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Things to do at Kynance Cove

A view of Kynance Cove, Lizard, Cornwall
Kynance Cove, Lizard, Cornwall | © National Trust Images / Sue Brackenbury

Discover one of the world’s most spectacular beaches, famous for its serpentine stacks, islands, caves and turquoise sea. Explore Kynance Cove, head out for a coastal walk and spot seasonal wildlife.

Explore Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is rightly revered as a Cornish gem. Its white sands, turquoise water and serpentine rocks combine to make it one of the most photographed, filmed and painted beaches in Cornwall.

The cove regularly features on lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and on a sunny day at low tide you’ll see why it deserves this accolade.

History of Kynance Cove

Its name derives from the Cornish ‘kewnans’ meaning ravine, and there is a stream cuts through the valley and across the beach.

Low tide reveals a series of coves and interconnected caves, with splendid Victorian names such as the Ladies Bathing Pool and the Drawing Room.

Prince Albert rock

One rock is named after Prince Albert, who came ashore here with his children in 1846. The largest island is Asparagus Island, named after the plant which is native and grows wild there.

Safety notice

At low tide the caves and stacks are yours to explore, but please be aware of the risks of being cut off by the tide. Kynance Cove has no lifeguards operating and can get extremely busy.

Maritime heather (Erica vagans) in flower in August, and view of Kynance Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
Maritime heather at Kynance Cove | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott

Walking around Kynance Cove

Pull on your walking boots and stride out on a coastal adventure. The South West Coast Path links Kynance Cove with Lizard Point to the south, and Mullion to the north, and this stretch offers walkers fantastic wild scenery.

One popular route

A popular route is to follow the coast path south between Kynance and Lizard Point, (approximately 2.5 miles), and then return inland via Lizard village and Lizard Downs.

Soapy Cove, one mile along the coast path to the north across Lizard National Nature Reserve, is a wild and isolated spot that is well worth a visit.

A bridleway crosses Lizard Downs inland of Kynance Cove, reaching the A3083 at Mile End, and it is possible to link in with numerous other routes on towards Mullion.

Take care

Please go properly equipped and take care if setting out on foot to explore the spectacular scenery around Kynance, as the coastal terrain is wild and isolated, and the weather can change rapidly.

Spot the cove's seasonal wildlife

The heaths and cliffs at Kynance Cove support a wide variety of wildlife and plants including asparagus, Cornish heath, ferns, lichens and rare moths.

Listen out for the distinctive ‘chiaow’ call of the chough, a rare species of crow which has returned naturally to Cornwall’s cliffs in recent decades. They can often be seen probing for grubs on the short cliff top turf.

The view over rocks and a small beach at Kynance Cove, Cornwall.
Kynance Cove in the summer | © National Trust Images/Hilary Daniel

Accessing the cove

The walk from the National Trust car park, where members can park for free all year, is quite steep with steps at the bottom of the path onto the beach and can take about 10 minutes.

Pushchair route

There’s also an alternative pushchair route that's flatter and follows a track around the back of the beach to emerge by the café. This route, which you'll need to take at high tide, takes between 15 to 20 minutes. There is no public vehicular access to the cove. 

Parking at Kynance Cove

There's a Trust car park that's open all year at Kynance. The car park is extremely busy and is often full in the summer months and throughout September.

If the car park is full, please visit another time. Alternatively, there's non-Trust private parking available within one mile of the cove (30-40 minute walk).

Plan your trip around the tide

Be sure to plan your visit by the tide, as the beach almost completely disappears at high tide. Take care not to get cut off by the rising water.

Two women drawing a huge sun on the sandy beach at Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Discover more at Kynance Cove

Find out how to get to Kynance Cove, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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