The best beaches in Cornwall for Families

Cornwall has an abundance of beaches to chose from, to get the best beach day out for everyone, these are the best beaches in the county with options for every one.

Best Beaches for buggies and wheelchairs

Most beaches in Cornwall aren’t hard to get to, but there are only a few that cater to wheelchairs and pushchairs, strollers and buggies. These are the best beaches in Cornwall for accessibility but are also some of the most beautiful beaches.

Porthmeor, St Ives

Located on the edge of the stunning St Ives and across from the Tate, this beach is a beautiful blend of traditional Cornish Town and beach side fun. Overlooking two picturesque, vibrant green cliffs, a small bay opens up with golden sand and an easily access slip road down.

You’ll find no shortage of food options in St Ives and a surf school right on the beach with plenty of waves and RNLI patrols to keep everyone going all day.

You can easily find yourself strolling down from town, into the sea, up to the small cliffs, along the coast or into a cafe and back. The cliffs and location of Porthmeor protect it from the wind and sea, making it a great beach for swimming.

porthmeor best beach in St Ives

Porthmeor has been awarded the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, which are given only to the cleanest, best water quality and safest beaches in England along with the best services and lifeguards.

Parking in St Ives can be hard but this guide here will help you navigate the small alleys of St Ives.

Sennen Cove

Sennen is one of the best beaches in Cornwall hands down and is not to be missed. Despite being more remote, you’ll find long stretches of golden sand, turquoise water, good surf and food options here. Sennen is also surrounded by cliffs offering stunning views into the turquoise water making you feel like you are somewhere more exotic than England.

If you want to get the whole family out into a more remote and natural environment, then this is the beach for you.

A slip road gives easy access to pushchairs and wheelchairs meaning anyone can enjoy this amazing beach!

sennen cove


Marazion is not to be overlooked as a beach to visit, with stunning views of St Michaels Mount, a newly renovated kids’ playground, mermaid pools, long stretches of sand and just a stone’s throw from Penzance, you could spend the whole day here.

The car park is right next to the beach, a slip road that will get you to the sand and the playground right next to it all.

This is one of Cornwall’s best beaches for a clash of nature, iconic scenery and traditional Cornish towns in the distance.

marazion view

St Michaels Mount off the coast of Marazion is explorable with a castle at its peak is a must-see on any trip


Perranuthoe on the south coast is less popular than the others but has everything you could want on a beach. Car parking is limited within the small village but runs off a classic honesty box with proceeds going to the community.

Prior to the beach, you’ll find the popular Cabin Beach Cafe, offering ice cream, food and snacks, with tables overlooking the beach!

A slip road and stairs allow access for everyone and you’ll find pebbles and sand across the beach to keep every age entertained. Perranuthnoe gets plenty of surf as well and is patrolled by the RNLI, making it a great option for swimming.

Perranuthnoe hosts a hidden part of Cornwall’s history, with a hidden Georgian-era sea cave bath that has to be seen to believe.

There are rock pools at one end of the beach and this beach has space available at low and high tides.


Porthtowan offers some of the best surf in Cornwall, but it is also easily accessed, with multiple walking paths going back up the cliff.

On a lower tide, Porthtowan opens up, providing long stretches of sand you can walk along, allowing you to walk below the cliffs, however, be mindful to not get cut off by the tide.

Porthtowan has also been awarded the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, which are given only to the cleanest, best water quality and safest beaches in England along with the best services and lifeguards.

Before you get to the beach you’ll find multiple different pubs and cafes with beach views, as well as the insanely good Moomaid of Zennor ice cream parlour.

Porthtowan surf

Porthtowan Beach on mid-tide

The best beaches in Cornwall

You can check patrol times of any beach here with the RNLI.

Porthminster Beach – St Ives

Porthminster Beach is located in the heart of St Ives and is protected in the bay of St Ives, making it a wonderful place to swim. Patrolled by the RNLI this beach will keep kids splashing for hours and you can even sit in the cafe on the edge of the beach to recharge!

Just be mindful of the access options, as there are a lot of paths via steps. The best place to park to visit Porthminster Beach is St Ives train centre as it’s just above the beach and so just 100m away. If that car park is full, we suggest going to Trenwith car park and catching the bus to the train station. If you want to avoid steps, get off the bus at Royal Square and head straight down past St Ives Guildhall towards Lambeth Walk then take a right along a cobbled lane that takes you straight to the beach.

