Cornwall, a land of natural beauty and amazing coastline, has hundreds of beautiful beaches. It does not matter where you stay in Cornwall, there are always some lovely beaches nearby. Most of these beaches are easily accessible. Nevertheless, there are also plenty of hidden beaches and coves that remain a virtual secret.
These hidden spots range from barely accessible coves to wide lines of golden sands. You will not see them overcrowded and sometimes you may not even see another soul. Some of them will require you to wear a pair of stout walking shoes and some a good set of nerves to get there. These beaches do not have lifeguard cover but anyways are worth visiting. So if you are looking for peaceful and beautiful places to explore in Cornwall, here are the top 5 hidden beaches we recommend:
Pentire Steps Beach – Newquay
Pentire Steps Beach is one of the picturesque beaches on the north coast of Cornwall that faces west. Its west-facing location makes the beach a popular destination for photographers who are hunting for calendar-looking pictures of dark rock stacks set in the golden sand against the blue sea.
Pentire Steps Beach is situated between two major towns of the area – Newquay and Padstow. It is worth to mention that the beach is considered to be an unknown twin of one of the most famous beaches in Cornwall – Bedruthan Steps. There is even a parking available at a number of clifftop sites. Nevertheless, unlike Bedruthan, parking nearby Pentire Steps is never a problem and even despite the fact there is a charming National Trust cafe nearby, you will not see any crowds of people.
The beach is accessible by steps. Just note that there are some days out of season when steps may be closed due to safety concerns or erosion. Also, be aware that swimming in the area is not advisable as there are strong rip-currents and fast moving tides offshore.
Portherras Cove Beach – Pendeen
Portherras Cove Beach is situated between Pendeen and Morvah, in one of the wildest stretches of the Cornish coast. Despite the fact that the beach is not easy to find, it is worth visiting. This beautiful sandy cove lies at the end of a shallow valley with a sheer cliff at its north end, making it one of the most attractive spots to see in the area. What is more, the beach is considered to be one of the last remaining truly local beaches owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
Come here to enjoy the beauty of unspoiled Cornish nature and to watch such charming creatures as common seals. Note that despite you can hear that the beach was previously unsafe due to razor-sharp fragments of an old wreck under the sand, it was cleaned in 2004, so today you can fully enjoy its beauty.
The Strangles Beach – Bude
Situated not far from Bude, this North Coast beach is famous for its nearest cliff known as the High Cliff. Yes, you are right! It is the highest cliff in Cornwall. Despite the fact that the cliff is 200 meters high, access to the beach is not so steep but is still quite demanding. The beach is covered with golden sands and shingle, so surrounding cliffs, strong currents, and jagged rocks make it look and feel absolutely wild. Note that swimming here is generally unsafe.
The Strangles Beach is actually made up of two beaches: the main beach and the smaller beach that joins it up at low tide. The smaller beach is known as Little Strand and is famous for the large rock arch at its end. Note that this little beach sheltered by rock formations is popular with naturists.
The main beach is a long stretch of golden sand with some incredible rock formations. Nevertheless, due to relatively long climb required to get there, you will never see it crowded.
Porth Joke Beach – Newquay
Porth Joke Beach is situated just 5 miles from Newquay and is surrounded by such famous spots and Crantock beach located on the north and Holywell Bay on the south. Despite these, Porth Joke Beach, known as Polly Joke among locals, is often overlooked.
The main reason why this beautiful sandy cove still remains a secret is that there is no parking nearby. The one you can find is fairly limited and is situated a fair walk away. Nevertheless, exactly these factors make Porth Joke Beach an oasis of calm throughout the year, so your first glimpse at this beach will assure you that it is a price worth paying.
Porth Joke Beach is not wide yet deep. From a small charming beach, it backs onto a shallow valley with a stream running down.Even on the busiest day, this beach offers a plenty of sandy beach for everyone. What is more, there are also rock pools and caves for explorers of all ages.
Bosahan Cove Beach – Helford
If you are looking for a real hidden paradise – Bosahan Cove Beach is the answer. There are quite many beaches in Cornwall you can call ‘hidden’ for some reasons, but Bosahan Cove Beach is the one that really fits the bill. Despite the fact there are 3 ways you can reach this idyllic paradise, none of them involves the car.
First of all, you can get there by boat, so if you have one, you are welcomed. Also, you can simply walk to the beach via coast path, just get ready to walk at least a mile. The last and the most beautiful way to the beach leads through the ancient woodlands of the Bosahan estate situated on the southern banks of the Helford River. Just note that the last option requires paying an admission charge. Still, enjoying ‘most Cornish of all Gardens’ on your way to the magical little cove is worth it.
The beach itself looks and feels like a paradise of untouched and unspoiled nature. It is covered with golden sands and is backed by the woodland which makes it feel absolutely unique in comparison to any average Cornish beach.