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.
Islands Around Cornwall to Visit
June 27th, 2023
Luxury doesn’t come much more indulgent than our holiday cottages in Cornwall, and with so much to see in the beautiful county, venturing away from your holiday accommodation for the day is a must
Cornwall has plenty to explore, especially along its breath-taking coastline. Scattered with captivating little islands, we have selected our top locations for those who are eager for a mini adventure! Discover how to get to them and why you should visit.
St Michael’s Mount
Where: St Michael’s Mount is situated just 500 metres away from Marazion.
Now part of the National Trust, St Michael’s Mount is one of the classic hotspots of Cornwall. The history of the island is vast, and the site greets visitors with captivating mediaeval architecture and fascinating sub-tropical terraced gardens to explore. It is believed to have origins as a monastery in the 8th and 11th century, though this is not confirmed.
The island can be accessed via a human-made causeway which is revealed during low tide, making St Michael’s Mount an exciting location to travel to by foot.
On high tides, the mount can be accessed or exited by boat.
Where: Godrevy is situated on the East side of St Ives Bay.
From the Cornish coastline, viewers can gaze upon the charming lighthouse which sits upon the island. The lighthouse is believed to have been the source of inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse.
The small 12-acre island is renowned for its rockiness and has been the unfortunate setting for many tragic shipwrecks due to the Stones Reef just off the island, until the lighthouse was created in-between 1858 and 1859.
The best way to view Godrevy island and lighthouse is to organise a walk on the South West Coast Path. The hike will take you across Godrevy Head which reveals incredible views of St Ives and Trevose Head, with Godrevy Lighthouse stealing the show.
The area is also known for inhabiting grey seals from autumn to January, so keep your eyes peeled when travelling past private beaches and coves.
Looe Island / St George’s Island
Where: Looe Island is one mile away from the Cornish town of Looe.
Part of the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone, Looe Island is the home of many unique species of animals and birds including Shetland ponies, Hebridean sheep and grey seals. It also boasts the largest breeding colony of the great black-backed gulls in the county.
You can visit Looe Island through the organisation of official guided trips. The boat leaves from RNLI station on East Looe, and the boat trips last around two hours in length.
St Clement’s Isle
Where: St Clement’s Isle can be spied just off the coast from Mousehole.
This small but fascinating rocky islet is full of wonder and charm and is said to have once belonged to an ancient hermit who resided there. It is about 500m from the harbour, and it is best viewed from the shoreline where you can see the energetic activity of wild birds. Some days it is also a vantage point to spot grey seals on its tiny beach.
Wild swimmers have been known to swim there, though this is not recommended!
If you walk from the village, you can find a huge cave which is rumoured to be how Mousehole got its name (Mouse Hole).
Isles of Scilly
Where: The Isles of Scilly are 25 miles off the tip of Cornwall.
One of Cornwall’s most unique features is the Isles of Scilly. Its beautiful collection of pretty islands draws visitors in search of its unique and unspoilt landscape. You may be pleased to know that hopping over to the Isles of Scilly is possible on a day trip!
The largest of the Isles is St Mary’s, which also happens to be the best choice for a one day visit. Find a secluded spot on one of its gleaming, white sand beaches or make your way to energetic Hugh Town.
The Scillonian III is a direct boat to the Isles and is acclaimed for its unforgettable views of the Cornish coastline in two hours and 40-minutes.
Which of the islands featured are you eager to visit? Why not let us know on our social media channels; we would love to know!
Location Guide: Kynance Cove
September 30th, 2022
Kynance cove is one of the best beaches to visit on the Lizard Peninsula and is known worldwide for being one of the most beautiful beaches. With its famous beautiful white sand to squidge your toes in, a fascinating mixture of red and green jagged rocks and luscious turquoise waters, this place is a remarkable sight.
In this guide, we will be discovering Kynance Cove and all its wonders!
How Do I Get To Kynance Cove?
If you are driving, go South on the A3083 towards the Lizard Peninsula. When you are approximately half a mile from the village of Lizard, keep an eye out for a brown sign that says Kynance. You will then follow the road to Kynance, and the beach car park will be signposted. Watch out for the speed bumps down to the car park!
If you have a SatNav or use maps on your phone, you can make it easier using the postcode: TR12 7PJ. This postcode will take you straight to Kynance Cove.
The 37 bus runs to Lizard is the closest stop to Kynance Cove. From the bus stop, it is a mile walk to Kynance Cove.
Is There Parking At Kynance Cove?
Yes! Parking is situated at the top of the cliff. During the summer, this is a staffed car park and a pay and display system is provided by the national trust throughout the year. Be aware that Kynance Cove can be super busy during the summer season, and the car park can fill up quickly! It is best to arrive before 11 am to guarantee a car parking space.
Can You Walk Down to Kynance Cove?
Once you have parked your car in the car park and grabbed your beach gear, it is roughly a fifteen-minute walk down to the beach! Along the way, there are some sensational spots to stop and take in the beautiful scenery.
Cornwall provides some of the best beaches for walks. If you stroll along the South West coastal path, you will stumble upon Kynance Cove. The beach is a two-and-a-half-mile walk from Lizard Point; this walk is the perfect opportunity to take in Cornish nature.
