Cornwall Living 2018

Life’s a beach

We caught-up with Beach Retreats to find out how visitors like to spend their holidays along the stunning Cornish coast.

The beaches in Cornwall are varied in size and shape. From intimate coves to four-mile stretches of sand, there are countless spots to discover and soak-up the sea views. Truly inspiring results were found when the team at Beach Retreats asked guests to name their favourite beach in the county. The number of beaches recommended was staggering and came from more than 80 votes in total. The votes ranged from the popular sands of St Ives, Fistral and Looe to obscure places such as Tregantle Beach, Lankidden Cove and Bossiney Haven. The survey highlights the number of beaches along the coastline; after all, you are never more than 20 miles from the sea in Cornwall. All the beaches seem intriguing and well-worth visiting with a little help from Google.

Wide expanses of sand on the north Cornwall coast, framed by towering cliffs and the perpetual movement of waves, contrast the sheltered, but no less pretty, coves to the south. Spend long summer days exploring rockpools teeming with wildlife, while in the winter watch the power and majesty of a rolling storm driving waves onto cliffs and sea defences. With so much choice and seasonal change, it’s inspiring to see how visitors spend their time on the coast. The traditional view of a British beach holiday has long since gone. While it’s still possible to claim a deckchair, windbreaker and set up camp for the day, beach behaviour has evolved and has created an exciting Cornish seaside culture.

Today’s family memories are formed from rockpooling, that first surf lesson and a shareable selfie taken atop a cliff footpath with the coastline disappearing off into the horizon. While rockpooling is a year-round adventure, it is best enjoyed in the summer when marine life is flourishing. The best rockpooling happens on calm, sunny days during low tide, where you’ll discover crabs, anemones, and limpets, amongst other species. Just be sure to follow the seashore code and take photographs and not animals.

Getting active and being in the water is one of the most exhilarating ways to enjoy the coastline. Surfing is very well established on the north coast, with plenty of surf schools for newbies and hire for everyone who can’t fit their kit in the car. There’s also a lot more to watersports these days, with kitesurfing, bodyboarding and the serene stand-up paddleboarders gliding adjacent to the curve of the shore. Wild swimming is on the rise, and is easy to participate in; just be sure to be safe with whichever activity calls to you.

Back on dry land, the South West Coast Path is one of Cornwall’s jewels, mapping out the beaches and providing the right position to take that ‘wow’ photo for Facebook or Instagram. The opportunity to try coastal running is popular with guests, swapping the bustling city centres and parks for undulating and inspiring coastal footpaths. It’s good for the body and joints too, being softer underfoot than the pavement. If you want to cover a few more miles, coastal cycling is a great way to see Cornwall. Hire a bicycle and pick a route away from the tourist hubs to discover a hidden cove and complete tranquillity.

We’ve done well to get this far without discussing food in Cornwall. It’s no longer a case of defending packed lunches from sand and seagulls; beach barbeques are the way to finish off the day. Pick up some local produce from a farm shop and set up for a lazy evening watching the changing colours as the sunsets, before washing it down with Cornish cider or apple juice.

Beach Retreats specialises in self-catering holiday lets within walking distance of a stunning Cornish beach, complete with contemporary beach-chic interiors and good local amenities. You can contact the team directly for letting and investment advice, or simply to book your spot on the sand.


On the beach,
Watergate Bay TR8 4AA
01637 861005

This month’s features