West Cornwall’s beaches, from St Ives round to Praa Sands and Prussia Cove are famed for their immense variety, but also the perfectly clear water. From iconic sandy beaches to sheltered coves, the beaches here are surely some of the best in the world.
Take stunning Porthcurno (next to the Minack Theatre) and Kynance Cove (one of the most photographed beaches in Cornwall) which offer turquoise sea on sparkling sand, while stormy Porthleven probably gives the best waves in Cornwall on a southerly swell.
Many of the beaches are easily accessible; most are spacious or sheltered, all benefiting from the remarkable light which has attracted many creatives here, for the west of Cornwall is also a land of storytelling, myths and legends.
An area of impressive headlands, there are some secrets tucked away such as lovely Lamorna with its pub, the Wink, once popular with smugglers.
With well-worth-visiting little fishing villages such as Mousehole (pronounced Mouzle) the west provides a peaceful retreat in low season.
Atmospheric fishing coves, rock pools, and isolated beaches mean there are many secrets for you to discover. Here are some suggestions.
The Best Beaches in St Ives
St Ives has some of Cornwall’s best beaches, particularly when they’re blessed with that famous shimmering light. The beauty of St Ives’ five – yes, there really are five – easily-accessible...
Just off the western Cornwall coastline, a mile away from Land’s End, Nanjizal is truly worth a visit. An Instagrammer’s dream, the rock formation on the south side is breath-taking, a magnificent...
When you go to beautifully clean National Trust-owned Porthcurno Beach, you could be in the Mediterranean with the sparkling crystal clear azure sea and fine white shifting sand. Nearby is the recomme...
Porthleven is probably most photographed during epic storms, where the harbour village takes a dramatic battering from the elements. But when the sun is shining, beyond Porthleven’s harbour you’ll...
Just a mile to the east of Marazion, with stunning views of St Michael’s Mount and within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sits pretty Perranuthnoe. The beach is truly spoiling with easy acces...
Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives
One of St Ives collection of five beaches, Porthgwidden Beach is just over a five-minute walk from the Harbour. The smallest and most sheltered of St Ives’ beaches, it’s set between Bamaluz Beach ...
Gwithian Beach, near St Ives
Gwithian sits in-between Godrevy and the Towans section of Hayle’s famous three miles of golden sand. Due to the gently sloping nature of Gwithian beach, those that are just starting out on their su...
Lifeguarded between May and the end of September, National Trust owned Poldhu Cove is a popular choice for swimmers, surfers and beach dwellers. A sandy and sheltered beach, thanks to the cliffs and s...
Godrevy Beach, St Ives
At the northern tip of Hayle’s three miles of golden sand is Godrevy beach. National Trust owned, Godrevy is connected to Gwithian beach at lower tides to create a rather impressive stretch of san...
At the historically rich Cape Cornwall, you’ll find a small cove known as Priest’s Cove, with a pebble beach, lots of rockpools and even a small man-made tidal pool. The beach itself is mainly a r...
Mexico Towans Beach, near St Ives
Along the north coast, in sweeping St Ives Bay, you will find Mexico Towans beach. Towan is from the Cornish Tewyn meaning sand dunes, providing a clue to what you will find here in all their marram-g...
Sennen Cove Beach
After escaping the rather more commercialised Land’s End (1.5 km away), it is a delight to reach family-friendly Sennen Beach, sometimes called Sennen Cove (although it is not a cove) a mighty fine ...
Porthkidney Beach, St Ives
Despite its strange name, Porthkidney Beach is pretty scenic. Located at Lelant, it is 2 miles from St Ives which tends to be much busier in summer. The beach is huge, clean but has no facilities, as ...
Praa Sands Beach
Having walked on this beach wearing summer clothes in December, Praa Sands (pronounced pray or prah, heatedly debated locally, though pray probably wins) comes highly recommended. Roughly halfway betw...
The curiously named Prussia Cove is near to Penzance, a few miles west of Praa Sands. It is not one cove but a series of coves and caves. To be honest, nothing much has changed here over hundreds of y...
Porthminster Beach, St Ives
This is the second-largest St Ives beach with glorious views out to Hayle and Godrevy Lighthouse, so maybe take Virginia Woolf’s book with you to read there in the Cornish sunshine, imagining her ch...
Carbis Bay Beach, St Ives
Carbis Bay Beach is privately owned and the proud recipient of a Blue Flag award, meaning it is super-clean. A rarity around these parts, the beach has little surf (more like ripples) and is sheltered...
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
The wonderful Porthmeor Beach is overlooked by the café terrace of the iconic art gallery, Tate St Ives. Central to the artistic community, Porthmeor grew in popularity as a beach in the 1960s/70s, d...
BOOK YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY IN WEST CORNWALL WITH CORNISH SECRETS