What is Kynance Cove Famous For?
The sheer beauty of Kynance Cove alone is enough reason to visit. Famous for its stunning white sandy beach and turquoise waters, it seems you are abroad! At low tide, it is the perfect opportunity to explore the rocks and caves. You could easily spend hours discovering the area with many fascinating formations and mysterious coves.
Can You Swim at Kynance Cove?
A fascinating part of the beach is the sea, and you can take a dip in the crystal clear waters.
The sea uncovers secret coves to explore, but keep an eye out for the tide to ensure you don’t get caught! The last thing you want is to be standing on a rock, to find the sea has gone in and your only way back to shore is to swim.
What is at Kynance Cove?
Suppose you haven’t packed a picnic, do not worry! There is a brilliant eco-friendly cafe located just above the beach. The Kynance Cove Cafe sells an array of delicious food, from iconic Cornish pasties and fresh sandwiches to homemade cakes and cream teas. The cafe also sells beach goods if you forget to bring some beachy essentials.
The cafe also comes equipped with toilets! There is also a toilet located in the car park.
Is Kynance Cove Dog Friendly?
Yes! During the winter months, you can take your four-legged friends down to Kynance Cove for a furry adventure. Splashing around in the water, running around different coves and playing fetch on the beach will be so much fun for any pup who puts its paws onto the sand.
However, in the high season, between 1st July – 31st August, there is a seasonal dog ban. This dog ban is daily from 10 am – 6 pm. But do not worry, though! There are plenty of things to do in Cornwall with dogs not too far from Kynance Cove that will provide endless fun for you and your pup.
How Safe is Kynance Cove?
There are so many rocks and coves to explore once the sea leaves the sand, so there is a chance of injury. Please keep yourself safe by staying on the main beach areas, and do not put yourself in harm’s way.
As mentioned earlier, you must keep an eye on the tide to ensure you are not caught. Additionally, please be aware that lifeguards do not man Kynance Cove, so enter the sea at your own risk. If you are looking for beaches with lifeguards, check out our guide to family friendly beaches in Cornwall for more information.
Our beautiful range of holiday cottages in Cornwall is available to book now! These stunning cottages are the perfect companion for exploring the fantastic place of Kynance Cove. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 01872 862194 or book online for reservations or inquiries.
LOCATION GUIDE: NANJIZAL BEACH – PENWITH BEACHES
June 11th, 2021
If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded and dog-friendly beach while on your holiday, then Nanjizal Beach might just be the location for you! Especially if you’re staying in one of our dog-friendly cottages in Truro, Cornwall.
Where is Nanjizal Beach?
Nanjizal Beach is a beautiful and secluded spot in the Cornish town of Penzance. Full of natural stone sculptures, caves and freshwater waterfalls, it’s a truly stunning location that is well worth the trip.
How to Get to Nanjizal Beach
When we say secluded, we’re not exaggerating. Nanjizal Beach is about an hours walk from the nearest road or car park, but we promise it’s worth the journey!
How to Get to Nanjizal Beach by Car
As one of Cornwall’s best-kept secrets, you won’t find any signposts to this beach. But fret not! With our directions, you’ll be able to find it with no problem.
From The Valley, take the A30 towards Penzance but turn off when you see the directions for Land’s End. Before you reach Land’s End, keep an eye out for a signpost for Trevascan. Turn left here, and you’ll find a place to park either on the road or in a lay-by in the village.
On foot, head past the Appletree Café, and you’ll see a bus stop on your right. Behind the bus stop, you’ll find a small courtyard of houses, head down the home’s left-hand side, and follow the footpath towards Trevilley Farm.
Make your journey through the farm and fields, and head towards the sea. After several fields, you will reach a kissing gate. Follow this path towards the coast and make sure you keep right when the left turn appears. Follow the path along the top of the valley, and it will eventually lead down to the small cove of Nanjizal.
How to Get to Nanjizal Beach on Foot
However you travel to Nanjizal Beach, it will involve a trek – which is perfect if you’re on a hiking holiday!
There are two main ways of walking to Nanjizal Beach. You can make the 47-minute walk North/ North-West along the South West Coastal Path from Porthgwarra Beach to Nanjizal Beach. Or, if you want to make the most of all Cornwall has to offer, you can follow the path South/South-East from Land’s End and make it to Nanjizal in half an hour.
Whatever way you decide to take, make sure you bring water to keep hydrated and maybe even a picnic so you can bask in the beauty of the Cornish coast.
Are Dogs Allowed on Nanjizal Beach?
Another brilliant aspect of this hidden gem is that dogs are allowed all year round! That means you can make the trip with all the family. Plus, by the time you’ve made it back to your car, your furry friend will have dried off after the inevitable splash in the shallows!
What is at Nanjizal Beach?
As far as facilities, there are none. What makes Nanjizal Beach so magical is how unspoilt it is. It’s all part of the charm.
There is plenty of wildlife to see, making it an excellent spot for bird watchers; Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Blackcap breed here. There are also a few large rock pools in the area that could house all manner of sea life.
