10 Best Secret & Hidden Beaches in Cornwall
July 17th, 2023
Cornwall’s picture-perfect beaches attract hordes of tourists every year, which means that all the popular spots can fill up pretty quickly, especially during the summer. But, if you want to escape the crowds or just enjoy a more private beach experience, there are plenty of secluded coves and shores to while away the hours.
Here are some of our favourite secret beaches, perfect for exploring when you’re staying in one of our luxury Cornish cottages.
The Best Quiet Beaches in Cornwall
If you visit some of these hidden gems at just the right time, you might find you have the whole beach to yourself.
- Lantic Bay
- Porth Nanven Cove
- Porth Joke Beach
- Pedn Vounder Beach
- Nanjizal Beach
- Rinsey Cove
- Portheras Cove
- Pentire Steps Beach
- Prussia Cove
- Hawkers Cove
With quintessential Cornish views, golden sands and turquoise waters, it’s well worth visiting at least one of these secluded treasures when embarking on your adventure. You’ll find the spots mentioned here on both the north and south coast, giving you plenty of options.
Explore Cornwall’s Most Beautiful Secret Beaches
Lantic Bay, Fowey
Lantic Bay by Nilfanion. CC BY-SA 4.0
If you’re not purposely seeking out this secret spot, there’s little chance you’d stumble upon it! Nestled along the coastline between Fowey and Polperro, this remote bay boasts sand and shingle shores and inviting crystal waters.
Set against an impressive backdrop of plunging cliffs, the beach here actually includes two coves – at high tide, Great Lantic and Little Lantic are both accessible. The walk down is quite steep, but it is well worth it once you reach the tranquil haven below. The crescent beach here is a great place to stop for a picnic if you’re meandering along the coast path.
Be mindful that Lantic Bay really is remote, so there are no facilities in the immediate area, and the beach is not covered by lifeguards.
Porth Nanven Cove, Cot Valley
Cape Cornwall from Porth Nanven by Tom Corser www.tomcorser.com. CC BY-SA 3.0
Hidden at the base of Cot Valley is Porth Nanven, a cove of unique geology. While there is some sand on the beach, it is mainly framed by sculptural boulders and pebbles. It’s sometimes called ‘Dinosaur Egg Beach’ in reference to the many smooth round stones scattered across the bay and surrounding cliffs.
The valley here has its own microclimate, making it a great place for plant and wildlife enthusiasts. Porth Nanven also has connections to the area’s rich mining history – it definitely is the place to be if you want to escape the hustle of busy modern life!
The currents here can get quite strong, so it’s not ideal for a dip, and due to its remote location, there are no lifeguards. The nearest amenities can be found in the neighbouring town of St Just.
Porth Joke Beach, Newquay
Porth Joke beach by Steve Daniels. CC BY-SA 2.0
Porth Joke, or Polly Joke, is surrounded by a number of extremely popular beaches, so is often overlooked. Located in between the headlines at Crantock Beach and Holywell Bay, this small secluded cove of sandy beach and inviting blue waters is a great spot for escaping the crowds at nearby Perranporth and Fistral.
Depending on the time of year, the surrounding headlines will be teaming with wildflowers, making for some spectacular views. Not to mention that the shallow waters and trickling stream are lovely for a cooling dip in the summer!
The beach is around five miles outside of Newquay, making for a great place to visit when heading to the north coast. The car park is a little walk away, and there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity, so you might want to bring a picnic along.
Pedn Vounder Beach, St Levan
Pedn Vounder beach from the east by Sarah Charlesworth. CC BY-SA 2.0
East of Porthcurno, you’ll find perhaps one of Cornwall’s loveliest beaches (although there are certainly many contenders). Made all the lovelier for being so remote and a haven all to itself, Pedn Vounder Beach boasts golden sands and the clearest blue waters around.
The steep cliff path down to the beach isn’t for the faint of heart – which is why you won’t find too many beachgoers here despite its unbeatable beauty. The bay is surrounded by the Treryn Dinas cliffs, with the famous Logan Rock also gracing the view.
