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Seascape sounds

A sonic postcard from Cornwall. The sounds of the sea, beach and cliff top captured during an idyllic morning at Godrevy, as we ventured out for a surf.

Can you spot these sounds?

Skylark flying in Cornwall

Skylark

Welcomed by swooping sand martins and the lilting trill of skylarks over the wild fields.

Sandy beach in Cornwall

Getting ready

Board waxed, wetsuit zipped and leash attached; inviting waves await…

Sandy beach in Cornwall

Crossing the river

The walk to the beach crosses the Red River as it flows towards the ocean.

Sandy beach in Cornwall

Sound of the surf

Time to greet the waves….

Looking out to Godrevy Lighthouse and the ocean beyond, the headland at Godrevy, near Hayle, is a wildlife haven – home to ground nesting birds, small mammals, rare invertebrates and spectacular coastal plants – while below lies an oceanic playground, all waiting to be explored.

 

 

Refresh and restore with land&water

Introducing land&water, the range of natural bath and body products you’ll find in most of our Beach Retreats properties…

A wide sandy bay on the North Coast of Cornwall; a place where invigoration and calm, alert and serene are endlessly intertwined.

Winding along the cliff path, gazing at isolated patches of sunlight on the sea. Floating ‘out back’ beyond the whitewater, waiting to catch an unbroken wave. Curling in a window seat with a book, while a storm rages outside. Showering after a swim, before sunset dinners and stargazing on the decking…

This ‘active relaxation’ lifestyle that sparked the land&water collection has its roots at Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall; land&water founder Pix Ashworth’s family’s hotel. As well as appreciating time out on the beach and cliffs herself, Pix has spent many years witnessing the joyful “warm glow” radiating from Watergate Bay guests after days swimming, surfing or walking on the beach.

“It’s a real honour to see people at their most happy and carefree, coming inside after days in the sea air,” she says. “They have that warm glow about them; that natural relaxed feeling, as well as the exhilaration from being active amongst the elements.”

And so Pix set about capturing that feeling; to, quite literally, bottle it. 

Created in collaboration with leading apothecarist and perfumer Richard Howard, the land&water collection translates this emotion – and its distinctive blend of invigoration and calm – into its natural bath & body products. 

Each recipe uses natural essential oils and actives to evoke the therapeutic benefits of time in the elements, recreating the fresh skin invigoration we feel on the shoreline. The whole collection also embodies painstaking care for the environment that has inspired it.

Like that warm glow, the land&water collection has since radiated out to other locations with similar outlooks, communities and values – whether in the mountains of the Lake District, country gastropubs, London boutique hotels, or national department stores.

The places may vary, but the feeling is always the same…

The blend of invigoration and calm is at the heart of the land&water collection. Created in collaboration with a leading apothecarist and perfumer, land&water products capture this emotion with a blend of buoyant, exhilarating citrus and serene, green and woody notes. Using a 100% vegan palette of fruit, flower and plant essential oils, as well as botanical actives identified through the latest advances in bio-technology (including moisturising and rejuvenating samphire, spike moss and sea buckthorn extracts), land&water blends carefully chosen ingredients with insight, imagination and scientific expertise.

Featuring in most of our properties, Beach Retreats has chosen from the land&water collection: a stimulating hand wash for day-seizing hands, an invigorating zesty body wash, fresh mint, mind-clearing shampoo and moisturising conditioner for high tide hydration.

Sustainability:

As the spark that lit the land&water fire – shaping its philosophy, product concept and very existence – nature is what land&water holds most dear. The brand is committed to treading as lightly as possible on the natural world that has so inspired it – from the sustainable, vegan ingredients it selects, to its 100% post-consumer waste recycled bottles.

The brand has invested in sustainable practices from day one, selecting partners and suppliers whose principles chime with its own, and giving painstaking consideration to its ingredients, manufacturing processes and packaging.