The thing Nanjizal is known for is the fantastic and naturally occurring stone structures, one of which being the famous Diamond Horse; this nickname is due to it having a quartz vein running through it which sparkles in the sun. You can find this structure on the north side of the cliff.
On the south side, you’ll find the magnificent rock arch called ‘Zawn Pyg’, also known as ‘Song of the Sea’.
Nanjizal Beach is one of the most beautiful, best-kept secrets in Cornwall, but there are some things to note. Depending on the time of year and the recent tides, the beach may not be a golden, sandy haven but a slightly rocky cove. There’s also no lifeguard cover for this beach, so take extra care with swimming or snorkelling.
This trip is a must when visiting Cornwall, and if you plan it right, you’ll have an adventure the whole family can join – even the dog!
The Best Places for Walking in Cornwall this Autumn
October 15th, 2020
Autumn has approached us; the temperature is cooling, and the leaves are changing colour. For some, this time of year may make you want to curl up on the sofa with a hot drink. However, the vibrant colours of autumn make it the perfect season time to head outdoors and explore the coast and countryside.
Our dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall are the perfect base for those who love to explore the outdoors, all the while staying amongst cosy luxury! Located close to Cornwall’s best beaches and heritage sites, we highly recommend wrapping up and heading out for a walk so you can see some of the best of the county as it falls under autumn’s spell.
Read on to see where the best places are in Cornwall for a walk this season!
An easy walk at the most southerly point in Britain. It is short and suitable for children and dogs, and much of the route is clearly signposted.
Starting from the Lizard lighthouse, the route takes you to Lizard Point, where you might be able to spot seals in the cove below.
Further along the coast path, you may be lucky to see Cornish choughs. When you get to Old Lizard Head, you can see out towards Kynance Cove to the west, and Shetland ponies and cattle graze on the coastal slopes.
You can head inland after passing Old Lizard Head, following a path that will take you back to the lighthouse, or stay on the coast path a little longer.
Lizard Point is currently open. However, The National Trust report that the info hut, retail space and The Wildlife Watchpoint remain closed until further notice.
Depending on the weather, the toilets may also close, so this is worth bearing in mind when planning your route.
Lizard Point can be accessed 24 hours of the day.
Another National Trust site, Glendurgan Garden offers a stunning display of autumn colour at this time of year, and there are other unusual sights and scents to come across on a walk.
We suggest having an afternoon out in the garden, taking the time to walk along the paths and stopping to admire the plants.
Some highlights include the Katsura tree, which originates from Japan and has bright colours in October. You may also notice the smell of candyfloss as you pass by the tree
You also won’t want to miss the tulip tree. The giant tree is one of the oldest in the garden and turns a lovely colour in October. The lovely yellow leaves will brighten even the dullest day!
To visit Glendurgan Garden, your visit should be booked in advance with the National Trust, especially during peak times such as the weekend and bank holidays. The morning also tends to be a busier time to visit, so secure your place to avoid disappointment.
Garden and car park: 10:30am–5pm
The dog-friendly estate is perfect for those who are visiting Cornwall with their dog who will love the vast space to play in!
The estate has miles of woodland and open countryside to explore, and you can alter your walk based on time and ability.
You can stroll through the parkland or take a long trek through the trees. In the parkland, livestock can be found grazing, so it is important dogs are kept under control.
The cafe at Trelissick is dog-friendly too, perfect for when you stop for lunch.
If you are travelling to Trelissick by car, it is essential to book your car park space ahead of arrival. However, if you are arriving by foot, bike or bus, no booking is required. The house at Trelissick is currently closed.
Car park: 9am- 5pm
Garden: 10am- 5pm
Have a ramble through Penrose, making your way through a tree plantation and extensive parkland; the huge estate is lovely to walk through all year round.
The route starts from the car park and takes you down the fenced driveway. As you continue down the drive, you will reach a Victorian bath house and the stream.
Cross the stream over the footbridge and make your way into the woods, following the woodland path.
From the path, you have views over the parkland, and you will end up on the drive again, looping back around and taking you back to the car park.
The Penrose is free to access throughout the day. If you are driving to the car park at Penrose Hill or the surrounding National Trust car parks, please be aware the spaces cannot be booked in advance.
Estate: Dawn till dusk
Head up to the top of Godolphin Hill, which has views over west Cornwall.
The area around Godolphin has a long history, dating to the Bronze Age, and you can see signs of the hundreds of years of human activity in the dips and dents beneath the gorse and heather.
The popular walking route takes you past the Slips, a narrow lane with its walls covered in plants, then by old pits and mine shafts until you reach the old deer park.
When you reach the summit of the hill, there are breath-taking panoramas of the area. On clear days, you can see St Michael’s Mount to the south and St Ives Bay to the north.
The house and outer buildings at Godolphin are currently closed. However, the estate and garden are both open in throughout the day. Visits should be booked ahead of your arrival. Peak times include weekends and bank holidays, so bookings will be necessary at these times to prevent disappointment.
Estate: Dawn to dusk
Garden: 10am to 4pm
West Pentire and Holywell Walking Route
In the South of Newquay, between West Pentire and Holywell, the coastline is varied with beautiful flora, and you can view grey seal pups in the autumn months.
