Port Gaverne and Port Isaac
With Port Gaverne beach literally on your doorstep, and Port Isaac beach just a 20-minute stroll, there’s no shortage of sheltered coves within walking distance. These beaches are small, picturesque and family and dog friendly — a great way to while away an afternoon at any time of year. Port Gaverne beach is flanked by Port Isaac headland and ‘The Main’ (Port Gaverne’s headland), which tend to protect the beach from the big Atlantic waves. Port Isaac beach has a breakwater, so is generally a calm harbour with picturesque fishing boats dotted around.
An inspiration for poet Sir John Betjeman, Polzeath is a wide sandy beach about six miles from Port Gaverne. The village of the same name has plenty of restaurants and amenities to fuel a fun-filled day at the beach. With lifeguards on duty during summer days, a surf school on hand and plenty of rockpools to explore, Polzeath is the ideal place for a beach day.
Daymer Bay is a very sheltered beach about 8 miles from Port Gaverne. It sits in a sheltered spot at the mouth of the Camel Estuary, with calm waters and a long stretch of golden sand, and was one of poet John Betjeman’s favourite locations in Cornwall — it’s not hard to see why. One of this beaches great features is that it’s dog-friendly all year round too — and the wide open space makes it perfect to tire a four legged friend out!
Off the beaten track
Follow the coastal footpath to the east, or drive the road out of Port Gaverne and park up at Tregardock Farm. From here, it’s around a 20-minute walk and a bit of a scramble over some rocks to reach the sandy, quiet beach of Tregardock — be sure to check the tides beforehand! If you don’t fancy the walk, keep driving until you reach Trebarwith, with pub, shop and carpark, making it a little more family friendly and accessible — but a bit busier too. Both have an air of the undiscovered about them though, with waterfalls, caves and rockpools to explore, as well as being a little quieter than the likes of Polzeath.