all year round. No lifeguard cover.

Nanjizal Cove

Remained more or less untouched, Nanjizal just 1 mile from Sennen beach is a rocky cove with spectacular clear water. The cove is extremely difficult to access, but once here, there are plenty of rock pools and caves to explore. Look out for its friendly neighbours as seals often bathe directly opposite on the cliffs.

Dogs welcome all year round. No lifeguard cover.

Find out more about Sennen in our blog all about the area.

Fancy staying in Mawgan Porth? Have a look at our Mawgan Porth holiday properties.

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Walk Through Prussia Cove

Coastal walk to Bessy’s Cove Beach.

Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Prussia Cove is situated on Cornwall’s south coast. Unlike the north, the south coast has many hidden sandy coves, inlets and rockpools to explore and are perfect for those dog-friendly walks.

Our new duplex apartment at Acton Castle offers spectacular views over Prussia Cove and out to Mount’s Bay. Starting from the private gardens of the Castle, head down the steps to join a footpath. Keep left, and on your right, there will be a stile into the open fields below. Wander down through the field, and to your left join the coast path which will take you to Cudden Point, Piskies Cove and Bessy’s Cove beach.

Visiting with a large group? Discover our large holiday homes perfect for big families or friend groups.

Piskies Cove is reputed to be one of the places where John Carter – The King of Prussia – landed his smuggled goods. Prussia Cove is renowned for smuggling activity in the late 18th Century. The coastline is suitably hidden with caves; perfect for stowing stolen treasures.

The coastal walk provides a tranquil escape: calm waters, quiet sandy coves, and uninterrupted views. At low tide, discover hidden coves and wander down to enjoy your own private beach. In the summer, the water is just right for cooling off and splashing in the shallows.

Discover our Porthleven holiday properties. Just a 20 minute drive away from Prussia Cove.

You will eventually reach Cudden Point, where the sea views and horizon seem endless. The grass top cliff provides a perfect spot for a break to soak-up the breathtaking views and enjoy a bite of your sandwich.

Further along, towards Piskies Cove, you’ll spot two posts on the coastal path. The posts are the remains of HMS Warspite, a destroyer built in Devonport that served in the Battle of Jutland. The ship was moored here on the way to be scrapped in Mount’s Bay in 1947, but broke it’s moorings, running aground in Prussia Cove.

Take a leisurely walk through Porthleven, discovering its picturesque harbour, stunning coastal views, and charming village atmosphere in Cornwall.

Over the hilltops, in the distance, you will see a sandy inlet, which is called Piskies Cove. This sheltered beach is often overlooked, however a short trek down the cliff will reward you with a Cornish secret spot.

Further along the coast path, lined with hedgerows and flowers, you’ll end up at Bessy’s Cove. Tucked away, Bessy’s Cove is a picturesque rocky cove perfect for sunbathing, swimming, alfresco dining and snorkelling.

Spend a lazy summer day, away from the crowds, exploring Prussia Cove.

Discover a beach on your doorstep at Acton Castle.

Walk Through Lynton and Lynmouth

Experience self-catering holidays in Devon by the sea.

Lynmouth encapsulates the wild beauty of north Devon, in a charming picturesque postcard village. The idyllic coastal town is often dubbed Little Switzerland, due to its spectacular landscape and tranquil waters. Flanked by high sea cliffs, Lynmouth is where Exmoor meets the sea.

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The sheltered harbour, with its famous Rhenish Tower, nestles beneath the cliffs on north Devon’s heritage coast. On the rugged cliff top, overlooking the mooring, the Edwardian village of Lynton stands proud. A water-powered funicular railway connects the two resorts. One of the most environmentally friendly tourist attractions in the country, the cliff railway is a great way to experience the magnificent rugged landscape. On a clear day, from the Cliff Top Cafe in Lynton, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views across to Wales.

Lynton and Lynmouth offer a unique holiday experience. The twin villages are bursting with local charm and character with an array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. In the summer at dusk, the resorts twinkle under the night sky as people wander along the pier and venture upon the cliff railway to Lynton. There is a priceless sense of nostalgia and identity in the region. The unspoilt landscape provides a sense of escape to those seeking a holiday from the busy pace of modern life.

Discover the charm and beauty of North Devon, where stunning landscapes and coastal adventures await with Beach Retreats.

Discover Exmoor.

Set in the heart of Exmoor National Park, Lynmouth is the perfect place to access the inner moor. Surrounded by magnificent wooded hills, this part of north Devon’s coastline provides plenty of walking (or for the less energetic – driving) opportunities.