The route is lovely all year round, as there are wildflower fields to see in the summer and migratory birds in the winter.
As you follow the coastal path, you can see the sea crash on rocks below, and spy sandy beaches in the distance.
Closer to Holywell, there is an Iron Age fort to stop at and explore, before the path heads back inland, as it circles back to the starting point of the route.
The South West Coast Path is a public route and can be accessed 24 hours of the day.
Which prime locations in Cornwall will you be adventuring this season? Why not share your adventures with us on our social media channels!
The Best Cornish Beaches for Walks
September 18th, 2020
If you’re staying in one of our sought-after dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall, no doubt you are looking forward to some beautiful walks along the coast! Cornwall is inundated with beautiful beaches across its coastline, attracting avid walkers every year!
All our beaches featured are perfect for walking with or without a dog, and we advise on the best times to visit if you are with your furry friend!
Our Chosen Locations
There are many beautiful beach walks in the county, so to narrow down our top picks, we have mainly focussed on the southern area of Cornwall below Truro.
Many of our chosen locations feature stunning walks either on the beach or surrounding it; you may notice the South West Coast Path features in a few of our sites!
Gwithian Towans Beach
As Cornwall’s longest beach, Gwithian had to feature on our list.
The beach lies between Hayle and Godrevy, and the whole stretch of golden sand can be accessed when the tide is low. Three miles in length, it is the perfect place for those who want to take off their shoes and walk with their toes in the sand.
When the surf is pumping, the beach becomes a showground of surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing displays! The rolling sand dunes behind the beach are also perfect for those who want an adventure.
Note, dogs are not permitted on the beach during July and August.
One of the main appeals of the beach is its great history! A buried castle is believed to exist beneath the sand belonging to a man called Tendar, an alleged ‘Pagan persecutor of Christians’.
A medieval chapel, St Govian’s, is also rumoured to lie beneath the sand dunes and was last seen in the 1940s!
At one end of the beach, you will find the beautiful Godrevy Lighthouse, built to signify the dangerous Storms Reef.
Situated just in front of the beach, it makes a stunning photograph, especially on stormier days or during a fiery sunset!
Sennen is a favourite hotspot for surfers. The stunning cove is lined with beautiful white sand, and it is the perfect place for those hoping to try their hand at watersports; the beach is lifeguarded during the summer season, and there are plenty of surf schools to provide extra guidance!
If you want to stick solely to walking, the beach and surrounding areas provide many stunning walks for visitors to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll across the beach and absorb the dramatic coastline and hub of activity.
Note that dogs are not permitted on Sennen Beach from 5th May to 30th September between the times of 10am and 6pm.
If you have more energy to blow off, follow the South West Coast Path to other close-by locations including Land’s End to the South and Gwenver beach to the north, which is a dog-friendly beach throughout the year.
Walking to Land’s End from Sennen
Only 1.5 km to Land’s End, Sennen is the perfect base to start an exploration to the famous tourist hotspot at the tip of the county.
It is a reasonably easy walk, with almost no steep inclines throughout the hike. If you fancy a different path to the way you came, there are a few circular routes you can take to return to Sennen.
If you are feeling particularly energetic, you can continue on the South West coast path down towards Nanjizal Beach once you have reached Land’s End.
Nanjizal Beach is a beautiful secluded beach which isn’t easily accessible by car, so walking is the best way to get there and well worth the visit if you are feeling up to it!
It is famous for the Song of the Sea, a captivating natural rock arch which floods with beautiful light in the sun. The beach welcomes dogs all year round!
One of Falmouth’s favourite and largest beaches, the bright turquoise waters of Gyllyngvase Beach attracts many visitors throughout the year.
Only a 10-minute walk from Falmouth’s town centre, it is easily accessible and a family favourite due to its calm waters and pretty sand. The beach is also a great starting point for coastal walks to other must-see spots including Swanpool Beach and Maenporth.
Note that dogs are not permitted on Sennen Beach from 5th May to 30th September between the times of 10am and 6pm.
Porthleven is a pretty fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall. The beach is sandy and is accessible to other spots in the area including Loe Bar, just up from the beach in a 40 minutes’ walk.
Longer walks along the South West Coast Past from Porthleven include Mullion and Praa Sands which are situated either side of the beach.
Which of our featured beaches will you be looking forward to strolling on? Have we missed your favourite location for a beach walk? Why not share your thoughts with us on our social media channels; we would love to know more about your favourite hikes!
Location Guide: Kennall Vale
December 23rd, 2019
Kennall Vale is located between Redruth and Penryn, and welcomes their thousands of visitors, year after year, thanks to the beautiful woodland, fascinating history and its sterling reputation as a popular dog walking spot. Evidence of its interesting past as a gunpowder factory can still be found today. With the nature reserve being scattered with old granite ruins, it is the perfect blend of natural attraction and industrial heritage, and is a great spot to explore for both those visiting Cornwall for the first time and regular visitors looking for a new adventure.
