Stretch out on the sand, dip your toes in the water, explore rock pools or learn to surf. There’s so much fun to be had on a day out at the beach. If you’re heading to Padstow for your holidays, be sure to visit some of these fine local beaches.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to quality beaches in the Padstow area. Cornwall’s north shore is punctuated by hundreds of breathtakingly beautiful beaches, from long stretches of golden sand to small, rocky coves. Every beach has its own distinct character, attributes and activities, and each one is well worth a visit in its own right. If you already have a local favourite, then by all means stick with it. But why not mix it up by visiting a selection of beaches during your holiday in Padstow? Here’s our list of the best beaches near Padstow as well as some hidden gems. There’s one for every day of the week; or as they say around here, ‘Seven Bays for Seven Days’.
Most visitors will end up at Harlyn Beach sooner or later. As one of the most popular beaches in the area, this sandy beach attracts a mixed crowd of families, dog walkers and surfers. Harlyn is a north facing beach, so it is sheltered from the big swells and prevailing winds. This makes it a safe place to learn to surf, stand up paddle board or go for a swim on all but the biggest days. There’s a very good surf school here plus shops for beach rentals.
Only five minutes by car from Padstow, Trevone is one of the closest north coast beaches to town. It is therefore usually the first choice for beach-going holidaymakers in the area. This small sandy cove is great for rock pooling and swimming in the tidal pool. On one side the cliffs rise up from the beach. Be sure to take a walk along the coast path to discover Round Hole – a huge sink hole carved out of the headland by the crashing waves far below.
Even closer to Padstow is perhaps the loveliest, but lesser known, beach in this part of North Cornwall. At the end of a narrow lane, Hawkers Cove is a tidal beach of light golden sand and turquoise waters. Situated near the mouth of the Camel Estuary, Hawkers sits below the looming headland of Stepper Point with views across to Daymer Bay and Polzeath. This beach is popular with kitesurfers and windsurfers when it’s windy; and with stand up paddle boarders and kayakers when it’s not. It’s great for soaking up the views or strolling along the sand.
Constantine is a lovely, curved beach backed by sand dunes and looking out on to Trevose Head with its landmark lighthouse. As one of Cornwall’s best surfing beaches, Constantine attracts wave riders of all types. But on calmer days it is a beautiful spot for a picnic and for paddling in the shallows. Golfers will love the stunning links course at Trevose Golf Club, where you can play a round with dramatic views of the rugged coast.
Laid-back Porthcothan is one of North Cornwall’s scenic treasures. This rugged Cornish cove has dramatic rock formations, caves and rock pools to explore. At high tide, the sea floods up the narrow beach making it a great playground for swimmers and watersports enthusiasts. It’s a fantastic spot to while away a day enjoying the sounds of the seagulls and lapping waves. There’s a shop here for essential beach supplies such as pasties and ice creams.
Photogenic Bedruthan Steps, otherwise known as Carnewas, is steeped in myth and legend. Cornish folk lore says that a giant called Bedruthan used the large, stacks as stepping stones for a shortcut across the bay. Thanks to a steep set of steps which hug the cliff, it’s possible to descend to the beach and walk among the rocky outcrops. This is an ideal spot to spend a quiet day among this geological splendour.
Daymer Pay is a delightful curved sand beach on the other side of the Camel Estuary. Popular with visitors from Polzeath and Rock, Daymer Bay is accessible by boat from Padstow which makes it an exciting adventure for families. Pack a picnic and make the short hop over to this gloriously scenic Cornish beach.
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