Every product contains:

– Ethically sourced ingredients, 100% cruelty-free

– Only natural, botanical materials in all skin formulations

– High quality essential oils used sensitively and in meaningful quantities

– The full collection is suitable for vegans

– All products are made in the British Isles

– land&water’s packaging ethos centres on re-use, recycle and refill

To sample some land&water for yourself, browse their website here. Or, head to one of our retreats and try it out in a self-catering property by the coast….

The best dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

Holidays just aren’t the same without your dog- they’re part of the family, after all. That’s why Beach Retreats specialises in dog-friendly holiday properties. And you’re spolit for choice when it comes to beaches to visit, with more than 150 different dog-friendly spots to explore, dig, run and play on.

We’ve compiled a list of the best dog friendly beaches in Cornwall, including the closest ones to our Beach Retreats properties.

Whitsand Bay

This hidden gem in Cornwall’s south coast makes for the perfect doggy day out. With four miles of varying coastline, from gentle coves to dramatic cliff face, Whitsand offers lots of beach options of dogs and owners alike. The beach, which is south west facing, stretches the entire four miles at low tide, whilst at high tide there’s four different beaches to choose from. All are dog friendly all year round, and benefit from being quieter than other beaches in Cornwall. 

Browse our Whitsand Bay retreats to find a place for you and your pup nearby.

Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay is dog friendly year round and actively encourages you to bring your dogs onto the sand to play. With over two miles of sandy beach with rock pools and sea caves to explore, it’s fair to say your dog will love it here. And once you’re both tired out, head to dog friendly The Beach Hut restaurant for something to eat and drink.

Find a Watergate Bay retreat.

Porth beach

Porth beach, situated between Newquay and Watergate Bay, is a large, west-facing, sandy beach with a long tidal drop. Porth Beach welcomes dogs through the winter months of October to Easter but throughout the main season dogs are only allowed from 7pm-9am, meaning sunset strolls or early morning paddles are calling.

Porth Beach

Find a dog friendly Porth retreat.

Whipsiderry Beach

Whipsiderry is dog friendly year round, and is perfect if you’re Beach Retreating at Porth or Watergate Bay. Whipsiderry is a beautiful, quiet beach, situated on the coastline between Porth and Watergate, with sheltering cliffs and an abundance of rock pools and caves for hours of exploring fun. There are a set of steep steps to gain access to the beach but it’s worth the climb to step foot on this peaceful sandy cove.

Perranporth

Perranporth is a dog paradise, as not only is it dog friendly all year round, it’s huge! At low tide Perranporth beach and neighbouring Penhale sands join together to make one of the largest stretches of unbroken sand on the north coast. Let your dog off the lead and send them chasing after their ball along the shore, they’ll love it. You can then recharge at The Watering Hole, which is also dog friendly.

Find a Perranporth retreat for you and your four-legged friend.

Mawgan Porth

Mawgan Porth is another year round dog friendly beach, and is perfect if you’re staying at Porth or Watergate Bay too. Even at high tide, Mawgan Porth has plenty of sand to run ragged on. Compared to other beaches on the north Cornwall coast, Mawgan Porth is fairly quiet, allowing you and your dog a more peaceful visit.

Mawgan Porth

Find a retreat in Mawgan Porth.

Fistral Beach

Fistral is possibly the most popular beach in north Cornwall, and the beach is a wide expanse of sand sheltered by two headlands, perfect for letting your pup off the lead. Dogs are welcome at Fistral beach year round, and its sunset views and on the beach bar and restaurant complex make it tempting to stay late into the evening.

fistral

Gwenver Beach

Perfect if you’re Beach Retreating at Sennen.

Accessed at low-tide to the right of Sennen beach, or at the base of steep granite cliffs from the coastal – Gwenver’s difficult access stops the beach from ever getting too crowded, so you and your dog need to be fit. There’s rockpools, shipwrecks and pools to explore with dogs welcome all year round.

Gwenver Beach near Sennen

Find a retreat in the nearby Sennen Cove.

