Top Cornish Beaches: distant shores…

7th August 2021

We’ve looked at the beaches close to St Ives as well as beaches in West Cornwall: but what about places further afield? If you’re happy to drive a little way, there are plenty of other beaches within easy reach.


With over 300 beaches in Cornwall, it’s not easy to narrow it down. However, we’ve chosen a few of our favourite Cornish beaches, which are worth going the extra mile (or so) for.

(We’ve given approximate travelling times, but please allow longer during busy periods.)

Beaches less than an hour from St Ives

Praa Sands

12 miles, approx. 30 minutes

This sandy beach is great for swimmers and surfers, and its facilities (shops, cafes and loos) make it perfect for families. After a day on the beach, carry on up the road to Porthleven and its great range of eateries.

Cornish beaches: Praa Sands

Source: Cornwall Guide


25 miles, approx. 40 minutes

The two-mile-long beach has a natural swimming pool and is a popular spot for surfers. Head for the quieter Penhale end in the busier season, as it’s a popular spot. Perranporth itself is a busy village with a choice of places to eat and shop.


Holywell Bay

30 miles, approx. 50 minutes

If you watched BBC1’s recent Poldark, you’ll recognise Holywell Bay from Gull Rocks, the twin formations 500m from the shore. This long, sandy beach is only six miles from Newquay but feels far more remote, especially in the quieter season. There’s a car park, and it’s not too far to a pub.

Cornish beaches: Holywell Bay

Source: Newquay Nightlife

Gyllyngvase Beach

29 miles, approx. 55 minutes

Gylly Beach is a town beach in Falmouth, so is super-close to all sorts of useful places. Families love this buzzing beach, and it’s a good spot for watersports. It’s even buggy-friendly. Make a day of it by exploring Falmouth itself, too.


Crantock Beach

31 miles, approx. 55 minutes

This National Trust-managed beach is a great all-round beach. Backed by sheltering dunes, it’s good for swimming, surfing and snorkelling, and you can hire boards and kayaks. There are car parks, cafes and shops nearby. Look out for dolphins who occasionally visit the Gannel Estuary.

Cornish beaches: Crantock

Source: Visit Cornwall

Beaches less than an hour and a half from St Ives


Fistral Bay

32 miles, approx. 1 hour

Global surfing destination and home of the Boardmasters festival, Fistral near Newquay is one of Cornwall’s most famous beaches. Experienced surfers won’t want to miss a trip to Fistral, and it’s also a great place to catch your first wave.

Cornish beaches: Fistral Bay Beach

Source: Cornwall Guide

Harlyn Bay

47 miles, approx. 1 hour 10 minutes

The golden sands of Harlyn Bay are much-loved by families, not least because four-footed friends are welcome there all year. It’s close to Padstow with its fabulous restaurants, bars and shops, and is often regarded as one of the best rookie surfers beaches.


Porthcurnick Beach

40 miles, approx. 1 hour 15 minutes

On the beautiful Roseland peninsula. Porthcurnick is a sandy cover owned by the National Trust. It’s a great place for rockpooling, and is probably best-known these days for the Hidden Hut for fantastic beachside food. There’s a car park a shirt walk away from the beach.Cornwall Beaches: Porthcurnick Beach

Source: Country Living

Constantine Bay Beach

46 miles, approx. 1 hour 20 minutes

This is another one of Cornwall’s much-loved surfing beaches. With its golden shore and sand dunes,

It’s a beautiful spot to hang out, even if you’re not a surfer. It’s not the best for swimming (rip tides); however it is great for rock pools, and at low tide you can walk to the beach next door, Booby’s Bay. Park at Treyarnon and walk along the coast path to reach Constantine.

A bit further from St Ives


Port Quin and Port Gaverne

52 miles, approx. 1 hour 40 minutes

These are two small coves near Port Isaac (of ITV’s Doc Martin fame). Port Quin is a peaceful rocky cove owned by the National Trust, and a popular spot for kayaking and snorkelling. Port Gaverne is a small shingly beach, where dogs are welcome all year. Visit these as a pair, with a spot of lunch in Port Isaac.

Cornish beaches: Port Gaverne Beach

Source: Visit Cornwall

Ready Money Cove

54 miles, approx. I hour 40 minutes

If you’re heading up to Fowey for the day, take a break from the shops, galleries and bars for a paddle and a rest on the shore. There are plenty of appealing little coves to choose from around the Fowey Estuary, and this sheltered sandy cove is a real favourite. The former coach house above the beach used to belong to Daphne Du Maurier.


Widemouth Bay

70 miles, approx. 1 hour 50 minutes

This is quite a trek, but this 2-mile long sandy beach near Bude is spectacular. It has plenty of facilities, great rockpools, lifeguarded swimming, and free (yes, you read that right) parking areas at both ends. There are plenty of other good beaches near Bude, including Summerleaze and Crackington Haven.

Cornish beahces: Widemouth BaySource: Visit Cornwall


You’re never far from a beach in Cornwall, and some of the Duchy’s best beaches are close to St Ives. However, if you fancy exploring further, we hope this has given you a few ideas! As ever, if you want to know more, speak to the local experts at Reception.