Conveniently located at equal distance between Redruth, Penryn and Truro, our luxury Cornwall cottages are just a short and simple twenty minute drive down the A39. Entry to the woodlands is free and the site is managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The woodlands is open at all times, but the best time to visit for wildlife, views, and weather is between April and September. That said, visiting during the off season increases the likelihood that you’ll get the place to yourself, enabling you to make the most of the peace and quiet.
Today, the densley wooded valley is a peaceful haven for those hoping to escape the hectic nature of everyday life, providing the opportunity to take a step back, slow down and really appreciate your surroundings. Any noise that does disturb the silence is likely to be the song of a bird or the sound of rushing water in the distance, but that has not always been the case. This site was once host to a gunpowder factory, chosen for its proximity to the River Kennall, as the cascading waters provided a power source, diverted into waterwheels. The woodland was also chosen because of the number of trees already there, alongside the opportunity for the company to plant more trees. At the time, this was done to help towards absorbing a large explosion, but has now created a delightful woodland area for both locals and visitors to enjoy.
To make gunpowder, three core ingredients are required; charcoal, saltpetre and sulphur. They are ground down into a fine powder, which is then compressed, and despite these seemingly simple steps, there were ten stages to the process, all of which took place in a variety of different buildings. The site once consisted of 50 buildings to accommodate such a process, and while many remain, nature is slowly taking over those that are beginning to fade away into the undergrowth. Despite all of those safety precautions, accidents happened. In May, 1838, five mills blew up after one another, with some reports suggesting that the roof of one was found over a mile away. A further explosion happened a few years later and one worker wasn’t so lucky, with body parts strewn across the site.
There are a plethora of walking routes and trails to check out during your visit, making this the ideal spot for those that have bought their four-legged friend along with them. On a nice day, take a picnic and find a spot close to the picturesque waterfalls for an atmospheric lunch with a view. The quarry is flooded and features a sheer rock face rising out of the clear water.
Whilst looking around the nature reserve, keep a keen eye out for some rare and unusual wildlife species including the greater horseshoe bat, along side the typical creatures you may expect to call this home. Interestingly, Kennall Vale is also popular with bird-watchers as it is often referred to as the best place in Cornwall to spot dippers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about what awaits you at Kennall Vale and the sorts of things you can look forward to for your next visit to Cornwall. For more information on the best places to visit during your stay at The Valley, check out our blog for location guides, including one on Kynance Cove, and other fantastic pieces on what’s on and around our luxury Cornwall cottages.
Guide to Cornwall’s South Coast
August 30th, 2019
Cornwall is a popular holiday destination in the UK, mainly due to its scenic and picturesque landscape. There are numerous spots in Cornwall that offer some stunning views, but perhaps the most breath-taking scenes are along the South Coast. With over 300 beautiful beaches varying from golden sand to pebbly and dog-friendly to secluded havens, there are many to discover! You will also find pretty little towns to discover, so we have decided to set up a guide so you can see the best of Cornwall!
Of course, no trip to the coast is complete without visiting the beach! Cornwall is home to some beautiful beaches, especially along the south coast.
Porthpean Beach, St Austell
Near the historic village of Charlestown, Porthpean Beach is a popular beach, especially with families. With safe sea swimming and plenty of space for beach games and sandcastles, it is the perfect spot for a beach day out! Toilets facilities are available, and there is also a car park, but be aware, there is a relatively steep incline between the car park and the beach. If you are looking to bring your pup, there is a seasonal dog ban in place, but outside of this period, your four-legged friends are free to run around and jump in the sea.
Pendower Beach, Truro
Now, this is the beach for the dogs as they are welcomed all year round! But please be aware that they ask you to keep them on leads during the summer months due to it being busier. Pendower is a soft sand south-facing beach and boasts excellent views along the coastline. Along the back of the beach are some low soft cliffs and rock pools. Take the time to go rock pooling as it is an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with the kids discovering some fascinating creatures lurking in the waters. There are many other activities to enjoy here, from surfing and sailing to fishing and snorkelling! Additionally, there are toilet facilities as well as tea and coffee on offer.
Whitsand Bay, Torpoint
With an impressive three miles of golden sands, Whitsand Bay is an excellent beach to visit. The gorgeous beach is considered one of Cornwall’s hidden gems as it is relatively unknown and, therefore, never crowded. The long stretch of sand offers a great opportunity for a stroll or jog along the sea. If that isn’t really your thing and you prefer to relax, then there is plenty of space to set up your lounger without being elbow-to-elbow with other visitors. In terms of activities, there are numerous rock pools dotted along the beach and then out at sea the bay is a popular place to go diving. Whitsand Bay is home to HMS Scylla, an ex-naval frigate that sadly sunk in 2004 but has since taken the form an artificial reef. Between May and September, the beach is monitored by lifeguards at different points but do take care when swimming as the current can get dangerous in certain areas.
Along the south coast of Cornwall, there are plenty of stunning little towns to discover. Take a stroll down the winding streets and stop for a bite to eat by the seaside, what better way to spend your holiday?
