Activities, Destinations

Hidden Coves and Breath-taking Bays: YHA’s Guide to Cornwall’s Best Beaches

Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations and is renowned for its unique culture, beautiful scenery and fantastic attractions. However, a typical Cornwall holiday experience will undoubtedly involve a trip to one of the area’s picturesque beach locations. Cornwall’s beaches come in all shapes and sizes and cater to a wide range of holidaymakers so it’s usually best to conduct some research before you make plans and book your accommodation. So whether you’re embarking on a surfing holiday, a hiking adventure or a simple family getaway, we’ve put together a useful beach guide in order to ease the decision making process and ensure your Cornwall holiday is everything you want it to be.

Sennen Cove

A beautiful walk over the cliffs from Land’s End, Sennen is a charming little fishing cove which also has a long, sandy beach offering both great swimming and consistent surfing conditions. At low tide the beach meets up with its neighbours to provide a long lustrous mile of golden sand. The length of the beach makes it a wonderful choice for strolls and sunbathing as well as sports. There are a couple of cafes, a pub and surf shops within walking distance of the car park at Sennen Cove and the beach isn’t too far from one of our landmark Cornish hostels: YHA Land’s End.

Sennen Cove

Image: Sennen Cove by Reading Tom

The Strangles

Up near Crackington Havens are The Strangles, an idyllic summer hideaway which you can reach via a steep jagged path. When the tide is out you can walk as far as Rusey beneath the stunning cliffs. The highest cliff in Cornwall is over 700 feet high and whilst it makes an enjoyable yet tricky walk, this is very much a beach for adventurous hikers and explorers. There are actually two separate beaches at The Strangles that meet up during low tide. Little Strand is popular with naturists whilst the larger beach is more popular with the general public. It’s not far from our YHA hostel at Boscastle, which incidentally sits a short distance from the coast itself and can be hired exclusively for big group visits.

Perranporth Beach

This is one of those beaches that is regularly described as the best in the whole of the UK and it’s easy to see why. It is billed as fantastic for everything from surfing to sailing to splashing around with the kids. Miles and miles of shimmering golden sands offer an exceptional location for walks and hikes, as well as huge surf and sand dunes for the adventurers out there. The village too is a hub of tourist activity and the beach café is a popular haunt for drinks and snacks throughout the day. Our YHA Perranporth overlooks the beach from a picturesque cliff top location and is perfect for surfers looking for affordable Cornwall hostels.

Image: Perranporth Beach by Robert Linsdell

Hemmick Beach

One of those hidden gems that everyone feels blessed to discover, Hemmick Beach is a south-west facing sandy beach which is accessed by a steep road from its small car park. It can only be reached by traversing the winding roads from the village of Boswinger and it has plenty of coves to explore and beach to stroll along. Hemmick is situated on part of the popular Cornish Riviera but is one of the less crowded and popular beaches. It also benefits from being not too far from our YHA Boswinger, which is ideal for groups looking for a Cornwall holiday cottage with a bit of privacy and seclusion.

Image: Coverack Beach by Barney Moss

Coverack Beach

As the name suggests, Coverack Beach is very ‘local’ to our Cornwall holiday home YHA Coverackbut we love it for many more reasons than that. It is fairly rocky as beaches go but popular with families and even gains quite a lot of interest from anglers thanks to excellent fishing conditions throughout the peak season. The infamous Manacles, a set of treacherous rocks renowned for causing all manner of shipwrecks, are a short distance from the Coverack Coast which has also made the area popular with divers. The beach is perfectly located for evening strolls from the hostel and is easily accessed via steps down from its nearby car park.

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