The 7 Best Beaches in Cornwall for Families

The 7 Best Beaches in Cornwall for Families

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There are tens if not hundreds of beaches in Cornwall suitable for families.

But which to choose? It’s a great problem to have, but internet research can leave you scrolling through a confusion of guides until your Porthlevens merge with your Porthkidneys.

We’ve whittled things down and compiled the perfect 7 best beaches in Cornwall for families. Our criteria for this article are safety and convenience, with bucketfuls of beauty thrown in.

These best family beaches in Cornwall are places you’ll access easily and the kids will play safely. You’ll also grab a coffee or soft drink and even find somewhere to have a pee afterwards.

You won’t be taking dangerous hikes down cliff faces (hello, Pedn Vounder) to visit these family-friendly spots. And you won’t be stuck on a paradisical stretch of sand with ‘water, water everywhere nor an icy beverage to drink’.

Most of these beaches are lifeguarded in peak season, but always do some extra research nearer the time.

Here’s our best beaches in Cornwall for families.

Hayle Towans

Hayle Towans’ Black Cliff Beach has got it all. Honey-coloured sand so fine you’ll build high-definition sandcastles. Views across turquoise waters to that jewel in the crown of Cornish towns, St Ives. Café and pub/restaurant facilities nearby. There’s plenty of parking and even a ramp down to the sands (you’ll find it adjacent to the Bluff pub and restaurant). This is a stunning beach where kids have fun, parents can relax and lifelong memories are made.

Porthminster, St Ives

Of all the dreamscape beaches in St Ives, this has to be the most family-friendly. You’ll experience soft sands, the dazzling blue waters of St Ives, and the chicest whitewashed restaurants and cafes lining the shore for epic dining or snacks. Porthminster is right beneath the train station, so it’s perfect if you’re leaving your car behind (clever you) and coming in by rail to this hotspot. There’s also some parking and public toilets nearby.

Sennen

Hands down one of the best beaches in Cornwall for families, Sennen’s sands sit in a picturesque village adjacent to all the facilities you’ll need. So, after the necessary dipping and sandcastle-building, you’ll have access to good food and drinks, ice creams and even a bit of gift shopping. There’s a car park right against the shore, but let’s be realistic – in the height of congested midsummer a hike down the hill from the top car park (admittedly, a 10-minute, steep walk away) will be a better option.

Marazion

People come from all over the world to visit Marazion and St Michael’s Mount. The town has responded by building plenty of parking space right up to the sands, which makes this must-see destination surprisingly easy to access and one of the best family beaches in Cornwall.

When the tide is low, you can walk and walk in the water with the depth hardly rising – great for splashing about with little ones. After your beach activities, there are plenty of nooks and cobbled crannies for drinks, eats, takeaway pasties and upmarket craft shopping. In the summer holidays, even the large beachside car park gets busy, but overflow parking a 5-10 minute walk away should be available. Just follow the signs.

Mousehole

There’s something magical about pootling about on a harbour beach among pleasure and fishing boats, ropes criss-crossing the sands. Kids love the two little sandy beaches in Mousehole harbour. There’s legendary eating spots, deli style snackeries and ice cream takeaways nearby. If it gets hot, a welcome walk through shaded cobbled alleyways is the order of the day – well worth an explore. Parking is available in the village and just outside, but it does get busy. Your only option in midsummer is to get here early. Since it’s one of the best beaches in Cornwall for families, that’s a sacrifice well worth making!

Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

Falmouth is a proper Cornish maritime town with a beach to die for. Gyllyngvase is a gorgeous curve of sand with generally calm waters and stunning views out towards Pendennis Castle and beyond. There are lovely spots for a bite to eat right against the beach. You’ll find parking nearby. And the culinary, shopping and boat-spotting delights of Falmouth town are just a few minutes’ walk away…

Perranporth

Official. Perranporth has to be the best beach in Cornwall for families with dogs. This is a kids’ paradise that also allows four-legged beach fanciers all year around (although they must be kept on a lead in July and August from 10am-5pm). The real joy of Perranporth is the wide-open spaces at low tide, plus the chance for kids to explore caves and sea pools. Parents, meanwhile, can also ‘explore’ a few local ales at the pub right on the beach. There are several car parks close to the beach and toilet facilities nearby.

A final word

While we rate these beaches as great for families, no ocean spot is completely safe for kids. Do your own research and also monitor young ones at all times. Our top tip – always ask a knowledgeable local for advice.

 

If you’d like more Cornwall beach guides, check out our post on 10 of the best beaches across Cornwall, and the best dog-friendly beaches near Penzance. Incidentally, portside town Penzance is a great place to base yourself for visiting the best beaches in Cornwall for families. Most of our magnificent seven are less than a 20-minute drive from the town famous for its eating and drinking out, independent shopping and piratey vibes. We’d love to see you.