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  • Writer's picturePolly at Candid Cornwall

3 Cornish beaches you won't believe are in England

Come summer, we all dream of escaping to some tropical island, donning our swimsuit and splashing around in the azure-blue ocean in the sunshine. But what if I told you that you didn't have to travel all the way to Barbados or Santorini to experience it?

DISCLAIMER: These beaches only look like this when the conditions are exactly right. You'll need to plan your visit for when the weather's been good for a few days to ensure water clarity, the sea's been relatively flat for a while and the sun is shining!

Cornwall has it's very own little collection of tropical #beaches that, on a sunny day, can come close to Bora-Bora levels of turquoise bliss - you just have to be open to the idea that it won't be quite as warm.

Stumbling across these gems while exploring the coast path is part of the fun. But, if you're coming to Cornwall for a holiday you might not have the time to do that, so here are three of my favourites to get you started!

Follow me on Instagram @candid_cornwall for more beautiful spots and #Cornwall inspiration.


1. Pedn Vounder Beach

Beautiful turquoise sea and beach with cliffs in Cornwall

Parking: Either at Porthcurno Car Park or at Treen Village Car Park

When to visit: Low to mid tide, there's a risk of cut-off at high tide

Considerations: Very difficult climb-down access, rip currents, nudist beach, no facilities, dogs are permitted all year round.

This absolute gem of a beach is breathtaking to see when the sun comes out, and the dramatic scenery resembles some kind of Maldives/Jurassic Park hybrid (sounds like a fun holiday destination if you ask me).

At low tide, you can walk the full stretch of the beach. As the tide comes in, a sand bar in the centre of the beach remains exposed for a while, creating this gorgeous azure colour and shallow water to splash about in.

This beach is a well-known nudist hot-spot, so if that's your cuppa tea you can feel free to whip your kit off and enjoy nature to the fullest. If it's not then that's fine too - just be mindful of other beach goers when taking photos!

The climb down to #PednVounder is exactly that, a literal climb, so if you decide to attempt it then please wear supportive footwear, pack light, and I wouldn't recommend the climb if you're pregnant, you aren't of able-body, or if you have children or dogs with you. If you don't feel like attempting it, the beach is still worth taking in from the cliffs above, and Porthcurno beach next door is far more easily accessible, and (almost) as beautiful.


2. Piskies Cove

Parking: Prussia Cove or Bessy's Cove Car Park

When to visit: Low tide - theres no beach at high tide, but you can sit on the rocks.

Considerations: Moderately difficult access, no facilities, dogs are permitted all year round.

I discovered #PiskiesCove on a coastal walk from Perranuthnoe to Prussia Cove. I'd already been swimming three times that day and I opted to just admire Piskies from above and regretted it straight away. A few weeks later I engineered a camping trip with my friends around this beach and made sure we had a full beach day here - and it did not disappoint.

Sure, it might not look like exactly the Maldives, but it's a tiny cove that couldn't be more smuggler-ish if it tried. Plus the clarity of the water was truly spectacular.

If you feel like adding in a walk, I recommend trotting round past Bessy's Cove to the main beach at Prussia Cove, then onto Praa Sands if you fancy a pint on the beach.


3. Porthkidney Beach

Porthkidney beach at high tide with turquoise water and someone swimming

Parking: Porthkidney Sands Car Park or Carbis Bay

When to visit: Mid to low tide, though some beach is still accessible at high tide

Considerations: Easy access, no facilities, dogs permitted all year round.

#Porthkidney is Carbis Bay's less popular but equally beautiful big sister - I mean look at her? The beach is deceptively big at low tide, with huge stretches of rippled sand before you reach the water. Then, before you know it, the tide comes right up to the dunes and you have a huge, shallow turquoise expanse before you.

On a flat day, the old Hawkes Point lookout on the far western corner of this beach is undoubtably one of my most favourite places. You can spread out on the rocks like an old cat in the sunshine and jump in and out of this gorgeous sea whenever you please.

Also, just round the corner is #CarbisBay which is incredibly beautiful and has some excellent facilities. If you've got a little more energy you can stomp from here to St Ives, too. Then, when you're done, get the train back to Lelant Saltings and enjoy what many believe is the prettiest train journey in the UK.


And that's it for now! What do you think? Have you discovered your own tropical Cornish paradise?

Tell me about it in the comments, or get in touch with me over on instagram @candid_cornwall, I'd love to hear from you (any excuse to talk about Cornwall)!

Polly x


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