A well-known coastal town, Falmouth is home to some brilliant shops, delicious food and picturesque views. Perhaps what it is most famous for is its abundance of boats; Falmouth has the world’s third-largest natural deep-water harbour making it a boat haven. The view of the sea with the bobbing boats makes Falmouth an admired town by many walkers and those who enjoy alfresco dining. But that isn’t all that this beautiful coastal town has to offer; Falmouth is also a brilliant spot for families. From boat trips and beaches to castles and parks, there is plenty for all the family to do. For more information on this brilliant town, take a look at our blog on how to spend a day in Falmouth!
Situated near Penzance, Marazion is a stunning seaside town with lots to see and do! Home to the ever famous St Michael’s Mount, this coastal town is home to two soft sandy beaches, which are perfect for a family day out. Patrolled by the RNLI in the summer months, you can be assured that you and the kids can have fun by the sea while remaining safe. Take a picnic and a bucket and spade and make a day of it! There is also a park called The Folly Field, which is an excellent place for the kids to burn off some energy – it is full of climbing frames, slides, swings, and so much more. Furthermore, the South West Coastal Path runs right through Marazion, so why not take a stroll along the scenic route?
A seaside town so luscious and blue that you would think you were abroad! St Ives is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful locations in the whole of Cornwall, if not the UK. Along with the beautiful coastline and azure waters, St Ives is home to a wonderful array of independent retailers. Take a wander through the winding cobbled streets and have a nosey around some brilliant little boutiques then stop for a bite to eat in a cute little pub.
We hope we have inspired you to visit the gorgeous south coast of Cornwall. If you would like to book a getaway to the seaside, take a look at our child-friendly cottages in Cornwall, so that the whole family can join in on the fun. To make it even better, our accommodation is also dog-friendly, so bring along your pup and have an incredible holiday!
A Guide to Dog Friendly Cornwall
August 05th, 2019
Don’t leave your pups at home, bring them on holiday with you! A family holiday just isn’t the same without the dog joining you on your travels! Thankfully, Cornwall is a brilliant place for our four-legged friends as there are plenty of dog-friendly spots; however, some still have restrictions. We have put together this guide, so you know where is best for your family to visit with the dog!
On the Roseland Peninsula, this sandy and rocky beach is dog-friendly all year round, though your dog must be kept on a leash in the summer months. Nare Head rises above the bay and protects it, making it a lovely spot! At low tide, this beach joins with Pendower Beach, also a dog-friendly beach.
Perranporth is perhaps one of the most well-known and well-loved beaches in Cornwall. With its long stretch of golden sands, it is the perfect place for the kids and dog to run around! The beach also features a bar called The Watering Hole; this is also dog-friendly making it a great spot to stop for a bite to eat after an enjoyable coastal walk.
On the Lizard Peninsula, this sand and shingle bay on the Helford River is dog-friendly all year round! Close to Trebah Gardens, this quiet beach is beautiful and a fun place to have a family day in the sunshine!
Situated in Truro, this quiet, south-east facing beach is near St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula and is dog-friendly all year round! The beach is sand and shingle and at low tide rock pools are revealed, making it great for kids to explore too.
Located between Maenporth and Mawnan Smith there is a footpath which leads you through some wooded areas and ends at the little beach of Nansidwell. Part of a National Trust area, this beach is dog-friendly all year, and it is an excellent spot for a picnic!
Dog-Friendly Places to Eat
One of the hardest aspects of taking the dog on holiday is finding places to eat out, but there are loads of great places near our dog-friendly cottages in Truro, Cornwall.
The Old School Bar & Kitchen, Truro
If you are looking for locally sourced food, great selection of ales and wines and some live music, this is the place for you! With fish and chips to 4oz beef burgers, there is a delicious array of dishes to choose from, and to top it all off; the pup can come too!
Penrose Kitchen, Truro
Situated right by the river, this picturesque location makes it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. From delicious baked sweet potato to roasted monkfish fillet, this place has an exciting menu and is somewhere you can try something new! The dog can join you on your trip so long as you choose to sit on their terrace. While you are in the area, why not enjoy a walk around the water gardens!
The Old Coastguard, Mousehole
Perhaps most well-known for their delicious Sunday roast, The Old Coastguard is a great place to visit for some wonderful food, and an added bonus is that your four-legged friend can join you! Providing one of the best views seen in Cornwall, the restaurant has seasonal changes to the menu and offers the best fresh fish and seafood.
Potager Cafe, Falmouth
Serving home-made cakes, breakfast and wholesome lunches made to order, all using organic produce, this cafe is a great place to head to in Falmouth. Right next to the cafe is the garden, perfect for building up your appetite before you tuck into a hearty lunch.
Godolphin Arms, Marazion
Overlooking the stunning St Michael’s Mount, this restaurant offers a full English breakfast from 8 am, and the daytime menu includes delights such as crab sandwiches and classic fish and chips. On their dinner menu, you will find delicious dishes such as crab mac ‘n’ cheese and Cornish lamb steak. A children’s menu is also available, and dogs are welcome in certain areas.
The Working Boat Pub, Falmouth
Enjoy views over Falmouth Harbour while sipping on a pint of Cornish ale in The Working Boat. The place was rebuilt in 2015 and sits on the edge of the harbour. The authentic Cornish atmosphere will make you want to return every day and try everything on the menu! Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the pub also invites you to bring along your pups!