If you need any more temptation to bring your pup to Cornwall, read our top five reasons to bring your dog on holiday.

To find a beachside retreat at your favourite dog friendly beach, browse our locations and keep an eye on our special offers page for the latest deals and discounts.

Your Beach Retreat guide to happy holiday dogs

With dogs permitted on the entire 630 miles of the South West Coast Path, it’s fair to say that Cornwall is a haven for dogs and dog walkers alike. Here’s our tips to keeping your hound even happier on holiday as well as a list of our fantastic dog-friendly properties.

dogs_in_Cornwall_658x500

Dogs love exploring, digging holes and jumping in the sea almost as much as we do. That’s why Beach Retreats offers dog friendly holidays, with dogs welcome to stay in over half of our holiday cottages. If you haven’t read it already, do take a look at our guide to the best dog friendly beaches in North Cornwall.

With this in mind, we were keen to whittle down Kennel Club’s Steve Jenkinson’s advice on keeping your dog happy and safe along the coastal path. So here are our top doggie tips for beach holidays with your pup.

Tagged and collared

Dogs love running in rural areas, but unexpected sheep or cow fields, lots of people and unfamiliar areas can cause them to spook and run off. Dogs that are name tagged and micro chipped can easily be reunited should they get lost. If you’re on holiday, a temporary tag with your contact details will save a lot of heartache and hassle.

No hot dogs

Dogs can easily get dehydrated, especially when running around in the warm summer months. Nowadays, you can buy collapsible bowls, but an old fashioned water-tight plastic bag can work just as well. Also, stick to walking them in shady areas, such as leafy woodland or areas with streams for them to cool down in, or walk them at sunrise or after sunset when it’s cooler.

Lead(s) the way

Keep your dog on a lead at all times when walking on the cliff path. Anywhere else you may walk, be sure to always keep your dog in sight. Or, use a lead if you don’t have a reliable recall. Cornwall’s coastal paths can have a lot of dangers, including cliff edges and animals, so it’s important to keep them close at all times. Avoid letting your dog run up to people uninvited – not everyone may be as familiar and comfortable with dogs as you are. 

Doggy retreats

Choosing a retreat with an enclosed garden space and outdoor shower can make the world of difference to your dog holiday. This extra outdoor space allows them to run around and have some room to enjoy themselves, preventing them causing any nuisance in your self-catering retreat! An enclosed garden is especially important to prevent them escaping.

Many of our retreats also have outdoor showers, which are great for giving the sandy pups a rinse after they’ve spent the day rolling in the sand or any other coast path muck! This allows them to step foot in your retreat clean, fresh and ready for snuggles. 

Browse our dog friendly retreats to find the right one for you both.

Happy walkies.

Browse our locations to find your perfect dog friendly beach, and keep your eyes peeled on our special offers page for our latest deals and discounts. Read more about Beach Retreats’ dog friendly holidays.

Seven handpicked retreats for a family holiday

Looking for the perfect family holiday, but not sure what beach retreat is right for you? We’ll save you time scouring the shorelines for the right space with our seven handpicked retreats for a family getaway, all walking distance from our favourite family beaches in Cornwall. 

So close down the search engine, book into one of these retreats and settle into a getaway on the coast. All you need to think about is packing the beach towels. 

To see all of our retreats available for a summer break, click here.

Skyfall, Falmouth, sleeps eight

For the ultimate family holiday experience, look no further than Skyfall. This impressive duplex penthouse apartment sits up high above Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth. The beach is a picture perfect setting for a family day out, with soft sand lined with sea pinks and a mostly calm sea great for paddling with little ones. Skyfall sleeps eight, accepts one small/medium size dog and has availability for the weeks starting 16 July, 30 July and 27 August.

Find out more about Skyfall.

