Top 10 beaches in Cornwall with kids

top best beaches in cornwall for with kids children toddlers

Taking your kids to the beach can be one of the great pleasures of parenting. Days spent hunting in rock pools, jumping over waves and digging holes in the sand are absolute gold. But we all know the potential for a beach trip with kids to go horribly wrong; one's screaming about their sandy ice cream, one's lobbing rocks at strangers and the other's running in the sea fully clothed! The first step to avoid this is picking the right beach! So here are our top 10 beaches in Cornwall with kids:

  • Highlight: Paddleboarding (take your own or lessons available for aged 8+)
  • Postcode: PL24 2TL
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: No

Polkerris beach is nestled within an area of outstanding natural beauty and is a great beach to set up camp and stay all day! The car park is 200m from the beach where you can find a burger joint called 'Sams on the beach', a pub, a beach cafe, a shop and toilets. This is a beautiful find!

 

  • Highlight: Hedgehog ice cream and exploring the tin mines
  • Postcode: TR4 8AL
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Chapel Porth is a stunning little beach and the hedgehog ice cream served at the kiosk is legendary! If you want a break from the beach then take a walk up the cliff facing north to explore the tin mines, perfectly Cornish! At high tide, it's a small, west-facing cove. But at low tide, it becomes a long sandy beach stretching from St Agnes Head to Porthtowan Beach backed by high cliffs at its north and south ends. There is a small National Trust café at the back of the car park and toilet facilities.

  • Highlight: Rock pooling and paddling in the natural swimming pool!
  • Postcode: PL28 8JR
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Treyarnon beach comes complete with its own humungous natural swimming pool! This soft sandy beach is a great place for rock pooling, where you can find shrimp, crabs and fish. There's a plentiful supply of little nooks for your kids to explore all day, adventure awaits! 

 

  • Highlight: Rock scrambling
  • Postcode: PL29 3SQ
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: In pub/cafe and up the hill in Port Isaac
  • Lifeguards: No

Port Gaverne is one of the quaintest coves in Cornwall. This sheltered inlet has rock pools and caves to explore and a gently sloping beach at low tide. The South West Coastal path heading east is packed with stunning views of the Cornish coast, a very cute little spot. There is limited parking so arrive early if you want to park in the cove. If not then park at Port Isaac and walk down the hill to Port Gaverne; there are also no shops in Port Gaverne so get your supplies either in Port Isaac or before you arrive. 

 

  • Highlight: Playing and paddling in the stream
  • Postcode: TR19 6JX
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes (20p) and shops in town
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Porthcurno is a magical little beach, soft white sand, turquoise water and shelter from the cliffs afford this stunning place the word 'paradise'. It does get busy during the summer months so arrive early! 

 

  • Highlight: The beach cafe and paddleboarding 
  • Postcode: TR11 4PA
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Gyllngvase beach boasts an award-winning beach café, stunning views of Pendennis castle and a blue flag status. There is a fantastic paddleboarding centre that offers hire and lessons called 'WeSUP'. 'Gylly' beach is also just a 10-minute walk from Falmouth town centre which is full of amazing little shops.

 

  • Highlight: Surfing
  • Postcode:  PL27 6TB
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Polzeath is an incredibly busy beach, but for good reason. It's great for surfing and has a number of surf schools running from it. If crowds freak you out then the bay just north of Polzeath called Baby Beach is usually much quieter and has a car park just at the end of Baby Beach Lane; it's a really cute little beach.

 

  • Highlight: Climbing rocks and the colour of the water
  • Postcode: TR12 7PJ
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: In summer

Kynance Cove looks like it's straight out of Pirates of the Carribean. It's quite a long walk to get down but it's 100% worth it. There are is so much to explore in this amazing cove, take your little ones off for a mini adventure over the rocks or just enjoy the crystal clear water. If you get the chance then cliff jumping here is amazing and a great place to introduce your older kids to this activity. BUT make sure you're the pub-side of the cliffs at high tide or you'll be cut off for a bit- (We've made that mistake!!) Also arrive early as it gets very busy; if its the summer holidays then get there for 9:00 latest to make the most of getting to pick your spot.

 

  • Highlight: Very easy access
  • Postcode: TR20 9TB
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Praa Sands is super accessible and has all the facilities you'll need for your kids. It does get very busy during the holidays though so head to a quieter beach if you want to avoid the crowds.

 

  • Highlight: Exploring caves at low tide
  • Postcode: TR27 5BU
  • Toilets and shop/cafe: Yes and yes
  • Lifeguards: May to September

Gwithian overlooks the iconic town of St Ives, it's an expansive sea dune-backed beach popular with surfers. Its the perfect bucket and spade castle building beach. Arrive by 10am or before to avoid the mad rush during summer!

COMING SOON: Top 10 SECRET beaches in Cornwall with kids

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