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Things to do in Kennack Sands, Lizard Peninsula

Kennack Sands, the Lizard Peninsula

Way down south near Cornwall’s most southerly tip, this long, sandy stretch is one of the Lizard’s biggest beaches. Come in summer for sun-baked sands and brilliant beginner waves, and in winter for hot chocolates in the cafe, impressive surf and herds of friendly ponies grazing on the banks. The fishing villages of Cadgwith and Coverack are a short hop, and there are walks galore in every direction. Here are a few suggestions of things to do in and around Kennack Sands.

Out on the water

Right on the beach you’ll find the friendly Kennack Sands Surf School, where Josh, who has surfed these waters all his life, will sort you out with lessons and surfboards, as well as bodyboard hire. The beach is also a great spot for snorkelling, with clear waters, home to all sorts of marine life, including spider crabs, cuttlefish, and lobsters (you can hire gear from the cafe). The popular Lizard Adventure activity centre located in nearby Lizard offers all sorts of watersports, including paddleboarding, kayaking and coasteering, at various locations in the area, including Kennack Sands. Warm up afterwards with a coffee and warming toastie at the family-run Mora Cafe by the carpark. If diving’s more your thing or you’re tempted to try it out, Kennack Diving offers open water scuba diving courses, single ‘adventure diver’ trips and night dives around the shipwrecks near Kennack Sands.

Beach time

Perfect for families, Kennack Sands has good lifeguard cover and plenty of space for kids to run. As well as watersports hire, the beach cafe also hires out windbreaks and deckchairs. Like many other beaches in Cornwall, Kennack Sands has a seasonal dog ban between 1 July and 31 August 10am-6pm (but you can still take your dog onto the beach outside these hours, and the far beach is dog-friendly year-round.

Wonderful walking

Kennack Sands is actually comprised of two beaches — the one furthest from the carpark is a nature reserve and often goes undiscovered by visitors, as it’s hidden behind the hill that separates the two, but it’s well worth the short trek up and over to the other side. From the beach you can walk for miles in either direction. Heading south on the coastal path, it’s a 2-hour walk to Lizard, the southernmost point of the UK. On the way, you’ll pass the fascinating serpentine works in Poltesco and lovely Cadgwith, with its rows of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages, pretty beaches and characterful village pub.

Walk north in the opposite direction to Coverack (also roughly two hours) and you’ll find a beautiful little harbour for swimming, some wonderful places to eat (including a repurposed lifeboat house, now one of south Cornwall’s favourite fish and chip shops), and a wide sandy beach with masses of rockpools for net-and-bucket wielding children.

Further afield

Whilst beach time and days spent out on the water will probably top your must-do list on a stay at Kennack Sands, there are lots of other places of interest on the Lizard Peninsula to keep you entertained. Get a taster for life on a working organic Cornish farm with a trip to Roskilly’s near St Keverne, south Cornwall’s most famous ice cream parlour. Further south, the Lizard Lighthouse and Heritage Centre is a fascinating place to while away an afternoon, with exhibitions, interactive displays and guided tours.

Slightly further towards the Helford, the Trelowarren Estate has a lovely courtyard cafe, art gallery and woodland walks in the surrounding countryside, whilst the team at Trevassack Lake run watersports from their beautiful quarry site.

Where to stay

With sweeping views of the Lizard’s coastline, contemporary Seascape Apartment is within an easy walk of the beautiful beach of Kennack Sands. Sleeping four, this penthouse bolthole has wonderful views, a lovely open plan layout and huge floor and window ceilings, flooding the place with light. The coastal path is right on your doorstep so you can ramble for hours in either direction for stunning views, empty coves and delightful fishing villages.

Looking for more holiday inspiration? See our insider’s guide to the Lizard Peninsula.