Heron House, Fistral, sleeps 14

For large families or a trip bringing several families together, Heron House is perfect. Sleeping fourteen just moments from the family friendly River Gannel near Fistral, memories can be made around the private pool, in the games and cinema room or down on the riverbanks. Enjoy activities nearby such as crabbing, horseriding and stand up paddleboarding, before dining all together on the large waterfront balcony. 

Heron House has availability for the weeks of 3 July, 10 July and 21 August, see more here.

Winnow, Watergate Bay, sleeps 10

For a family holiday in style, choose Winnow. Situated on the shorefront of family favourite Watergate Bay, this retreat balances luxury with laid back coastal living, creating the perfect pad for kicking back and relaxing after a day on the sand. Recently redesigned by BBC One Interior Design Masters winner Banjo Beale, you’ll fall in love with its outdoors inspired and sustainably sourced interiors. Winnow is available the week of 23 June and 18 August, see more here.

Sandpiper, Perranporth, sleeps six

For a peaceful family retreat which is still within arm’s reach of the shoreline, try Sandpiper. Just a ten minute walk along the coast path to Perranporth beach, any family will love a holiday in this town, with its quirky shops, vibrant cafes and family friendly beach. Sandpiper is available the weeks starting 18 June, 25 June, 16 July, 23 July and 27 August, find out more here.

Beachside Bude, Widemouth Bay, sleeps eight

Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Head to Beachside Bude, situated on the rugged shoreline of Widemouth Bay in north Cornwall. This retreat is perfect for families with young children due to its large grassy garden, where hour after happy hour can be spent playing and relaxing under the summer sun. Beachside Bude is new to our books and has availability throughout July and August, find out more here.

8 The Bay, Cawsand, sleeps six

For calming interiors and sea views set amongst an adorable fishing village, choose 8 The Bay. This apartment is right on the seafront of Cawsand, a hidden gem in south Cornwall. Catch the ferry across to Plymouth, walk the south west coast path or just enjoy a day on Kingsand beach next door. 8 The Bay has availability throughout July and August, see inside here.

Cannery Row, Hayle, sleeps six per house

For relaxed waterfront living, take your pick of the selection of wharf houses at Cannery Row, on the Hayle estuary. Choose between 1 Cannery Row, 15 Cannery Row and 16 Cannery Row, all of which have calming interiors and waterfront balconies where you can spot wildlife. Or, head to the beach for kite flying and ride ponies along the shore. Each Cannery Row retreat has availability for selected weeks across summer, click here to browse.

Want to see more retreats? Click here to search all of our available summer stays.

Sensory swims

From annual tradition to daily dose of invigoration, what are the feelings and benefits of outdoor swimming? We spoke to three swimmers about where and why they swim…

Waves have a time-honoured way of beckoning swimsuited humans to them, whether it’s joining in with the summer holiday swimmers or that freezing, giddying, in-out dash at Christmas and New Year. Then there are those who cannot imagine life without immersing themselves in cold saltwater as part of their weekly or even daily routine.

Sea swimming can offer much to swimmers: a free exercise activity, a refreshing plunge to put the day into perspective, a connection with a marine environment we’re often estranged from.

Some studies show that regular exposure to cold water through sea swimming has proven to keep depression and anxiety at bay by stimulating the senses and energising swimmers with a hit of endorphins.

When it comes to the positive effects on cognitive health, Professor Giovanni Mallucci from the University of Cambridge has even drawn a possible link between cold water swimming and a delay in developing neuro-cognitive disease, as the low temperatures provoke the production of a “cold-shock” protein RBM3 which early research suggests offers protection against the onset of dementia.

But it can seem daunting and exposing to don a swimsuit, or wetsuit, and submerge ourselves in coastal waters at first. What is it about cold water swimming that makes it so addictive and integral to life for so many?

“Jumping in the sea offered me the maximum respite and escapism achievable in the 20 minutes I felt I could spare.”

Being in the water

Sarah Walsh, a 51-year-old mother of three started the Perranporth branch of the Bluetits swimming group with fellow group member Sophie Reeves. She swims in the open sea, or the tidal pool, at Perranporth, or along the coast near Crantock.

