The Best Beach in North Cornwall?

Recently, two national newspapers have chosen their favourite beaches in the country and happily, they are on the North Cornish coast.  However, they’re about as different as they could be.  Here are our thoughts on their choices, and how to choose the right beach for you.

Polzeath, as chosen by The Independent

Lusty Glaze (near Newquay)

The Sunday Times recently named Newquay’s Lusty Glaze beach as its best of the year.  Set a short drive away from Newquay, this doesn’t feel like a town beach, and yet it is usually far from deserted.  A range of outlets provide excellent options for eating, and there are toilets and some great sporting activities including surf hire.  If you were wondering, its name comes from the Cornish ‘Lostyn Glas’, meaning the place to view blue boats!  Lusty Glaze is hard to beat in terms of facilities, and offers some beautiful views – but be warned, you won’t feel like you’re escaping the crowds.

The Times’ article can be found here.

Bossiney Cove (near Tintagel)

The Independent compiled a least of 13 of its favourite beaches, and all three that were in Cornwall can be found on the North Coast:  Bossiney Cove (near Tintagel) is the first, and is the other extreme to Lusty Glaze.  There aren’t any facilities whatsoever; no lifeguards, no surf hire – just a sandy cove reached by steep stone steps.  Personally, we feel that this is one of the loveliest beaches in Cornwall – the sand is beautifully soft, the views are terrific, and the water is good for careful swimmers.  However, for families with a lot to carry, or people wanting ice-creams and surf-hire, it may not tick the right boxes.  

Bossiney Cove

Bude Sea Pool

Bude Sea Pool was also chosen by The Independent, and although it doesn’t have the prestigious music events of Lusty Glaze, it is part of a town beach (Summerleaze) so there are still great facilities on offer.  Again, you won’t have this place to yourself, but it’s a wonderfully safe and fun place to have a dip – in fact it’s one of the last remaining tidal pools in the country.

Polzeath (near Padstow)

Polzeath was the last Cornish beach to be chosen by The Independent this year – it is always a hit with families and is popular year round.  It is a sandy beach that extends nearly half a mile at low tide, and has some good facilities including a café, toilets, and surf hire, and a car-park which is next to the beach.  It also was awarded the prestigious Blue Flag in 2017 for its water quality and facilities.

The Independent’s article can be found here.

We think that the diversity of the beaches chosen shows how impossible it is to pick a best beach in North Cornwall, because everyone is looking for something slightly different.  

Widemouth Bay near Bude

As for our pick, in addition to the above, for those wanting easy access and good facilities, we would recommend:

Widemouth Bay near Bude As for our pick, in addition to the above, for those wanting easy access and good facilities, we would recommend:

Widemouth Bay (near Bude) – a wide sandy beach, safe for swimming and surfing with good facilities – recently given a Blue Flag.

Sandymouth (near Bude) – a little quieter than most of the Bude beaches, but still has a seasonal café and surf hire.

Trebarwith (near Tintagel) – make sure you visit towards low tide when there is a long sandy beach to explore, with shops, cafés and a good pub. Alternatively, if you’re wanting a bit of peace and quiet in an unspoilt cove, we would recommend:
Stanbury Mouth (north of Bude) – a half mile walk from the car park is enough to deter most people who miss out on this spectacular shingle beach.

Tregardock (near Tintagel) – a beach to find at low tide, surrounded by huge cliffs with caves – a steep walk from the tiny car park makes this a beautiful but underused beach.

The Strangles (near Crackington Haven) – a very impressive series of coves that join up at low tide, reached by a long meandering steep path that weaves through a lunar landscape.

Please note that the beaches above do not have any lifeguard cover so swimming or surfing can be risky.