Hayle Towans, Gwithian and Godrevy – Hayle

Hayle Towans, the river mouth, Gwithian and Godrevy are technically all one beach that stretches for miles and miles. These beaches are amazing, with picturesque views of St Ives and Carbis Bay, golden sand, surf and RNLI patrols.

Accessibility is easy, but each entrance is either a sandy slope or stairs. You can get a buggy on the beach but a carrier is always easier.

Gwithian also has a host of rock pools that kids can explore and also swim in.

Each section of the beach has access to cafes either on the cliff or as you enter and there is also a horse box cafe between Gwithian and Godrevy you can’t miss.

Godrevy is also a National Trust location and has free members’ parking.

sheep deep wild swimming

Gwithian Beach

Porthcurno – Best for older kids and the explorers

Porthcurno is a gem of a beach that is starting to become more popular thanks to being located just below the Minack Theatre. This beach is easily accessed and you can get a buggy down there, but it is easier to use a carrier to get any toddlers and babies down.

Hidden between two big cliffs, Porthcurno is one of the best beaches in Cornwall to escape the wind and swell. The beach is a stunning remote beach with ample parking and food to keep everyone happy.

porthcurno beach cornwall

It is also one of the best beaches for those looking to get a dip in the ocean, go for a coastal walk and navigate the cliffs. On the left side of the beach, you’ll find a relatively easy path to navigate and head up to the top of the cliff. Once there, you’ll find remnants of World War Two and a lookout post, but the main feature is the view of the rugged and wild coastline.

These hidden beaches are accessible but not advised for those who don’t like a bit of climbing or younger children. The final part of the path to the neighbouring beach is very steep, it’s not difficult but you do need to use your full body to safely navigate down.

Once down on the neighbouring beach (Pednvounder Beach), you may find a few nudists, or try it yourself, but the main feature is the view with nothing but beach and rugged nature.

Porthcurno is patrolled by the RNLI but not Pednvounder Beach.

You can get a wave at Porthcurno as well but it is tidal-dependent so check before you go if you want to surf or bodyboard.

Trevaunance Cove – St Agnes – Best for rockpools

Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes has it all and can be a great visit for all ages, however the limited space on the beach and car parking means you want to get in early! This beach is patrolled by the RNLI and is dog-friendly all year but on a lead in high season.

Nestled in the valley and surrounded by the cliffs of St Agnes, a small cove opens with rock pools, golden sand and protection from the wind and swell. This makes Trevaunce Cove a great option for kids of all ages, the slip road lets you get a buggy down easily and the rock pools will entertain the kids all day. There is still surf and waves to be had here, but it will be smaller than the other beaches.

At low tide, expect lots of sand, allowing you to walk around the corner to Trevalas Cove and if you miss the tide, you can take the path up and over the cliff to get back!

St Agnes Trevaunance Cove best beach in cornwall for rockpools

Around high tide, it can look more like a sea than a beach, with the water lapping up to the slipway. On days of minimal swell, typical in the summer season, this can offer great swimming, resembling something like a giant sea pool. The locals have a tradition of swimming to the buoy and back on calm flat days. In summer, you’ll find the local teenagers climbing the bigger rocks just off the beach and jumping off into deep water – don’t do it if you don’t know the tides or where to jump.

Perched above the beach and casting a view over the whole beach, you’ll find Schooners Pub which offers great food, shade and a way to recharge or take a break from the kids.

Best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall

Most beaches in Cornwall are dog friendly with a ban on dogs either from the 1st of July to the 31st of August or from Easter to the 30th of September every year. However, these bans are only from 10 am to 6 pm within those periods, so you’ll still be able to get a beach dog walk  done all year round.

Despite this, there are a handful of the best beaches in Cornwall that are dog-friendly and allow you to keep them on a lead all year round.

Perranporth – best dog-friendly beach

Perranporth is one of the best beaches in Cornwall, it has miles of sand, great surf, a sea pool, great food, lots of parking and is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies!

The only downside to Perranporth is expect the crowds. At low tide Perranporth opens up, showcasing a vast array of golden sand, allowing for crowds of families on the beach on its peak days in the summer season. Don’t let this off-put you though, get in early or later and you’ll still be rewarded on its busier days.

Because Perranporth is more open, it will tend to have more waves and it’s important to always swim between the flags and check the conditions.

After a day at the beach, you’ll be spoilt for choice of food, with options for everyone and a pub, restaurant and burger bar all overlooking the beach.

Chapel Rock Pool

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