“Sea swimming is a very spiritual experience for me. I do love the silence of being in the sea and underwater. My body feels free and childlike. I feel very at one with the environment. It clears my thoughts and resets me for the rest of the day,” says Sarah.

Paige Payne is part of the team at inclusive swimwear brand Soul Cap, created to help open-up swimming for all. Her favourite outdoor swimming spot is Hampstead Ponds in London. “Swimming out in the open with nature is blissful and freeing. Hearing birdsong in the trees, feeling the water touching my skin, and the sounds of water are so therapeutic,” says Paige.

 “Even long after I leave the water, my body feels good inside.”

Chloë Peglau, who lives in Leeds but grew-up in Falmouth, takes a dip at Gyllyngvase beach when she is back in Cornwall.

“It’s a full body experience. It can be quite painful but for me it’s the best experience, especially after I’ve done a longer, more physically exerting cold water swim without a wetsuit. You get an elating head rush when you come out and your body feels super strong and empowered,” says Chloë.

Image credit: Amy Bullock @amsbullock

Free feelings

Paige describes a similar feeling from being in the sea: “Physically, sea water makes you feel great when you are active in it. Even long after I leave the water, my body feels good inside,” she says.

Sarah found sea swimming to be a valuable physical and mental activity when she started Bluetits. “Being peri-menopausal, that first wave going over my head and washing everything away helped with hot flushes.

“Around the time of starting the Bluetits, my role had changed suddenly from an active working mother to a full-time carer for a teenager suffering severe mental illness. Jumping in the sea offered me the maximum respite and escapism achievable in the 20 minutes I felt I could spare.”

“The sea is a great leveller and we all have a love of cold water swimming in common. I have made long-lasting friendships and reignited old friendships.”

For Chloë, the invigorating experience of sea swimming is simply a long-held affinity: “I’ve just been swimming in the sea my whole life since I was young so I don’t ever reflect on its effects on me. It’s just something I do and that I like to do.”

Swim together

Swimming alone can be daunting, particularly when swimming further from the shore into open water. Lots of cold water swimmers swim together informally or in organised groups.

Of her group, Sarah says: “It’s very supportive – and hilarious! Also inspirational and moving to see people conquer fears and achieve amazing things. The sea is a great leveller and we all have a love of cold water swimming in common. I have made long-lasting friendships and reignited old friendships. It has been an amazing experience.”

“Sea swimming can mean meeting people of all ages and exchanging different life experiences,” adds Paige.

Taking the plunge

“Everyone has a different reason for not feeling confident in water,” says Paige. “This could be beliefs, money, hair etc. As small as these things can seem, they can have a massive impact on people’s relationship with the water.”

For Chloë, having confidence in the pool is essential before putting your stroke techniques to test in the sea. It’s important to check conditions and find out about tidal patterns wherever you take the plunge. The best place to go, particularly if you’re new to sea swimming, is lifeguarded beaches, with lifeguards able to tell you all about local conditions.

“Don’t go out for too long, that’s the important thing,” says Chloë. “Go in and come back out when you’ve warmed up; don’t stay in the water long enough to get cold again. It can take a long time for your body to warm up once you’re out of the water.”

You can find more information on swimming outdoor this summer on the Outdoor Swimming Society website and from the RNLI.

Find your place by the sea to experience the sea as a swimmer…

Our new series, Staff pick of the month, asks members of the team about their favourite Beach Retreats property. This month we speak to Owner Services Co Ordinator, Sam Beverley. Sam lives in Newquay and loves swimming in the sea and occasionally trying her hand at surfing.

Her chosen retreat is Pilots Cottage, a Grade II listed traditional Cornish cottage which sleeps four in the heart of Mousehole.

What is it you like most about this property?

Its character and charm make it feel homely and familiar, whilst the modern décor and quirky layout make it feel special and exciting. 

