9 Blue Flag Beaches in Cornwall

March 28th, 2023

A holiday to the south coast just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of Cornwall’s stunning beaches. With over 250 miles of stunning, unspoilt coastline, and over 300 beaches to explore along the way, including many family friendly beaches, you’re spoilt for choice!

With so many to choose from, we’ve put together this guide to the Cornish beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag in 2023.

Make your stay at our 5 star holiday park in Cornwall memorable with a day at one of these fantastic beaches.

What is a Blue Flag Beach?

It’s all well and good for us to rave about Blue Flag beaches, but what does it mean?

The Blue Flag programme is run by the Foundation for Environmental Education who work to educate people across the globe on the importance of sustainability and creating a more environmentally conscious world.

The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators who have met a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria. So far, the Blue Flag has been awarded to 4,820 locations in 49 countries across the world!

Blue Flag Beaches in Cornwall 2023

Beaches in Cornwall are known for their gorgeous sands and beautifully clear waters. Whether you’re looking for a fab surf spot or just somewhere for you and the family to relax by the sea, one of these Blue Flag beaches is bound to tempt you.

And the best thing about them? They’re all within a 90-minute drive of us here at The Valley!

Porthtowan Beach on a clear day

1. Porthtowan Beach, Porthtowan

23 minutes from The Valley

Porthtowan beach is one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing beaches, but with large expanses of soft, golden sand, it’s the perfect spot for plenty of seaside activities.

With lifeguard cover on weekends during April and daily from 29th April to 24th September, Porthtowan is a great spot for families and even has a children’s play park at the top end of the beach.

Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth when it’s quiet

2. Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

23 minutes from The Valley

Perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Cornwall, Gyllyngvase Beach is only a ten-minute walk from the centre of Falmouth.

This marvellous crescent of sand offers the perfect location for water sports, and thanks to its wide assortment of amenities, it’s also a popular spot for families. With public toilets, a car park within 100 yards of the beach as well as being buggy friendly, and daily lifeguard cover from 13th May – 24th September, it’s no wonder that this beach was awarded the Blue Flag award this year.

Great Western Beach from the overlooking cliffs

3. Great Western Beach, Newquay

30 minutes from The Valley

Surrounded by cliffs and rockpools, Great Western Beach is one of four beaches in Newquay that’s popular with families and surfers alike.

As well as only being a short walk from the amenities in Newquay, at low tide, you can even walk along the golden sands to either Towan or Tolcarne beach.

4. Carbis Bay, St Ives

33 Minutes From The Valley

With rarely any surf, Carbis Bay is the perfect beach for families with young children –the sea here is perfect for swimming in.

The wide sandy beach has many great facilities including a beach shop, cafe, nearby toilets and plenty of parking available, offering easy access.

From a lost child centre to a first aid post and daily lifeguard cover from 8th July – 3rd September, this beach is definitely a favourite among families.

5. Porthmeor Beach, St Ives

42 minutes from The Valley

Just a stone’s throw from all the brilliant attractions in the St Ives town centre, you’ll find Porthmeor Beach sitting in the shadow of the Tate St Ives gallery.

This lovely, sandy beach is popular with surfers and swimmers as well as offering the perfect spot for a seaside picnic. It’s worth noting that due to its easy access, this beach does get rather busy in the summer months, so make sure you get there early to nab the best spots!

6. Trevone Beach

45 minutes from The Valley

The lovely cove of Trevone Beach is incredibly popular with intermediate and experienced surfers thanks to its great waves from low to mid tide.

This beach offers beautiful golden sands as well as rocky alcoves to sit and watch the day go by. If you fancy taking in some of the stunning scenery, the cliffs to the northeast of the beach offer views of Hawkers Cove, the Camel Estuary and beyond.

7. Polzeath Beach

60 minutes from The Valley

Polzeath Beach is a haven for those who want that postcard beach day. When the tide goes out, the beach offers a huge expanse of golden sand that is perfect for building sandcastles! The water is also perfect for both surfing and bodyboarding with long, slow breaking consistent waves.

Keep your eye out though, once the tide comes in, the sand is almost entirely covered. Luckily the village is packed with cafes, pubs and little shops to browse so you won’t feel like your day has been wasted!

8. Crooklets Beach, Bude

90 minutes from The Valley

While this might seem like quite a trek for a beach, the golden sands of Crooklets Beach in Bude are well worth the trip! Surrounded by rocky outcrops that are perfect for rock pooling, this beach is very popular with families.

Only a short walk from the town centre, Crooklets Beach also offers some great amenities, including level access, a large car park, a play area, a skate park, a cafe and even beach huts for hire.

9. Widemouth Bay Beach, Bude

90 minutes from The Valley

Another Bude beach awarded the Blue Flag this year is Widemouth Bay. Only three miles south of the town of Bude, this beach is popular with newbie surfers and families.

Because of the great surfing conditions, many local surf schools are based in Widemouth Bay, making it the perfect spot to first take to the water. And if surfing is a bit too extreme for you, the waves are also great for body-boarding!

We hope this guide to some of Cornwall’s award-winning beaches helps you narrow down your choices while on your holiday this year.

If we’ve left you feeling inspired for a seaside holiday, why not get in touch with us and book your perfect family getaway today.

Image Credit: Visit Cornwall