This sheltered cove has acres of golden sands, fascinating rockpools which reveal all sorts of treasures when the tide’s out, and a brilliant cafe just off the beach. It’s a good place to try out watersport with a surf shop next to the cafe — pick up a board or sign up for some lessons. The cafe just up from the beach serves light lunches and delicious hot chocolates through a hatch, which you can take down to the beach or enjoy on the benches to the front. It’s dog-friendly between October and Easter and plenty of parking in the large car park across the road. If you want to stretch your legs, take the coast path north and visit Church Cove and Dollar Cove (20 mins).
This lifeguarded beach’s mile of sand is very white, reportedly from seashells broken down over millennia. Located on the arc between the Lizard and Penzance, the beach is flanked by rocky outcrops and backed with sheltering sand dunes so it’s great for children to romp around and splash about in the shallows. It’s also a popular spot for surfers who come for the challenging beach break and year-round rollers. Cafe for breakfast and lunch right on the beach. Dogs are welcome on the beach except July and August.
On the northern banks of the Helford, Grebe is a little gem of a beach, a pretty slice of shingle backed by soaring Scots pine trees and ancient oaks just beyond the village of Mawgan Porth. The rocky outcrops at either end means there are interesting rockpools when the tide recedes and great rocks for scrambling. It’s a fairly steep 10-minute walk down a wooded track from the National Trust carpark, so it stays relatively quiet year round. The water, which turns turquoise in summer, shelves gently so it’s a great spot for swimming and paddleboarding