What will be your favourite part of the day when staying at this retreat?

The dining area gives off hidden wine bar vibes and the sitting room has a log burner and beautiful exposed brick work, so I’d have to say enjoying an evening tipple in one of those spots, whilst re-capping the day’s adventures. 

What is it that you like about the local area?

Mousehole is equally as captivating in all seasons, from lovely coastal walks and fish and chips on the beach in summer and the spectacular Christmas lights in the winter.

What’s the nearest beach like and how far is the walk?

There are two small, safe local beaches but a short drive or long coast path wander will take you to some of the nicest, most secluded in Cornwall, including Marazion beach. 

Is there a particular restaurant in the area that you would choose to eat at?

2 Fore Street for fresh, local seafood with harbour views. The fish bouillabaisse special was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!

Can you catch a good sunset or sunrise here?

Mousehole is on the south coast of Cornwall, meaning it gets great sunrises. If you’re willing to get up early enough to see one!

What would you say is a must-see or do in this area?

The Sea Salt & Sails Festival in summer or the famous Christmas lights in winter. Otherwise, a boat tour to soak up the stunning coastline and wildlife.

Pilots Cottage has availability for 2022, find out more here.

What to do in Porthcawl

Lowenna from the Marketing team and Chloe from the Reservations team recently left the Cornish coast and headed to south Wales to get the lay of the land at our latest beach location, Porthcawl.

Coming off junction 37 of the M4 we were almost instantly met with green landscapes and a sprawling coastline. Porthcawl, a small town on the south coast of Wales between Cardiff and Swansea, gives off a relaxed vibe after the bustle of the motorway, a picture-book image of a seaside town.

We drove along the coastal road, passing a vibrant seafront dotted with traditional seaside buildings, such as the 1920s Pavillion Theatre. Just five minutes further down the water’s edge, we reached our home for the night, our Beach Retreats apartment 71 The Rest. A delightful retreat set on the top floor of the Links development with views of Rest Bay, the space was inviting and calming from the moment we set foot through the door. You can find out more about 71 The Rest here.

After throwing open the balcony doors and resting in the sun with a much-needed cup of tea, we headed back out in the hunt for something to eat.

Our first stop along the way was Rest Bay, just two minutes’ walk from our retreat. This beach is a long stretch of rocky terrain which slopes down onto a sandy expanse with a swirling ocean. Here, you can walk along the Heritage coastal path which runs parallel to the shore or head onto the sand for a day of sunbathing. Porthcawl Surf School sits just above the beach and offers surf lessons and equipment hire, and the beach is known for its great waves which will please any budding surfer or watersports enthusiast.

Further along the coast to the right is Pink Bay, with an impressive pink marble-effect pebbly bank leading down onto flat sand edged by a rocky shoreline. Further away from the main town and therefore a quieter spot, on this beach you can take a solitary sea dip or simply pack a picnic and sit back on the sand.  

These two beaches back onto the Royal Porthcawl golf club, a world-renowned golf course and the number one in Wales.

Heading into town from here takes about 30 minutes by foot or is only a five-minute drive, with plenty of parking available in the public car park or in free spots on the street. Here, you’ll find the small spot of sand that is Porthcawl seafront, next to the harbour where you can see boats bobbing around on the water.

The seafront is also where you’ll find the main strip of restaurants and cafes, including the Cosy Corner Lounge, Dockside Bar and Grill, Beales Fish and Chip Restaurant and The Boathouse Fish bar.  Behind the RNLI lifeboat station, overlooking the harbour water, you’ll also find Bar & Kitchen Co, a great spot to tuck into anything from high quality steak and seafood to a simple burger and chips. This was where we picked for dinner, and it didn’t disappoint – my fish and chips were fresh and generously dished out whilst Chloe’s seafood linguine was equally as delightful.

