Superb surfing beaches, punctuated by craggy headlands, sweep northwards from Perranporth to way beyond Newquay. They are seen at their most dramatic when huge waves, driven by stiff westerly winds, thunder ashore and send salty spray far inland. But there are also bays and inlets where gentle streams tumble down from inland hills wash the sands and the booming surf is just a whisper around a headland.
We are the only specialist full service inbound tour operator and DMC for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly catering for groups large and small, as well as luxury travel for individuals.
Holywell Bay – Holywell village’s holiday homes and caravans are hidden from the delightful bay by high dunes. A broad but shallow river meanders seawards past the southern end of the sand hills and is punctuated by a narrow bridge. Immediately south of the beach, Penhale Sands are part of the ‘desert’ which runs for almost 3 miles to the outskirts of Perranporth.
Holywell lies 2 miles to the west of Cuthbert, a village whose tall church spire can be seen for miles around and serves as a landmark for those heading for the bay.
Porth Joke – This attractive little bay, known loavvlly as Polly Joke, amply rewards the 10 minute walk from the car park from West Pentire. The sandy, stream-washed beach, owned by the National Trust, nestles between low cliffs whose rocks give way to gently sloping headlands patchworked with fields. Seals breed on The Chick, a rocky islet off Kelsey Head.
The sands of Poly Joke and neighbouring beaches are rich in minerals which act as a natural fertiliser. They value was officially acknowledged as long ago as James II’s time, when an Act of Parliament gave local farmers permission to take sand from the foreshore.
Crantock Beach – Sheltered from the prevailing winds by Pentire Point West, this beach at the seaward end of the River Gannel’s estuary offers broad expanse at low-tides and backed by high and extensive dunes. Swimming is safest at high water, but bathers should avoid the Gannel at all times. A small boat ferries walkers across the river to Newquay. The car park behind the dunes is reached by a lane from Crantock, a village whose old established charms have not been completely submerged by more recent developments.
Watergate Bay – This long sandy beach, a favourite with surfers who flock here, has a backdrop of crumbling cliffs. At low tide the beach runs for more than 2 miles from Trevelgue Head to Griffin’s Point, but there is only one access point for cars.
Mawgan Porth – The remains of a settlement believed to date from the 5th century AD are hidden away behind Mawgan Porth’s beach. The sands are washed by a stream which flows down from St Column Major through the wooded Vale of Mawgan. A clifftop path takes walkers past Berryl’s Point before dropping steeply down to the secluded sands of Beacon Cove. Surfboards maybe hired and there is fishing from the beach.
Bedruthan Steps – A long flight of slippery and extremely steep steps plunges down from the grassy clifftop to a dramatic beach where low tide sands are punctuated by immense rocks. Legend has it that the rocks are stepping-stones used by the giant Bedruthan: more prosaically, they are granite stacks left isolated on the beach by the erosion of softer rocks around them. One of the rocks known as Queen Bess Rock after its resemblance to Queen Elizabeth I, when viewed from the right angle. This is one of the most memorable stretches of coast in Britain, but explorers must keep away from the crumbling cliffs and take care not to be trapped by the rising sea.
Portcothnan – A stream flows at the head of this long, narrow inlet, where shingle-speckled sand is backed a small area of low dunes. A path over the low southern headland leads to Porth Mear, a secluded cove of rock and low tide shingle.