Summer is well underway, and in our opinion there is nowhere better to be in the UK than Cornwall. With miles of sandy beaches throughout the county, cliffside walks, amazing beachside restaurants and loads of activities on offer, there really is something for everyone.
If you’re lucky enough to grab a window seat flying into Newquay you’ll see some beautiful beaches and coves as you head towards the runway. So which are the best family beaches to visit on your Cornish break?
With miles of sand to walk, dunes to hide in and a tidal pool for swimming, there’s something for all the family. This popular surfing beach is awash with tiny pools hidden among the rocks, the perfect places for little ones to explore.
You’ll find a number of car parks near the beach, and shops and cafes nestled nearby, making it a great option if you’ve got children. The Waterfront pub is perfect for a refreshing pint at the end of the day too.
Its almost as far west as you can go, but Porthcurno beach is worth the trek. With fine white sand, and turquoise sea, this is the beach that is often cited on social media as being ‘the Caribbean in Cornwall’. This sheltered beach is popular with families and Instagrammers alike and once there you can also visit the world famous Minack Theatre, which sits above the beach hewn into the cliff.
Falmouth has a number of beaches but Gyllynvase is a favourite with families for a number of reasons. It’s near to the town centre so you can walk along the headland, past Pendennis Castle and down to the beach. There’s also the option to continue your walk, where you’ll stumble upon Swanpool and Maenporth beaches, or hire a SUP or kayak and make your way along the shoreline from the sea.
There are a couple of options when it comes to food, and although you can rarely beat a beach picnic, if you want a nice meal Gylly Beach Café is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Be sure to nab a sofa on the deck if there’s one available, and enjoy the seafront views while you eat your brunch or enjoy a coffee.
4. Any Newquay Beach
Newquay has several stunning beaches and everyone has their favourite. Fistral is popular with surfers and sunbathers; Towan is family friendly and only a short walk down the hill from the town centre, while Lusty Glaze is a privately-owned beach that provides a great opportunity to combine the sand and sea with great food and drink.
Lusty Glaze has a large dining and bar area, as well as outdoor seating and accommodation if you can’t bear to be away from the sea for even a second. They also hold the Sundowner Sessions, a Tag Rugby Tournament and Cooking Academy masterclasses throughout the year. With kids its sometimes nice to have them slightly penned in within the cove (but if you have a pram please remember the steps down the cliffside that you’ll have to navigate to get down to the beach!)
5. Godrevy, Hayle and Gwithian Beaches
Another shout out for an area, rather than one particular beach, but if you head down to Hayle you are treated to miles upon miles of beautiful beaches, all with their own different plus points. Godrevy sits at the northernmost tip of the sands, with a view over towards the Lighthouse that inspired Virginia Wolff. The walk over National Trust land along the cliffs gives you the opportunity to see seals sunbathing along the beaches below.
Further south, Gwithian, Mexicos and Hayle all provide great surf opportunities, lovely sandy beaches looking towards St Ives and on a good day you can walk along the Hayle river mouth towards the sea and mistake it for the Caribbean!
If you are staying in the Padstow area, there are plenty of lovely beaches to visit but Trevone is a great option for families and those looking for a bit of surf. With a tidal pool and a large selection of rock pools, the beach is generally pretty safe for children swimming, with the RNLI present during the summer months (although always be aware of any rip currents on any beach).
The village backs right onto the beach and the beach itself has toilets, café and shop. There are also two large car parks, making it perfect for a family visit.
Cornwall’s most northernly town also has one of the loveliest beaches to take your family on a sunny day. Summerleaze beach backs onto the town and a large car park and is also home to their famous tidal pool, which is ideal for children (the sea can often be a little rough for smaller children).
Nearby beaches Widemouth Bay and Crooklets are also good for families. Sandymouth is popular but can be a little harder to access with prams and toddlers, but many families brave it to enjoy their day out at the beach.