From here, we headed back towards Rest Bay to catch the sunset, which sets directly over the horizon. Then we settled on the balcony with a glass of wine as the sea glowed under the darkening sky.

Our time in Wales was up, but if you’re staying for longer, there’s plenty more to see and do. Start your day bright and early the next morning and set out on a long coastal walk or short drive towards Sker Bay and Kenfig Nature Reserve, where you can spot some rare sights such as the Fen Orchid and wildlife such as seals, birds and even dolphins. On the way home, stop off at Nottage with its selection of country pubs, where you can sample a hearty lunch washed down with a local ale.

If you fancy exploring even further, hop back in the car for a day out towards the Mumbles and Gower, an area of natural beauty just off from the bustling city of Swansea.

Overall, this area of south Wales has something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, watersports enthusiast, keen golfer or simply craving some peace and quiet.

To see it yourself, stay in our Porthcawl retreat, 71 The Rest.

What is the Nicest Beach in Cornwall? Our Top Picks

Want to know the nicest beach in Cornwall? Well, you’re in luck – there are plenty to choose from. In fact, there’s so many beaches in Cornwall (over 400) that we can’t pick our favourite. Cornwall’s position means it has coastline facing different angles of the ocean and therefore its landscape is dramatically varied. This creates different kind of beaches – the north coast tends to have more surfing beaches, flanked with high cliffs, and benefits from spectacular sunsets, whereas the south coast is more sheltered, with more rugged clifftops and hidden sandy beaches.

We’ve picked our favourite from the north, west and south of Cornwall, ready and waiting for you to visit on your next Cornwall beach holiday!

To browse each of our different beach locations, click here.

So, grab the beach towel and flip flops, and we’ll see you down on the sand.

The nicest beach in north Cornwall

There were many contenders for this one. The north coast is home to the likes of Newquay, Padstow, Watergate and Bude, all areas with world-famous beaches. But there’s one beach which just had to be crowned the nicest – Fistral beach. 

A long stretch of golden sand, grassy sand dunes, consistent waves and ruby red sunsets – what’s not to like? 

We’ve also got a variety of retreats dotted around Fistral, some with views of the water- find them here.

The nicest beach in south Cornwall

The south coast has it all, from quiet bays in the secluded shores of Downderry, breathtaking cliffside scenes at Whitsand bay and vibrant marina life in Falmouth.

Our favourite, though, just has to be Gyllyngvase beach. Just a short walk from the main Falmouth town centre, this cove is the perfect combination of silky sand and a blue sea which sparkles in the summer sun. Gylly’s often calm water conditions makes it a picturesque spot for stand-up paddleboarding, allowing you to admire its beauty from out on the water. 

We’ve got a selection of retreats in the Liner, an elegant development overlooking the beach, meaning you can sit back on your own private balcony and gaze out to sea. Browse our Gyllyngvase retreats here

The nicest beach in west Cornwall

We love west Cornwall for its undisturbed wildlife and untouched coastline. Home to the much loved towns of Hayle, Sennen, Mousehole and St Ives, this area is truly a gem when it comes to beautifully preserved natural landscapes. Choosing the nicest beach is a difficult task when it comes to west Cornwall, as they are all so uniquely stunning.

But there is one beach which stands out, with its impressive three mile stretch of golden sand impossible to ignore. It is, of course, Gwithian beach in Hayle. This large, open expanse of beach is perfect for dog walking, horse riding and even kite flying, and offers the freshest sea air you could possibly breathe in. For the ultimate Cornish beach experience, look no further. 

Find a retreat in Hayle here and stay moments from one of the nicest beaches in Cornwall. 

Browse our other beach locations to discover your favourite beach, and keep an eye on our special offers page for discounted stays by the sea.

Summer fragrances

Smell is a uniquely powerful sense, generating strong reactions and evoking distant memories. As the long sunny days prompt more wild flowers to bloom, we explore the natural scents that shout out summer – with help from sustainable flower delivery business Petalon and natural bath & body brand land&water.

