Beaches

Zennor is near dramatic ocean cliffs and stupendous views, discover nearby beaches and coves too!

From your holiday cottage in Cornwall, you are never very far away from beautiful, sheltered coves that offer exciting rock-pooling, white sands for sunbathing and clear sea bathing. A car is needed to get to the nearest sandy beach if you have booked self-catering in Zennor but it isn’t a long drive and it’s a beautifully scenic one too! Below is a list of beaches we recommend you visit when staying in the Zennor area or West Cornwall.



The nearest beach to drive to from Zennor is Portheras Cove. It is between Morvah and Pendeen and takes around 10 minutes from Zennor. The drive is extremely picturesque along the coastal road between St Ives and Land’s End.

It is a sandy beach with a fairly steep ledge into the sea meaning it gets deep quickly. The waves can be big here and there is almost always a seal who is bobbing around observing activity on the beach from a safe distance. The beach can be very sheltered and offer excellent sun-bathing conditions but, by the same token, if the wind changes to due north, it can feel exposed and much like a wind tunnel. The beach is dog-friendly all year round and there is a stream that flows downhill to the sea so there is a constant source of fresh water.

The beach is at the bottom of a really pretty valley between two headlands and can only be accessed on foot so be prepared to carry belongings and refreshments for the duration of your stay. The nearest car park is at Chypraze Farm and be prepared to have coins to pay. The walk takes no more than 10 minutes to get to the beach and the walk only builds on excitement and anticipation as you walk past geese, ducks and chickens as well as incredible looking cows with big horns (don’t worry, they are behind a gate!). You may be lucky to spot and hear the Cornish Chough too, distinctive with its call and red beak.

There are no Lifeguards on Portheras beach and nor are there public loos and places to buy something to eat or drink so be prepared!

In summary, Portheras Cove Nr. Zennor offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • Dog-friendly all year round
  • No Lifeguard
  • No cafes
  • No public loos
  • Nearest parking at Chypraze Farm (private payment by coins)

If you are looking for a place to park up and simply let your dog jump out of the car’s boot and make a dart for a sandy beach, Longrock beach is the one to go to.

Best visited when the tide is low or halfway in or out, the beach stretches between Longrock to Penzance and so offers hours of fun in the shallow sea and amongst the rock pools near Penzance. An excellent beach for young children or wheelchair users with a well-laid path running above the beach. Longrock beach is not lifeguarded but further up the beach (between Longrock level crossing to Marazion) where dogs are sadly not allowed between 1st July to 31st August between 10 am and 6 pm, lifeguards are there to protect your safety between July and September. There are a few streams that join the sea at Longrock so fresh water is available for thirsty dogs.

There are no public loos at Longrock Beach nor is there a cafe but if you walk along the path above the beach with your dog on a lead, you can reach Marazion Beach and there are public loos as well as a few coffee shops to choose from along the way. The path also leads into Penzance where there is a great selection of places to eat and drink.

In summary, Longrock Beach offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • Dog-friendly all year round
  • No Lifeguard
  • No cafes
  • No public loos
  • Nearest at Longrock level crossing

A stunning cove nestled between the Gurnard’s Head and Bosigran headlands heading west towards Land’s End just a 10-minute drive from Zennor.

If you have a romantic image in your mind of Poldark riding his horse across the countryside to a sheltered and private cove, picture Porthmeor Cove. The best place to park up is at Carn Galva Engine House ruin at Bosigran which is just a mile west from the Gurnard’s Head pub. From the parking spot, follow the footpath down to the sea and the cliffs and head east back towards Gurnard’s Head for approximately 15 minutes (longer if you are stopping to take photos!). The cove is best visited at low tide and accessed via a scramble of some rocks and large pebbles. Perhaps not best for anyone who is unsteady on their feet or pushchairs but great for the energetic. Best to note that this cove is also designated a nudist beach!

In summary, Porthmeor Cove Nr. Zennor offers:

  • Sandy beach at low tide
  • Dog-friendly all year round
  • No Lifeguard
  • No cafes
  • No public loos
  • Nearest parking at Carn Galva Engine House/ Bosigran


4km of unadulterated bliss! This beach stretches as far as the eye can see (which is St Ives to the west and Godrevy to the east).

Even at high tide, there is still ample beach to have lots of fun on. This has to be the best dog-friendly beach all year round in west Cornwall.

There is limited free parking at St Uny Church in Lelant and access to the beach is following a footpath that cuts through the West Cornwall Golf course. You can also park on lanes nearby or pay via Just Park or with coins at Dynamite Quay (the tide needs to be out/ half out to access the beach from this car park).

RNLI lifeguards ensure your safety between July to September – click here to see more information.

There are no public loos at Porthkidney Beach or cafes for refreshments but you may find ice cream, pancake or coffee vendors near St Uny Church on various days throughout the year.

In summary, Porthkidney Beach offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • No Public loos
  • No Cafes and restaurants
  • Lifeguarded between July to September
  • Dog-friendly all year round


There aren’t many beaches where you see a fairytale castle perched on top of an island with tropical plants but on Marazion beach you do!