There are over 60 self-guided and themed Treasure Trails in fantastic places across Cornwall, many close to our 5-star cottages! Order a package online and enjoy solving the clues along the trail as you take in the sights and give your dog the chance to stretch its legs and run wild!
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
This attraction provides something for both the adult and kids! There is a guided tour of the cider making, a ride through the orchards on a tractor and you can finish off with a delicious cream tea. Dogs are welcomed so long as they are on a lead; the only part they aren’t allowed in is the production areas.
The world-famous open-air theatre in Cornwall is carved into the granite cliff face and set among gardens overlooking the spectacular Porthcurno. Whether or not you plan on seeing a performance, the theatre is a great place to explore with the dog and kids.
Tehidy Country Park
This country park has 250 acres of woodland, lakes and nine miles of footpaths to explore. In the summer, the park is beautiful with flowers, birds and butterflies, making it a wonderful place to go on a family walk with the dog!
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Hear about the dramatic rescues and meet the seals and sea lions at the sanctuary, as well as otters, penguins and much more marine wildlife who are recuperating there. The 42-acre centre also has a woodland trail to explore. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on their lead at all times.
Long Rock Beach
Between Marazion and Penzance is Long Rock Beach, which looks out toward St Michael’s Mount. You can walk along the shingle beach with the dog all year round, but only at low tide for safety. At low tide, you can also walk the causeway to the Mount and walk around the village there and visit the gardens.
This woodland walk has plenty of routes to choose from, the majority of them are flat, so young children, wheelchairs and elderly have easy access to them. Some routes also take you along the river, which at shallow points, is great for the dogs to splash about in.
Chapel Carn Brea
A countryside charm, from the top of Chapel Carn Brea, the view is spectacular, with St Michael’s Mount, the western moors, Lizard Peninsula, Sennen and Longships Lighthouse and the Scilly Isles on the horizon. The wide-open spaces make this a perfect spot for the kids and dog to run around and burn off some energy!
Towards the north coast is Pendeen Carn, crisscrossed by bridleways and footpaths suitable for dog walking. There are plenty of routes to choose from, many circular and you can take the level routes or try a bit of challenge by heading uphill.
This rough headland might not be the most popular part of Cornwall, but it does make for an exciting dog walking area. There are remnants of war bunkers and quarrying as you walk up to the headland point, and the views from there are fantastic, with Perranporth Beach in the background.
South West Coast Path
With Cornwall containing over 300 miles of the South West Coast Path, and covering a variety of terrain, your dog will love roaming along the trail. Depending on your own abilities, you can tackle the challenging sections or simply opt for a gentle stroll.
Dangers for Dogs
Though Cornwall is very welcoming and accommodating to dogs, you may come across some hazards you are not used to in your hometown. Cornwall has steep cliffs, and it is best to keep your dog close by when walking along a narrow precipice or by a cliff edge that has a sheer drop to avoid any accidents.
You should always be aware of the sea! Powerful waves and currents can quickly take your dog out to sea, a lot further than you may think, so play it safe in the shallows. Finally, when out in the countryside, be aware of adders, which can bite and kill dogs. Hiding in long grass, a dog could come across an adder before realising, so always be wary when out on a countryside walk.
Here at The Valley, we know that no family holiday is complete without the pup! We offer a collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages so you can bring your dog along with you on your Cornish getaway. Situated near both Falmouth and Truro, numerous attractions and stunning beaches are all within a 30-minute drive, making it a perfect location to discover Cornwall!
10 Great Short Walks in South Cornwall to Try This Spring
March 25th, 2019
Spring is the perfect time to take a short break in Cornwall and discover some of the county’s fantastic scenery on foot. We have listed 10 of our favourite short walks in south Cornwall which are within easy reach of our 5-star cottages in Cornwall. While many of the walks listed can be extended to make a full day at each location, you can also accomplish several of them within a single day out, allowing you to pack as much into your holiday as possible.
Porthcurno to Logan Rock
Distance 1 mile
Start Porthcurno car park, grid ref SW288223
Porthcurno is a classic Cornish beach. The golden sand is surrounded by a host of strangely shaped rocky outcrops, and it’s thought that this is what gave the place its Cornish name – “cove of horns”. On the western side of the beach is the Minack theatre, where during the day you can pop in and have a walk around. The coastal path to the east of Porthcurno is the real star of the show, however, winding along the cliff edge towards the Logan Rock. There are plenty of opportunities to clamber around and investigate the outcrops in this area; the granite forms conceal all manner of pools, nooks and crannies. There is a great beach just west of the Logan Rock promontory, with an impressive sandbar that moves every year.
Newlyn to Penzance
Distance 2 miles
Start Newlyn harbour, grid ref SW464286
The seafront promenade at Newlyn makes for a lovely stroll, and both the lido and the art gallery are well worth a visit. This part of Mount’s Bay affords great views back across to St Michael’s Mount and is the mainland home of the Scillonian ferry.