First off, we’re heading away from the salty air, surf wax and sun cream scents of the beach, to the coast path and deeper into Cornwall’s verdant undergrowth and hedgerows. Here you’ll catch the fragrant scents being released by plants and wild flowers coming into bloom.

With the first flush of spring now fading, there’s an abundance of flowering plants ready to step into the breach. From the sweet smelling honeysuckle climbing over its hedgerow fellows, to the aromatic leaves and tiny lilac flowers of pennyroyal. Going by mentha pulegium in Latin, pennyroyal’s leaves can be steeped in hot water for a strong, wild mint tea.

If you’re on the hunt for rarer scents than these among the undergrowth, The Lizard is where to head. Home to an ancient and unique geology, many rare species and sweet smells can be found in one of the UK’s most biodiverse regions.

On a summer’s evening walk through fields, you might encounter the orange-scented smell of the fragrant orchid. On heathland or even sandy dunes, you might pick up the gentle fragrance of wild thyme – also identified by its purple-pink flowers between May and August, growing close to the ground. Chives, another fragrance reminiscent of the kitchen, grow wild on The Lizard, with its recognisable small pink flowers.

Image credit: Petalon

Floral fragrance

Surround yourself with the fragrance of summer blooms grown on these shores indoors… At Petalon’s Cornish farm, it’s a particularly busy time of year, says Petalon co-owner James. “We have to be in the field cutting flowers early enough to beat the day’s heat,” he explains. “Then we’re in the studio making up bouquets, by the time most people are thinking about setting off for work.

“In terms of the bouquets themselves, the summer is defined by abundance. Even the dwarf sunflowers we grow still have such large heads, and the delphiniums and larkspur are so tall, we can barely fit them inside the box!”

When it comes to bouquets for the nose, the Petalon team include a heady mix in their deliveries. “Sweet peas will continue through early summer and smell just amazing – particularly in a delivery bouquet, as their sweet scent really fills the box,” he says. “By late summer we’ll be using lots of mint and geranium stems, both of which have a deserving reputation for their incredible smells.”

Image credit: Petalon 

Other stars of the season are lupins, ready to send as the pink and purple varieties appear in hedgerows around the county. Then there are poppies, with a longer flowering life than those defying the odds to bloom along Cornish stone walls.

Alongside the rows of flowers for cutting, the hedgerows around the Petalon farm see the bright yellow gorse shining brighter than ever. “Gorse smells like sweet coconut to us,” adds James.

The season inside

Waking up to seize the day or coming back indoors to relax after a day on the beach, what scents summon long summer days?

Pix Ashworth, founder of land&water, knows summer has arrived when she notices pairs of small-white domed flowers appearing on the woodland floor.

Image credit: Goodrest Studios for land&water

Lily-of-the-valley signals the approaching summer to me; fresh, light and crisp,” she says. “For me, the longer days mean evenings on the coast path or in the garden witnessing explosive growth and fragrances. The ‘hot-lips’ Salvia (so-called for its bi-colours of red and white) is a big favourite for both its gorgeous minty aroma and its enduring flowers; I have several dotted around the garden.

“And I definitely have a mint leaning, using it wherever possible – be it in salads, summer drinks, or with new potatoes.”

Image credit: Goodrest Studios for land&water

When it comes to time indoors, mint is a favourite fragrance for how it “draws the outside in, mimicking that big sky freshness”. For relaxing evenings indoors after long, active days outside, Pix opts for calming essential oils.

“Skin products containing chamomile, to soothe skin redness or irritation from too much sun or bites and stings; and sandalwood, for peace and calm, are a natural draw,” she adds. “Together with sweet almond oil and sea buckthorn oil, we use both these essential oils in our All Elements Skin Balm to help calm and rejuvenate.”

Pairings such as frankincense and clary sage also hold a lot of appeal for Pix, because blending scents is about achieving invigoration and relaxation, “that sweetspot of emotion”.