You’ll find Porthcurno Beach and the Minack Theatre along the coast path, but be warned, there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity.
Nanjizal Beach, St Levan
Nanjizal Beach by Andrew Bone. CC BY 2.0
If you really want seclusion, look no further than Nanjizal Beach along Cornwall’s southerly coast. Unspoilt and untouched, the beach near Land’s End boasts clear waters and a boulder-strewn cove.
Look out for the natural rock arch known as Zawn Pyg or ‘the Song of the Sea’ and the formation known as the Diamond Horse, which has a quartz vein running through it that glistens in the sun. This stunning beach really does offer a magical experience.
Nanjizal is about an hour’s walk from the nearest car park, so getting there will take a bit of planning. Take a look at our location guide to make it part of your itinerary.
Rinsey Cove, Breage
Mylor Slate platform at Rinsey Cove by Richard Law. CC BY-SA 2.0
Nestled between Porthleven and Praa Sands, you’ll find the remote Rinsey Cove, also known as Porthcew beach. Overlooked by the remains of the Wheal Prosper Mine Engine House, the sloping cliffs and shelter provided by rugged Rinsey Head offer a striking backdrop.
You probably won’t come across too many other people at the beach here as visitors have to journey through a man-made cut in the middle of the cliff to gain entry to the beach! Helston is the nearest hub of activity and is the perfect place to retire to after exploring the cove.
The small sandy beach is only really accessible at low tide, so take care when organising a trip. The swell can also be quite strong – it might not be the best spot for swimming.
Portheras Cove, Pendeen
Portheras Cove 2 Morvah Cornwall by Tom Corser www.tomcorser.com. CC BY-SA 3.0
To experience one of the quietest beaches in Cornwall, head to Portheras Cove along the wildest, most undisturbed stretch of the Land’s End Peninsula. Located between Pendeen and Morvah, the sands here were once home to the Alacrity shipwreck (which has since been cleared away).
Portheras is an oasis of calm, but swimming isn’t recommended as the rip currents can be powerful. There are some rock pools to explore, and remember to keep your eyes out for seals here, as they’ve been known to visit the cove!
It probably comes as no surprise that there aren’t nearby facilities – you really will be secluded on what will likely be your private beach for the day. The surrounding towns include Porthleven and Helston for when you’re ready to get back to civilisation.
Pentire Steps Beach, St Eval
Pentire steps beach by Geertivp. CC BY-SA 4.0
Just metres away from Bedruthan Steps, a landmark that is generally regarded as one of the most iconic that Cornwall has to offer, Pentire Steps beach is located between Padstow and Newquay.
Complete with golden sands and high cliffs, this is another quiet spot that doesn’t attract too many visitors due to the slightly trickier access. Here you’ll see the landmark Diggory’s Island, which includes a small arch that’ll make for some fantastic photos!
Swimming here isn’t recommended as you can come across some strong rip currents.
Prussia Cove, South West Coast Path near Cudden Point
Bessy’s Cove by Philip Halling. CC BY-SA 2.0
Prussia Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is made up of three little coves; Piskies Cove, Bessy’s Cove and King’s Cove, offering plenty to explore. The series of secluded, rocky coves provide a sheltered spot that’s great for investigating rock pools and enjoying a peaceful swim on the calmer days.
The sweeping landscape provides plenty of fuel for the imagination, with the unspoiled nature of the beach creating a sense of stepping into the past. The coves have an interesting history, as they were once home to a family of 18th-century smugglers.
There is a nearby car park, which makes the beach slightly more accessible than some of the others on the list here.
Hawkers Cove, Padstow
Hawker’s Cove by Maurice D Budden. CC BY-SA 2.0
At the mouth of the River Camel and just a stone’s throw away from Padstow sits Hawkers Cove. The shifting golden sands create shallow waters and the infamous Doom Bar sandbank. Visible from the cove, the Doom Bar itself is steeped in Cornish folklore – legend states that the Mermaid of Padstow created it after she was shot, cursing ships to wreck on the perilous sands.