Distance 1 mile
Start Rinsey car park, grid ref SW593276
Rinsey is a delightful mix of seascape, landscape, mining heritage and natural history. Take in three old engine houses with world heritage site status plus close-up views of rare plant life, and further afield the enigmatic Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles. You might see ponies grazing, choughs displaying or even dolphins playing. As from Penzance, the views to St Michael’s Mount are quite stunning.
The Lizard Coastal Walk
Distance 7 miles
Start Kynance Cove, grid ref: SW703125
The Lizard peninsula is the most southerly point of mainland Britain, and on a blustery day, it certainly feels exposed. There are hidden gems on this route, such as Kynance Cove, home to a great little cafe complete with a turf roof and wool insulation with its welcome as warm as the interior. This area is famous for its wildlife where seals and basking sharks can often be seen. The views from this stretch of Cornwall are magnificent: the coastline starts to soften from this point east, so make the most of the imposing cliffs.
North Helford Countryside Walk
Distance 4.5 miles
Start Bosveal car park, grid ref SW775275
The Helford estuary is a stunning sight, particularly rewarding if you are an early bird, as you often get a beautiful hanging mist just after dawn. Glendurgan is home to a great maze, so take care – you might unintentionally lengthen your walk! A favourite stretch is from Porth Saxon beach out to Rosemullion Head, as the transition from wooded riverside through to rocky outcrops provides a great backdrop to this walk. The real highlight, however, is the views across Falmouth Bay to Henry VIII’s castles at Pendennis and St Mawes. If you catch the right season, then the wildflower meadows on Rosemullion Head make this the perfect spot for the nature lover as well as the amateur historian.
Trelissick to Roundwood Quay
Distance 4 miles
Start Trelissick car park, grid ref SW835395
Nestled on its own peninsula, Trelissick is almost surrounded by water and has direct access across the river Fal via the amazing King Harry chain-driven ferry. You will be surprised at the size of the vessels that get this far upriver to be worked on by the numerous boatyards. They’re anchored in the deep water channel and provide an unexpected twist to any walk in this area. And, as with many of our sites, there is a depth of history at Trelissick – you walk from the Iron Age fort past the industrial quay. The tidal mudflats are home to all sorts of wading birds, which you can spot while you’re hidden out of sight in the woodland. There’s also a lovely National Trust cafe to refuel in Trelissick.
Percuil Picnic Walk
Distance 1 mile
Start Percuil car park, grid ref SW858341
This gentle, rolling landscape is a real contrast to the crags of West Penwith. The sandy beaches are relatively sheltered from the prevailing swell, which seems to give this area its own microclimate. You could extend this walk by setting out from Porthscatho and heading south-west, all around the south coast of the peninsula, until eventually you round the headland and come back up the inland waterway, with its views over to St Mawes from St Anthony. The change from the rise and fall of the landscape behind the beaches through to the wooded riverside offers a fascinating journey.
Gribbin Head Walk, Fowey
Distance 4 miles
Start National Trust car park at Coombe Farm, grid ref: SX110512
One of the finest natural harbours in Cornwall, Fowey offers all that a sailing haven should – with the bonus of good pubs and good food. The walking around this area is fantastic – the exposure of the Gribbin, steep craggy coves, beautiful beaches and stunning grassland meadows, it really does have it all. When the sea mist rolls in you can see why Daphne du Maurier was drawn to this location and set several of her books here.
If you strike out east rather than west you can catch the ferry across to Polruan and then take in the equally stunning coastline towards Lansallos, the unspoilt campsite here is well worth a visit and a cracking cream tea is on offer at Lansallos Barton Farm. Lantivet Bay and Lantic Bay are a reward for the intrepid – a steep path winds down to the latter beach, but the rewards are instantaneous.
Details for this Lantivet Bay circular walk are:
Distance 3 miles
Start Frogmore car park, grid ref SX156518
Whitsand Battery to Rame Head
Distance 2 miles
Start Wiggle car park, grid ref SX410513; finish at Rame Head lookout, grid ref SX422487.
An often overlooked spot, Whitsand Bay stretches from Polperro eastward to Maker Heights. The walking in this area is surprisingly tough, but for those who do take it on the views are stunning. The bay is home to two Napoleonic forts (or Palmerston’s Follies), and there are a couple of great little cafes (one has its own cable car delivery system). You will never tire of the breathtaking views from the headland across Plymouth Sound towards the Yealm Estuary and the Mewstone.
Cotehele House to Quay and Mill Walk
Distance 2.5 miles
Start Cotehele House, grid ref SX423685
The Tamar Valley offers one of the most magical places to explore on foot; it provides the natural boundary between Cornwall and Devon and contains a wealth of history. This area became famous for its market gardens and mining, both well serviced by the navigable reaches of the Tamar. Cotehele was at the heart of the activity, with a bustling quay, lime kilns and market gardens on all the suitable slopes. Today, it’s a fantastic place to explore on foot. Start on the quayside, perhaps with lunch in the Edgecumbe arms and a wander around the historic barge, Shamrock. The gardens are beautiful and frame some of the most magnificent views down this mighty river. The wider estate is steep but well worth the effort when you stumble upon the Chapel and Prospect Tower.
Will you be embarking on any of these exciting walking route adventures this year? Reach out on our social media channels and let us know your favourite walks in Cornwall!