North Cornwall

A long, narrow, northwest-facing beach backed by grass-covered dunes, tall cliffs and divided by a tidal stream. It's best visited at low tide, when there's a huge area of sand to wander, and several small coves to explore to the north and south. There's a little shop at the rear of the beach, and toilets next to the car park.

There's rarely any decent swell here, so surfers tend to give it a miss.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North Cornwall attractions

1. Treyarnon

1.18 MILES

A good family beach, with easy access from the car park, lots of fine sand at low tide and a small area for swimming, that's framed by rocks on either…

2. Bedruthan Steps

1.72 MILES

Roughly halfway between Newquay and Padstow loom the stately rock stacks of Bedruthan. These mighty granite pillars have been carved out by the relentless…

3. Constantine Bay

1.76 MILES

Arcing along the west side of the headland from Trevose Head, Constantine is one of the most impressive sweeps of sand near Padstow. It's a long, west…

4. Mother Ivey's Bay

2.46 MILES

Backed by a large caravan park and accessed from the coast path, this small beach is a little off the beaten track, and mainly used by campers and…

5. Harlyn Bay

2.47 MILES

For a proper surf, this wide, sandy beach is the best option within easy reach of Padstow. There's a surf school based here, and summer-long lifeguarding…

6. Trevose Head

2.67 MILES

Four miles west of Padstow town is the distinctive outcrop of Trevose Head, a notorious shipping hazard that was once used as a quarry, and has been…

7. Mawgan Porth

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Five miles northeast of Newquay, this wide, arc-shaped bay is often quieter than its neighbours. The beach is lovely, and less developed than those nearer…

8. Trevone

3.24 MILES

The nearest beach to Padstow is this small bay sheltered from the wind by Roundhole Point. It's a good place for swimming, and has a lifeguard in summer.