Top 5 beaches North Cornwall

If there is one thing every member of my family love it’s a beach and on our recent trip to north Cornwall we were spoilt for choice with the long coastline stretching before our eyes.

We did our best to cover as much as we could and here are our top 5 beaches north Cornwall in the order we visited them.


Polzeath Cornwall

Polzeath lies at the entrance of the River Camel which has an enormous estuary leading to Wadebridge and beyond. To get to the beach you have to follow a long winding road typical of Cornwall which winds around fields and then takes a plunge down to the coastline, parking is on the sand and when we arrived the sea was way out with a gentle stream rustling down to it. A popular surfing destination Polzeath has a string of shops and a couple of cafes selling ice cream and drinks.

polzeath exploring

We walked on the left of the stream looking out to sea and the girls loved climbing the black rocks that ran all the way out. shouting out regularly ‘We’re rock climbers!’ and very proud of the fact too.

Polzeath surfers paradise

As we were visiting in February after a particularly bad weather winter the sea was high and strong with continuous waves crashing in to the coastline. I took this photo on my phone and it is still my favourite of the whole holiday, so much so I made it up into a large canvas.

Polzeath Cornwall

St Ives

This was the beach furthest away from us whilst staying at Retallack but well worth the journey which took about 30-40 minutes.

st ives shops

The town is built on hills and parking is scattered throughout the busy town, we were out of season and got lucky finding one quite central but still a good walk down to the seafront.

st ives cornwall

St Ives has some fabulous shops, restaurants, cafes and art galleries. The sea was out again so the girls played on the beach whilst I took a stroll to take some photos. Note the sandbags in the doorways, a prevention needed this winter.

st ives cornwall

And should you get hungry, well you could choose off of this delicious menu from the Rum & Crab Shack which sadly we didn’t visit but I’d love to, the Rum Shack Jambalaya catches my eye.

St Ives Rum & Crab shack

or maybe you could go for a pasty like we did to eat on the beach, check out this selection of freshly made pasties from St Ives Pasty bakery
st ives pasty bakery

Constantine Bay

Constantine Bay


We visited Constantine Bay the same day we went to Padstow as it’s only a 15 minute drive away, the roads are narrow and winding but there is a car park at the top with a sandy pathway leading down to the beach which is immense.

Constantine Bay

Our visit took place on a windy grey day but even still you get a very good idea of what this would be like on a beautiful summer’s day. The girls took their buckets and spades and filled them up with shells that were strewn across the bay. We also clambered over the black rocks and took a  few family snaps – as you do when you’re on holidays, I think Bessie did a great job with her photo of mum and dad with the BIG camera.

constantine bay


And before we hopped back in the car I picked up a couple of souvenirs which I think will look fabulous in food photography shots.

slate slabs

Bedruthen Steps

Simply stunning and has to be seen. The Bedruthen Steps or Carnewas as it’s also referred to, which can be a bit confusing when looking out for directions as road signs indicate Carnewas.

Bedruthen Steps Carnewas

We visited about 4/5 years ago and since then a new car park has been built by two buildings which date back to the Carnewas mining industry and are now used as a shop and a cafe.

A short walk along the cliff top leads down to the Bedruthen Steps and a breathtaking dramatic view opens up for you as you head down the steps leading to the beach.

Bedruthen Steps - Carnewas

We couldn’t access the beach as the steps are closed in the winter but we reached the viewing platform where these shots were taken.

The tide was in, the sea was rough and crashing into the huge rock stacks that make this such a beautiful view. If you check the site out you’ll get an idea of what it looks like on a sunny day with the tide out.

Watergate Bay

The next time I visit Watergate Bay I want to book into the Fifteen restaurant there. Twice I’ve looked at it and not been able to visit as this place gets really booked up. If you, like me, missed your booking then there’s a fabulous beach cafe underneath with tables both inside and out.

Watergate bay Cornwall

Watergate Bay has a very reasonably priced car park, which I was very surprised at, we expected to have to pay a fortune. The beach is immense and another surfer’s paradise. I was amazed that even though it was cold and windy, classes still took place, even when we scarpered back to the car as it was pouring down they stayed out there and carried on.

watergate bay cornwall

Perfect picture of the building at Watergate Bay that has Fifteen on the top floor, beach cafe underneath and a surf shop too, car park is up behind the building

watergate Bay cornwall


  1. March 21, 2014 / 1:34 PM

    And now I want to book a short break to Cornwall. I love being on the beach so much. It’s my happy place x

  2. March 22, 2014 / 11:29 AM

    My, these eaches looks gorgeous, especially Constantine Bay. I’ve never been to Cornwall, it’s on my travel list now!

  3. March 22, 2014 / 11:18 PM

    Ah my home and our lovely surrounding beaches. I still feel excited for our local beaches when I see them on someone elses blog. Lots more to discover next time you are down too.

  4. Nicola
    March 26, 2014 / 4:02 AM

    Wow, these look simply stunning. I would absolutely love to visit those beaches one day!

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