Staying safe at Holywell

Holywell Bay, Cornwall

Holywell is a popular large sandy beach. As with many coastal locations there are hazards to be aware of. Here are a few things to note.

Staying safe in the sea

There is RNLI life guard service during May to September. Please follow their advice and swim between the flags when they deem it safe to do so. We also advise making yourself aware the location of life-saving equipment, such as buoys or emergency telephones.

More guidance on water safety can be found on the RNLI website.

Sharp wire

There are areas of beach and dunes prone to have fragments of sharp wire embedded in the sand, so please stay alert.

This is from WW2 defences not removed after the war. With the constant shifting of the sand wire can become exposed; particularly after very high tides or strong winds. Although usually this is found on an area of beach not owned by the Trust, we regularly remove large quantities of wire and are working with local partners on how this problem can be managed.


Although rarely seen by humans, adders are often found in the dunes during sunny weather and can cause a nasty bite to dogs. Please keep dogs under control at all times and if you suspect an adder bite we suggest seeking the advice of a vet.

Weever fish

Like at many sandy beaches weever fish can be found at Holywell, particularly at low tide. We advise wearing beach or wet suit shoes if going in the sea around low tide as weever fish stings can be very painful. If stung the advice is to immerse the area affected in hot water for 30-90 minutes. More information can be found on the Cornwall Council website.