Cornwall’s 422 miles of coastline offers visitors ample opportunity to discover secluded coves and explore the region’s most-talked about beaches. Our sublime parcel of paradise in South Cornwall features picturesque coves and turquoise-hued waters, which conjure up images of the Med.
Although not famed for its big surf, like the rough seas of North Cornwall, South Cornwall’s golden sands, open horizons and sheltered beaches are perfect for those who wish to try out sea swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking on calmer waters.
From popular family-friendly Blue Flag beaches to long, sloping coves lined with fine-dining eateries, read about our favourite beaches in Falmouth.
A short stroll from Falmouth’s vibrant and creative town centre, Gyllyngvase Beach could be labelled as the town’s most popular and family-friendly beach. During the summer, RNLI lifeguards are on duty throughout the day, and with its flat waters it is safe for swimmers and paddlers alike. Its wide arc of sand means there is plenty of room to spread out, and the Ice Cream Kiosk provides plenty of opportunity to indulge in something sweet. If you were to visit early morning, you may well spot the regular sea dippers who brave Gyllyngvase’s waters every day of the year. Convenience comes in swathes with the car park a minute’s walk away, watersport equipment hire located at the entrance, and Gylly Beach Cafe perfectly located for post-dip indulgences.
Those who take the path from Falmouth Docks, up around the historic Pendennis Point and down to Cliff Road will not only be rewarded with the opportunity to sample the Cornish Holiday Cottages team’s favourite coffee, from Wesup’s Coffee Box, but easy access to Castle Beach also. Offering fabulous views over Falmouth Bay, visit here to enjoy a peaceful escape from the activity of Gyllyngvase Beach and Falmouth town. While little remains of the beach at high tide, at low tide the shimmering sea gives way to a soft, sandy underbelly and an abundance of magical rock pools. Perched at the bottom of the beach slope, the friendly Castle Beach Cafe serve fabulous ice creams and offer hot water bottles to those who venture into the cold ocean.
Picturesque east-facing Swanpool Beach is a mile and half from Falmouth town centre and can be reached along the coastal path from Gyllyngvase, or from the beautiful walk that takes you alongside Swanpool Nature Reserve. Although smaller than neighbouring Gyllyngvase Beach, Swanpool is always a hub of activity. This sheltered, shingle-sand beach is perfect for watersport enthusiasts, as equipment can be hired for use throughout the year from Elemental’s UK Watersports School, and day courses for coasteering can be booked with their experienced staff. Foodies will also be delighted with fish-specialist and beachside eatery, Hooked on the Rocks, who serve Falmouth Bay lobsters or crabs, local mussels, day boat fish and fresh Cornish oysters. For those with a sweet tooth, Swanpool Beach Cafe’s ice creams are the talk of the town. Smothered in clotted cream and topped with a magical selection of toppings, from jelly babies to milk chocolate banana pieces, they aren’t to be missed.
Saving our very best until last, Maenporth Beach is a team favourite. If you’re lucky enough to have an upcoming stay at jaw-dropping Dreemskerry or charming Little Nest, you’re in for a treat, as the golden sands of Maenporth await your doorstep discovery.
Walk from Swanpool Beach along the coastal path and meander through wildflower meadows until you reach the gently sloping shore, with its stream that flows from the valley. Maenporth is a popular spot for scuba divers, snorkelers and rock pool hunters. Its easterly aspect means that for much of the year it is unaffected by the Atlantic swell and can be suitable for launching sailing dinghies and kayaks from the beach.
With views that stretch out towards Pendennis Castle and St Anthony’s lighthouse, come the evening there’s opportunity to enjoy fine dining with a spectacular view, at Michael Caine’s The Cove.
The beach cafe Life’s A Beach Cafe is open 7 days a week and serves hot drinks, breakfast items such as bacon, sausage and egg baps, lunches such as vegan mozzarella, tomato and pesto ciabatta and host Friday summer Pizza nights.