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West Cornwall beach guide

Updated: May 22, 2023

There are so many beautiful beaches in this part of Cornwall it can be difficult to choose just one. Some are more suited to families while others are ideal for watersports fans. We've compiled a list of some of our favourites, all within easy reach of the cottages here at Middle Colenso Farm.

Most of those listed below operate a seasonal dog ban so if you're visiting with a dog you might like to check out our list of dog-friendly beaches here

Man walking on a beach in Cornwall
Sennen Cove in the far west is great for families and surfers

Prussia Cove

Probably our closest beach and certainly one of our favourites. Once the haunt of Smugglers, Prussia Cove is a small, secluded beach. There is a free car park from which it’s about a five-minute walk to the beach. There’s a bit of a scramble over rocks to get there but it’s well worth the effort. No lifeguard or toilets. Dog friendly.

Praa Sands

This long sandy beach is great for kids. Under the right conditions, it’s also an excellent surfing venue and there’s a surf school on site. There’s a beachside pub and cafe and public toilets. Lifeguard during the season. Dogs are banned at this time.


A sandy beach a low tide, popular with families and surfers. Lifeguard cover during the summer season. It’s a short walk from the car park in the village to the beach. Nearby cafes include The Peppercorn and The Cabin.


Spectacular views of St Michael’s Mount make this one of the most popular beaches in the area. There’s plenty of parking in Marazion although it gets very busy during the summer. There are places to eat and shop in town and a large children’s play area nearby. Lifeguard service during the summer and a seasonal dog ban.

Long Rock

Adjoining Marazion beach, Long Rock is dog-friendly year round and popular with locals. It’s also an excellent spot for water sports including wind surfing, kite surfing and paddle boarding. Parking is at either at Long Rock or Marazion Station. No lifeguard.

woman in a wetsuit walking into the sea
Sheltered Prussia Cove is ideal for swimming

Further Afield


A beautiful sandy beach and one of Cornwall’s best surfing spots. Head further along to the slightly quieter adjoining Gwenver beach. There is parking next to the beach and plenty of facilities nearby including cafes, pubs and a surf school.

Hayle Beaches

The eastern side of St Ives bay boasts three miles of beautiful sandy beaches and at low tide it’s possible to walk from one end to the other. Gwithian is best known for surfing and is adjacent to the more exposed and rugged Godrevy. Hayle Towans is a little more sheltered. Further west is Mexico Towans which is accessed by steep sand dunes.

There are lifeguards during the summer and although dogs are banned at Gwithian and Hayle during the season, they are allowed year-round at Mexico Towans.

St Ives Beaches

There are a number of beaches in St Ives. Choose Porthmeor next to the Tate if you’re into surfing. Porthgwidden is a small sandy beach with brightly-coloured beach huts and an excellent cafe. Porthminster is at the other side of town and is excellent for families.


With its clear turquoise waters, Porthcurno could be mistaken for the Mediterranean. It’s a great base for exploring the nearby Minack Theatre and Telegraph Museum. Lifeguard cover and a seasonal dog ban.


A sheltered sandy beach between Porthcurno and Porthgwarra, Porthchapel is is good for families. The closest car park is near the church at St Levan from where it’s a five-minute walk to the beach. There are no facilities but it’s usually quieter than the neighbouring beaches.

Kynance Cove

Probably the best-known beach on the Lizard, Kynance is a small sandy beach surrounded by fascinating rock formations. It’s a 15-minute walk from the National Trust car park and there’s a National Trust cafe overlooking the cove. Seasonal dog ban.

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