Aside from the golden sands, you’ll also be greeted by views of old coastguard cottages that overlook the beach. The buildings here provide a real window into the past, further adding to the sense of escape this secluded spot encourages.
While Hawkers Cove is very much off the beaten track, there is a small tea shop nearby where you can recharge!
It’s worth mentioning that due to the remote nature of the beaches on this list, they are not covered by lifeguards and are often quite out of the way. Be careful when venturing to these secret coves and bays, and always keep a keen eye on the tide.
There are plenty more quiet, secluded beaches along Cornwall’s coast that we haven’t touched on – not to mention all the more well-known ones!
If you’re dreaming of spectacular shores and crystalline waves, why not book your Cornwall break today? At The Valley, we’re in a great central spot between Truro and Falmouth – you’re never too far from any number of stunning beaches.
Where to See Father Christmas in Cornwall
November 14th, 2017
As December gets closer, the festive season is fast approaching. With a wide range of activities taking place over the coming weeks, it is time to get excited about how you and the family will be spreading Christmas spirit!
No Christmas with children is complete without a visit to Father Christmas in his grotto to share your wishes for the gifts you’ll receive on Christmas morning. There are a wide variety of events taking place over the region over the coming months, so we’ve compiled a few of our favourites to get you started!
The whole family will thoroughly enjoy this traditional Christmas experience at Lanhydrock, an impressive Victorian country house managed by the National Trust. Step back in time to see how the Agar-Robartes family would have prepared for their big Christmas dinner. With the halls, dining room and garden all decorated to replicate the style popular during the Victorian era, step inside to warm by the roaring fire before discovering the dishes you could have expected if joining the Agar-Robartes for dinner.
From 16th-24th December, your children can even sit down with Father Christmas to share their Christmas wishes. There is limited availability to see Santa, so booking in advance is advised, however, with a host of other activities for you to partake in, why not make a day of it?
This year, visit the Eden Project for a chat with Father Christmas and his Elves. From late November, you and your family will be able to take a look behind the scenes, visiting the elves bunkbeds before taking a look at the pigeon holes with every child’s letter in! If your little ones are yet to send their letter, why not sit down with Father Christmas, who is keen to meet all the family, where he’ll share one of his favourite Christmas stories with you besides the fire.
This extraordinary experience is open from November 25th and costs £6 per child, with adults paying £4 to get involved. Booking is available online via the Eden Project website, so have a look at plan your trip today!
From December 2nd, you and the family can head down to Bodmin railway to enjoy a ride on a steam hauled train with a twist! Father Christmas and his Elves will be there to join you both on the train and in his grotto, where there are light refreshments for the adults and a present for the children!
All tickets must be booked in advance, with prices ranging from £13 – £15.50 depending on your selected date.
Join the animals at Newquay Zoo on the 16th – 17th December for a fun-filled weekend. Jungle All The Way promises to be a weekend of festive fun for all, with many activities on offer for you to enjoy. Whether you’re following the candy trail to win your special prize or joining Santa to listen to some classic Christmas stories, you’re all sure to have a wonderful day full of Christmas spirit!
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Explore the Christmas trail in the wonderful Lost Gardens of Heligan from December 16th – 24th. Santa and his Elves will be there to meet your children, with plenty of photo opportunities of them bonding by the lovely fire. There are a host of other activities for you all to enjoy, including arts and crafts in the Steward’s House.
If you’re planning on spending a day at the gardens, why not stay to view Heligan at Night, a fantastic show of illuminating lights? Showcasing the gardens in a never before seen way, the new textures and colours make Heligan all the more captivating.
Tickets for Santa’s visit are on sale on heligan.com, where you can also find more information about the Heligan at Night display.
If you’re planning a getaway, we have a range of accommodation perfect for a Christmas cottage holidays. Cornwall over the coming weeks is the perfect time to spend the festive season, with a host of events taking place. For more information, take a look at our blog here.