Abundant with wildlife, Exmoor has more than 600 miles of marked footpaths to explore. Ponies, sheep and majestic red deer graze the moorland whereas falcons, buzzards and the rare merlin circle overhead.

From Lynmouth, visitors don’t have to travel far to experience the wild scenery of Exmoor. Follow the coast two miles east to Countisbury Hill to find hill tops teeming with wildlife. On Countisbury Hill the high ground tumbles to meet the coastal cliffs which plunge into the sea. In spring, the hill tops are golden yellow from wild gorse whereas in the autumn the hedgerows are an auburn colour.

Further inland, discover ancient woodlands and waterfalls at Watersmeet. The East Lyn river rips through the landscape on its journey from the plateau of Exmoor to the sea and Lynmouth. Giant boulders and striking outcrops are left behind as the river carves its way through the landscape, creating one of Britain’s deepest river gorges.

In the 19th century this wild landscape drew tourists and great Romantic poets. Southey, along with Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley were enchanted by Lynmouth and its hinterland, comparing Watersmeet with the Alps.

Once a Victorian fishing lodge, Watersmeet House is a charming tearoom set within the picturesque landscape of hidden Exmoor. Enjoy a traditional Devonshire cream tea with whortleberry jam and listen to the trickling water of the East Lyn river. During the summer months, the river provides the perfect fishing spot for salmon and sea trout whereas in the quieter months, the waters are great for canoeing.

Explore the Valley of the Rocks.

Dramatic scenery encapsulates the north Devon coastline and inner countryside. The spectacular moorland at the Valley of the Rocks is less than one mile in walking distance of Lynmouth. The Valley of the Rocks is a unique dry valley that runs parallel to the coast.

In the area, there are plenty of walks with striking weathered rock formations with names such as “The Devil’s Cheesewring”, “Ragged Jack” and “Castle Rock”. The sublime valley has its own population of wild goats which roam the rocks and cliff edges. Climb the rocks to experience breathtaking views across the rugged landscape and Bristol Channel.

Discover the foodie delights of The Ancient Mariner in Lynmouth, where delicious food and drink are served in a charming, historic setting.


Fancy a walk on the wild side?


A Day Out in St Ives | All You Need to Know

St Ives – the jewel of Cornwall’s crown.

With golden beaches, clear waters and a variety of waterfront eateries, St Ives is a seemingly subtropical oasis.

Here’s our guide for what to see and do in St Ives.

The town is part of West Penwith, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, extending around Cape Cornwall to include the central Penwith Hills.

It’s no surprise that St Ives has been attracting artists for decades who come to capture the essence of the town.

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From marine artist Henry Moore, who visited in the mid-1800s, to twentieth-century sculptor Barbara Hepworth, St Ives has attracted many painters, sculptors and ceramists.

Barbara Hepworth worked with bronze, stone and wood. Her sculptures are on display in the Museum and Garden, located in the heart of St Ives, along with paintings, drawings and archive material.

The Museum and Garden is well worth visiting for a unique experience into the work and life of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists.

Some of Hepworth’s sculptures can be seen around the town. Wander along pathways through trees and shrubs and discover some of her most celebrated designs.

Epidauros II Bronze casting, which is one of an edition of seven made by Hepworth in 1961, is situated on the Malakoff overlooking the harbour and Porthminster beach.

With views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, that inspired Virginia Woolf’s famous novel To the Lighthouse, Porthminster beach is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and relax.

On the beach enjoy fresh, local produce from Porthminster Beach Café. Serving delicious
food throughout the day, some of which is grown in their adjoining garden, the café has won many prestigious awards such as Coast magazine’s Best Coastal Café and The Times’ Best Coast Restaurant.

If you enjoy strolling along the beach, breathing in the fresh sea air, then you will love wandering the coastline around St Ives and discovering the sheltered coves it has to offer.

A popular beach with families, dogs and surfers, Porthmeor is perfect for hitting the surf and making a splash in the shallows.

The beach is just a stone’s throw from the town where you’ll find ancient pubs, contemporary cafes and inspirational art galleries.

Check out our luxury holiday properties in Carbis Bay by the sea.

Walk a little further and you will find a charming sandy cove called Porthgwidden nestled beneath the steep grassy slopes of St Ives “Island”. This is a popular spot for wild swimming.

Porthgwidden Beach Café, which is on a small slope up from the beach, is a great place to sit and eat lunch looking out onto the bay or to relax with a glass of wine and watch the sun set.

Watching the day pass in St Ives is one of our favourite pastimes. In the harbour, sheltered by thick stone walls, is a soft sandy beach which is revealed when the tide is out.

Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the town, the harbour beach is a perfect spot to take a picnic and watch the local fishermen land their catch of the day.