You can choose to set up camp for the day and relax, sunbathe and watch the world of watersports pass you by or you can try your hand at windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP boarding and kayaking. There are rock pools to explore around Chapel Rock and Marazion Harbour and dunes to find a sheltered spot for the day near the freshwater river which can be paddled in. Fancy learning to sail? There is a sailing club behind the beach as well as a fenced-in children’s play park and public loos. At low tide access to St Michael’s Mount is by way of a granite causeway, once walked by pilgrims. At high tide, a short boat ride takes visitors to the historic castle on the island. RNLI Lifeguards ensure everyone’s safety from the beginning of July until the beginning of September. Dogs are allowed on this beach but there are some restrictions to take not of during July and August (between the hours of 10am – 6pm) when a seasonal dog ban is in place. For more information, click here to go to Cornwall Council’s website. There is a selection of cafes for takeaway or eat-in lunches and snacks as well as restaurants within easy walking distance of Marazion beach. There is ample parking at the private St Aubyn Estate car parks just behind the beach and, when that one is full, they open up 2 fields just across the road within 2 minutes walk of the beach.

Sand chairs are available from St Michael’s Mount, Marazion. Telephone: 01736 710265. Sand chairs are provided by Cornwall Mobility in partnership with Disability Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

In summary, Marazion Beach offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • Cafes and restaurants close-by
  • Public loos
  • Surf school
  • Lifeguarded between July and September
  • Seasonal dog restrictions
  • Paid for parking

A long stretch of soft sand becomes even more expansive at low tide so there is plenty of room for ball games, water sports activities, sunbathing, walking and general fun-filled times all at the same time!

The beach is accessed by driving down the fairly steep hill to Sennen Cove and then pulling into the large car park on the right which sits above the beach so extremely convenient. If that car park is full, there is one on a grassy area at the top of the hill so a short but steep walk down to the beach. The beach has a surf school called Sennen Surf Centre with lessons including really friendly instruction, foam boards and wetsuits if needed. There is a shower to rinse off all the sand from wetsuits and feet on a concrete area helping with keeping shoes less grainy! There is a cafe on the beach selling hot food, drinks and ice creams plus The Old Success Inn is a very short walk away from the beach serving gastro pub food and local beers. The beach has RNLI Lifeguards ensuring everyone’s safety from Easter to October and it is dog-friendly with some restrictions; May 15 to 30 September dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10 am and 6 pm so they can join in with evening frolics.

In summary, Sennen Cove Beach offers:

  • Sandy Beach
  • Public loos
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Lifeguarded between Easter to October
  • Dog-friendly with some restrictions
  • Council Car park


Porthcurno Beach has to be THE most beautiful beach in West Cornwall. It has Orange Roofs’ vote anyway. Soft white sand, turquoise sea, sheltered bathing and lounging as well as wonderful snorkelling, it has so much to offer. It’s a sight for very sore and in need of TLC eyes!

There is a large long-stay car park about 500 metres away from the beach and it’s a pleasant walk via a marked footpath. The car park is run by Cornwall Cornwall and is a pay and display using coins only (it does not accept payment by mobile). If you plan to stay between 2 and 4 hours, the cost is £5, up to 2 hours is £2.30. There are public loos at the bottom of the car park where the footpath starts to the beach. Your dog is very welcome all year round but with some summer restrictions. Between 1st July to 31st August, you can enjoy the beach with your dog either before 10 am or after 6 pm. There is no activity or water sports provider on the beach itself so do take any water sports equipment yourselves. There is a beach cafe a short walk from the beach which opens seasonally and also has a shop selling sun cream, sunglasses, sun hats, towels, bodyboards, wet suits, buckets, spades, flip flops and lots more!

RNLI Lifeguards are on the beach between May and September and outside of those times, we urge you to take great care. The sea shelves from the beach fairly steeply so can get deep quickly. You will often see a seal bobbing around too! During low tide, you may be able to walk around the headland to the neighbouring cove and then onto Pedn Vounder Beach but be careful not to get cut off by the returning tide or stuck on a sandbank.

In summary, Porthcurno Beach offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • Dog-friendly apart from summer restrictions
  • RNLI Lifeguard May to September
  • Seasonal beach cafes
  • Public loos
  • Large long stay car park (payment by coins)


Porthmeor beach is a Blue Flag beach on the west side of St Ives.  It is the best beach for surfing and so that is where you will find St Ives Surf School which run lessons for all ages and sizes of groups.

The beach stretches between The Island where St Nicholas’ Chapel presides and Man’s Head (called such because you will see the shape of a man’s head in the rock stack on the headland cliff!) so there is a large expanse of soft sand. There are public loos at the beach, a shower to rinse off after being in the sea and a beach cafe too. In fact, there is a beach cafe on the beach, then above the beach is Porthmeor Cafe which offers indoor and heated dining-in booths serving the most delicious breakfast to dinners. On the other end of the beach is West Beach cafe that serves pizza, Pimms and seafood. We love Porthmeor beach because you can walk your dogs on it all year round. It is tidal but even when the tide is high, there is still a lot of beach to walk and have fun. Granted, there are times of the day during seasonal bans you aren’t allowed to go on the beach with your dog but every day you can share special moments with your best friend whatever the month. Click here to see when the seasonal bans are for Porthmeor beach.

A great addition to Porthmeor beach are the Porthmeor chalets which can be booked for the duration of your St Ives holiday. If you plan to spend every day on the beach and have buckets, spades, beach breaks, tents, surfboards, bodyboards, wet suits and so on, a chalet will be a godsend rather than carrying everything to and from your holiday cottage. To enquire and to book ahead of your stay, click here

RNLI lifeguards watch out for everyone’s safety so much fun and relaxation can be had for all the family. The lifeguards are on Porthmeor beach between April and the end of October. To find out specific dates, please do visit RNLI Lifeguard’s website.

In summary, Porthmeor Beach in St Ives offers:

  • Sandy beach
  • Beach cafes
  • Public loos
  • Surf school
  • Beach shower
  • Lifeguarded between Easter and October half term inclusive
  • Seasonal dog restrictions