With some of the best beaches in Cornwall here on the Lizard we've selected some of our favourites to help you decide which ones to visit.
Recently voted one of the world's best beaches, at Kynance Cove you'll experience incredible scenery, white sand and clear turquoise water. This beach is a must for all sun-lovers and sea-paddlers. The short but steep path down to the beach, part of the South West Coast Path, takes you across a small section of the Lizard heathland which is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the UK.
Facilities on the beach include our famous green toilets and a fantastic café that serves food between Easter and November (weather dependent in colder months). Check the tides to avoid disappointment as the beach gets completely covered at spring high water.
If it's sand and surf you're after then this is the beach for you. Poldhu is home to one of our annual junior surf competitions and a favourite for families. The beach is located on the west side of the Lizard near Mullion village and close to our campsite at Teneriffe Farm. There is a council car park across the road from the beach, as well as a café and toilets (not National Trust) and a surf school (seasonal). Poldhu is also home to the Marconi Centre, sited at the original place where Marconi undertook some of his groundbreaking technological experiments. The beach is lifeguarded during the summer school holidays.
If getting away from the crowds is your thing try Poltesco. Hidden in a valley close to the village of Ruan on the east side of the peninsula, this is a stoney and pebbly beach that is sheltered from the south west winds and often very calm. The beach is surrounded by reminders of the coves industrial history.The beach is close to the much busier Kennack Sands. There is great snorkelling here and it's often a great spot to see marine wildlife including dolphins, basking sharks and seals. With historic serpentine works on the beach it is a five minute walk from the National Trust donations car park.
Mullion Cove is home to the historic Mullion Harbour and a small fishing community. The harbour has a sandy bottom and is popular with bathers in the summer months; there is some excellent snorkelling and diving to be done here.
The cove is sheltered by the high cliffs around and it’s popular with walkers and day trippers. There is a café (not National Trust), a private car park nearby and council toilets. For those seeking a little adventure you can hire a kayak from the harbour with Lizard Adventure during the warmer months and explore beyond the harbour walls.
Although Gillan beach is not under our ownership much of the surrounding coast is, including low tide hidden coves around Nare Point. This is not one to drive to but as a stop on a walk between Helford and Nare Point or to take your boat to. It can get busy in the summer months with boats and barbecues and there is absolutely no parking available.
Lowland Point to Chynalls
The coast path is the only way to reach Lowland Point, close to Coverack, and you can really get away from it all on the numerous sandy and rocky outcrops. Sheltered from the westerly winds on the east side of the Lizard you can while away the hours watching ships coming and going from Falmouth, and passing schools of basking sharks. Often very calm and popular with seals.
Forming part of the Penrose Estate, Gunwalloe is home to Church Cove and Dollar Cove, both get very busy in the summer months. Parking is available at the National Trust pay and display car park, there is a refreshments kiosk in the summer and lifeguards on Church Cove during the summer holidays. Church Cove gets it name from the beautiful 15th-century church on the beach and Dollar gets it's name from silver dollars washed ashore after a 17th-century shipwreak just off the beach. There is a dog ban at Church Cove during the summer but dogs are welcome all year at Dollar Cove.
Venturing further afield we can recommend some of the following beaches in Cornwall.
On the North Coast of Cornwall about 20 minutes by car from Helston, is the popular and very big Godrevy beach. Great for learning to surf, having a walk and watching seals, the beach is lifeguarded during the summer season. There is a National Trust car park and a great café as well as various approved surf schools to choose from.
Crantock and Holywell
On the north coast up near Newquay are both Crantock and Holywell beaches. Out of the summer main seaon you can have these vast stretches of sand to yourself. Popular with surfers but not as popular as the main Newquay beaches. Refreshments onsite and National Trust car parks at both.
Don't let the dog ban ruin your day...
...take your best friend with you.
Although Kynance and many of the other beaches on the Lizard don't allow dogs between Easter and October, many still do. For more info check out this link to the dog beaches website.