The beautiful sandy beaches along the North coast of Cornwall are what draw many people to this part of the world, and the Padstow beaches do not disappoint. All year round they provide a great place to spend time walking, playing, relaxing and watching the world.
Padstow is a small fishing port a short way up the Camel Estuary, with a pretty harbour at its centre. There are beaches along the estuary which are mainly accessible by foot. However the beaches in the local area around Padstow are easy to get to and stunningly beautiful.
Don’t forget to check out the tide times – some beaches are best at low tide, exposing numerous rock pools, others are better at high tide to save a long walk to the sea!
Here are our thoughts on the best ones:
|St Georges Well||Trevone|
St Georges Well
St George’s Well and Tregirls Beach is within walking distance of Padstow and it the sandy stretch of the estuary leading out to the Atlantic, with beautiful views of Rock and St Enodoc. At low tide you can reach it via ‘lower beach’ (where the Ferry goes from at low tide), but at high tide it can be reached from the coastal path. Along this path you will come across the Battery at Gun Point – a gun post since Elizabethan times, but fortified during World War 2. It is one of my favourite walks from Padstow.
Trevone is around the headland from Padstow – you can walk to it, via a public footpath, across the headland – passing the old lifeboat station. It is a small, cove-like beach, best at low tide with lots of rock pools. You can walk to Harlyn from here across the headland (15min – 20min depending on how often you stop to admire the view). We have seen seals during the winter on this walk, and a kestrel hovering just off the headland; spectacular. Parking is limited here.
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Our all time favourite is Harlyn Bay – it’s got great surfing waves, whatever the tide. At low tide the rock pools are wonderful for exploring and the cliff top walks are stunning, to the west takes you to Mother Ivy’s bay, Trevose Head and Constantine. To the east the path takes you to Trevone beach. A stream runs down Harlyn beach, which is great for building dams.
There is good parking – out of season it’s free, otherwise it is about £4 a day. There are some toilets a short walk away (across a road) and there is ‘The Harlyn Inn’ (www.harlyn-inn.com) for a beer, with a surf and general shop too. This is also the home of the Harlyn Surf School(www.harlynsurfschool.co.uk). We tried out sea kayaking recently – very exciting, so will be doing it again!.
Further to the west from Harlyn is Constantine, a wide sweeping beach with sand dunes. To one side (left) is a series of fascinating rock pools to explore at medium to low tide; the right side of the beach is great for swimming and surfing. A new initiative is the ‘coastal coffee’ mini trailer which offers proper coffee and other hot and cold drinks, as well as nibbles – wonderful on those cold windy days at the beach!
Parking is limited here, but free – about 20 spaces with 3 additional disabled spaces. There are also toilet facilities. During the season additional parking (paying) is available in a nearby field. You can also park at Treyarnon which is the next beach around the headland to the left. This is a great short walk fromConstantineto Treyarnon – 10-15 minutes with really stunning views of the beach and crashing waves, and with plenty of benches to rest on.
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Treyarnon is a narrow beach, again great for surfing. Although at high tide there isn’t a lot of beach, at medium to low tide, a natural swimming pool is exposed, which is a large rock pool, big enough for lots of swimming, splashing and exploring; it is fantastic!