Dawn vs Dusk

16th June 2021

The magic hours. Which is your favourite?

“A sculptor’s landscape is one of ever-changing space and light where forms reveal themselves in new aspects as the sun rises and sets.”

– Barbara Hepworth in Barbara Hepworth: Drawings from a Sculptor’s Landscape, 1966 barbarahepworth.org.uk,

The sun rose just after 5 o’clock this morning; it will set just before 9.30pm. We’re in the daylight month and each day the summer sun creates stunning, relaxing and inspiring skies in those early or late hours. Staying steps from the shore means the freedom to enjoy those moments even more.

Coastal skies don’t hold claim to the most spectacular dawns and dramatic dusks but they’re undoubtedly among the best. Sharing an image by Kirstin Prisk (@kirstinprisk) of a sunset sky in St Ives this month, the Tate St Ives nodded to the unique light the sun creates there: “The town of St Ives has long been an artistic hub, attracting artists since the time of J.M.W Turner because of the beauty of the landscape and quality of natural light.”

That corner of coastal light has inspired artists since the 1930s, and around the British coast early risers and evening explorers are rewarded with colour shows to take the breath away.

Which are you, an early riser catching the first light or an out of hours dusk seeker?

We asked members of the Beach Retreats team to share one of their favourite phot0s out of hours at the beach. As you’ll see below, dusk comes out on top.

And if you’ve captured a great shot at the beach out of hours, why not share it with us on Instagram or Facebook ­­– tag us @beachretreats and add #beachoutofhours ­– to be in with a chance of winning a land&water bathtime bundle and luxury Cornish hamper.

Lingering light

Lowenna in the Beach Retreats marketing team likes to catch the fading light as it disappears over the horizon. There’s no better place to watch the day slip away over the horizon than the sweeping vistas of the north Cornish coast.

This shot was captured on the sand dunes that lead down to the breaks at Fistral beach in Newquay. “I like to wait until the sun has completely dropped, to see the lingering glow on the horizon,” says Lowenna.

Open ocean

There’s no denying the sunlight on the sea creates some of the most awe-inspiring views of all. Steve, in our portfolio management team, also prefers the dusk light on the waves.

This photo was taken from Pentire Headland with the sun hovering just above the line of the ocean. “From here, you can see the entire stretch of the horizon glowing and the wide expanse of sea looks truly amazing at this time of day,” says Steve.


Low in the website team finds the lure of the water difficult to resist when the sunset colours the sky. This image was taken on Little Fistral beach in Newquay. “My favourite time of day is dusk, especially the moments just after the sun has set where the whole sky turns shades of pink, purple and orange.

“That day, the setting sun lit up the whole beach in these colours. It looked so magical we just had to go in for a swim at 10pm!”

Dawn vs dusk

We’re asking our followers on Instagram and Facebook to choose their favourite #beachoutofhours time. Which will you choose, dawn or dusk?

Share your best #beachoutofhours photos from Cornwall with us to be in with a chance to winning a land&water bathtime bundle plus luxury Cornish hamper. Find out more.