Everyone talks about Fistral, Gyllyngvase, Maenporth and Crantock. Perranporth, Watergate Bay and Kynance Cove are all renowned. But what about the smaller beaches? The ones only the locals know about? We’ve put together our little guide to the best secret beaches in Cornwall , the ones that the locals love most! Here’s what our Cornish insiders recommend for a bit more sandy seclusion:
Everyone knows about Kynance Cove. People travel from all over just to visit it. And it is stunning as you weave down the cliff side to the pretty little beach and adjacent café. The only problem is, it’s always busy! A little further on you’ll find Housel Cove, one of the most southerly beaches in mainland Britain. You can only reach the beach when the tide is out and there’s a steep approach to the beach from the cliff path, meaning it’s not best suited to families. We recommend this beach for keen walkers looking for somewhere stunning to stop for an hour as it’s right next to the South West Coast Path.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall and pretty much only discoverable (and pronounceable) by the locals, Pedn Vounder has the most amazing cliffs and crystal clear water. When it’s low tide you can walk to neighbouring Porthcurno beach and with Logan’s Rock on one side and the iconic Minack Theatre on the other, it’s the most magnificent location. Not only that, dogs are welcome all year round! Good to be aware, this is an unofficial naturist beach.
Durgan beach is situated in the picturesque village of Durgan on the Helford. A pretty shingle beach with a slipway alongside it as it’s a popular area for boating, this is one of the most picturesque areas with sheltered swimming. You can park at the top of the valley in the National Trust car park and enjoy the leisurely half mile walk down to the village and the beach, it’s breathtaking! Dogs are also welcome all year!
This might just be our favourite beach in Cornwall! Private and secluded, we’ve even had it to ourselves a few times! It’s the perfect place to sunbathe or enjoy a good book or simply go for a little paddle on a hot summer afternoon, you would think you were abroad! Framed by woodland, Bosahan Cove is a true hidden gem. The beach can be accessed by the coast path or alternatively, you can reach it by boat (we recommend hiring a canoe from the Helford Passage) or through Bosahan Gardens (entry fee).
For picturesque, head to Prussia Cove! A famous smuggler beach, named after one of the most famous Cornish ‘free traders’ John Carter, nicknamed the King of Prussia, it’s not crowded in the summer. This small, romantic pebble-strewn beach is truly something special, and feels poetic and historic, taking us back to Cornish days gone by, the best place to start that novel!
So there you have it, secret beaches from the locals! Which beaches are your favourite when you visit Cornwall? Any secret coves you’ve stumbled across that you want to share with us? We’re always looking for the next hidden beach in the county.