For those who enjoy being out on the water, St Ives Self Drive Boats & Kayak Rental provides you with the opportunity to explore the beautiful Bay. The boat and kayak hire company operates within the summer months.

Behind the harbour beach, on the cobbled wharf, is the fourteenth century Sloop Inn. A cosy, ancient pub, the Sloop Inn hosts live music nights most weekends and provides a great outdoor drinking area that overlooks the colourful port.

Find a discounted retreat in St Ives on our special offers page. Or, browse our other beach locations to explore more of the Cornish coastline.

Take a look at our favourite ‘must sea’ retreats and explore our other holiday lets.

Walk through – Crantock to a mystery location

We’re always on the lookout for quiet beaches and hidden coves at Beach Retreats. Well, we found a new favourite spot on our latest walk from Crantock, two miles south along the coast from our properties at Fistral Beach in Newquay. You’ll have to find it first though…

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From Fistral and East Pentire headland you have two choices – Newquay for the fun and frolics of a busy seaside town, or head south to the quieter Gannel Estuary and Crantock Beach. On this day, we chose the latter.

You can drive to Crantock or, for an adventure, take the Fern Pit Ferry across the Gannel which operates from May through September. When the tide is out there is a footbridge which can be used free of charge.

Crantock’s expansive sandy beach waits at the other side of the water with tranquil bathing by the river (the National Trust car park is behind the dunes). Make for the cliffs at the southern end for shelter on a windy day.

Continuing along the headland you’ll find C-Bay Café Bar & Bistro with unsurpassed views back over Crantock Beach, open for pancakes in the morning and lots of tasty options for lunch and dinner. Further into the village you’ll find the well-known Bowgie Inn, ‘the pink pub’. Andy has owned the pub for more than 43 years, which is much loved for coffees by the roaring fire, wines on the sun terrace, home-cooked food and bouncing live music nights.

But the real treat of our walk through is Porth Joke beach, also known as Polly Joke. Accessed via the coastal path or inland via Treago Farm and Camping (there is small car park at the end of a very long track), you’ll be rewarded with a small, attractive and tranquil cove. Children will love exploring the caves, rockpools and stream and paddling in the sea while parents can enjoy doing not a lot.

Polly Joke Beach with waves and green cliffs

Pack a picnic for the day as there are no facilities here.


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

Embark on a picturesque walk through Watergate Bay, uncovering its breathtaking coastal scenery, expansive sandy beaches, and lively local charm.

Walk through – Cremyll Ferry to Royal William Yard

A walk-through Cornwall blog with a twist – a ferry across the River Tamar for a coffee in Devon!

Full to the brim after a hearty lunch from The Canteen at Maker Heights, we embark on one of our favourite and most varied walk-throughs to date – just a ten-minute drive from our properties in Whitsand Bay.

Perched on the hill overlooking sea and river and the fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand a couple of hundred metres below, the views from Maker near Torpoint are awesome.

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We leave our car here and pass through green fields and pathways towards Maker Church before descending into Mount Edgcumbe and Cremyll. It’s a half an hour walk downhill, but if you don’t fancy the walk back up the hill later you can park in the pay-and-display in Cremyll.

An enormous part of the 865-acre Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park is free to explore, including the formal gardens, amphitheater, Orangery Restaurant and avenue, while The House and Earl’s Garden charges admission from March until September. There are plenty of spots for picnics along the shoreline with views over the River Tamar towards the military dockland in Plymouth.

At the foot of Mount Edgcumbe is Cremyll Ferry, a small foot ferry making trips every half an hour to Admiral’s Hard near Royal William Yard on the outskirts of Plymouth. A couple of city cyclists take their bikes back home after a day on the Cornish hills while children wave at the military boats and sailers floating by.

The ten-minute crossing provides a fish-eye view of Royal William Yard’s impressive architecture, considered to be one of the most important groups of historic military buildings in Britain. Disused for a long period of time, the Grade 1 former Royal Naval victualing buildings once used to store supplies for naval ships are once again alive with cafes, bars, restaurants, museum, art galleries, offices and residential spaces.

We stop for coffee and cake at Royal William Bakery, but there are plenty of places to try including River Cottage Canteen, Wildwood, Wagamamas, Prezzo, Le Bistrot Pierre, Las Iguanas and more.

Discover the foodie delights of The Ancient Mariner in Lynmouth, where delicious food and drink are served in a charming, historic setting.

It’s easy to loose track of time wandering the buildings and shoreline here – just remember to check the time of the last ferry back!

Discover the charm and beauty of North Devon, where stunning landscapes and coastal adventures await with Beach Retreats.