Mawgan Porth Beach, Cornwall

4th April 2013

The bay at Mawgan Porth ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to ideal family beach criteria. It has a stream running under a bridge, across the sand and out to sea – utterly irresistible for children armed with buckets and spades as they try in vain to create a dam to hold back the flow. It has rock pools by the hundred that are replenished with wildlife twice daily, there’s a waterfall – yes, really – and caves to peer into. It’s like a seaside wonderland for kids (or those channelling their inner kid).

For many, it’s not a holiday unless the four-legged members of the family are welcome. Mawgan Porth is one of the few Cornish beaches that are dog friendly all year round, so that’s another box ticked for dog owners.

There’s enough going on at Mawgan Porth to keep you happily entertained here. A pub, restaurant and chip shop covers all the bases on the refreshment front and there’s a deli-cum-seven-eleven that surprises with its wide and interesting selection of foods from the essentials to the luxuries. Their smoothies that combine local ice cream with your favourite chocolate bar are wickedly calorific treats.

Aside from surfing, sporting activities at Mawgan Porth are of the relaxed, low key variety. Just up the hill is an 18 hole golf course (the views are, as you’d expect, a huge distraction). If that sounds all a bit too serious, the pitch and putt and crazy golf next to the beach caters for the younger, less formal golfer.

If a little exploration is on the agenda, the south west coast path leads you to the bigger resort of Watergate Bay, an amble of less than three miles that rewards you with sweeping views south along the coast. On a clear day you can sometimes see as far as Gwithian Sands, a wide arc of a beach over 20 miles away. Yes, there are some steep ups-and-downs on this section of the coast path – but just think how many chocolate bar smoothies it’ll earn you…