Holywell beach, North Cornwall. National Trust Images John Gerrish
Owned by the National Trust, Holywell Bay boasts a gorgeous sweep of golden sand. Lesser known than its neighbours Perranporth and Newquay, Holywell and the surrounding coast offers you a haven of beaches, common land and coastline to explore. Once you’re here it’ll come as no surprise to learn that Holywell was one of the backdrops for the BAFTA-winning TV series Poldark.
Equally equipped for a day surfing, or building sandcastles, the exposed rocky headlands sit alongside a fabulous sandy beach. Lifeguarded during the main season, in true north coast spirit both Holywell and nearby Crantock beaches offer a fantastic place to catch some waves. National Trust licensed surf schools; Holywell Bay School of Surf and Cornwall Surf Academy both operate at Holywell, catering for all ages and abilities.
Both Holywell and Crantock beaches are dog-friendly all year round, and there are plenty of footpaths to explore with your furry friend. There’s lots of history to discover including the remains of an Iron Age castle on Kelsey Head, a Bronze Age barrow on Cubert Common and the holy well in a cave on the beach.
There is free parking for National Trust members (remember to bring your card) and Blue Badge holders, for non-members charges apply. The toilets are also open daily.