South Cornwall beaches near Green Acres Cottages
Whether you prefer sunny days on the beach, rock-pooling, water sports, dog walks or the romance of smuggling legends, the beaches of south Cornwall have it all.
The Cornish Riviera
Green Acres is situated on what’s been termed the “Cornish Riviera” and has been the subject of novelists and artists attracted by the coves, bays and golden sands.
The pretty fishing town of Fowey is just 5 miles away where you can take the Boddinick ferry over to visit the beaches around Looe and Polperro. Mevagissey, lying 10 miles further down the southern coast, can also be accessed by ferry from Fowey.
St Austell beaches
Built on the China Clay industry, St Austell centre lies slightly inland to the shoreline, with its port of Charlestown and beaches to the south. Famous resident, Daphne du Maurier lived and is rumoured to have set her novel ‘Rebecca’ here, whilst the Georgian port of Charlestown has been used as the location for numerous films and TV series, one being the popular ‘Poldark’ series.
Wind down the fern and ivy clad wooded lanes dotted with fishermen’s cottages to the harbour and sheltered sandy beach. Harbour parking for pub patrons only, pay and display halfway up lane. Shop, café, pub and toilets. Seasonal dog ban.
Before heading down to Polkerris, take the track to Menabilly and Gribben head. Home of author Daphne du Maurier, there’s National Trust parking and a signpost directing “pedestrian access to Polridmouth beach and Gribben Head by footpath past farm buildings.”
Made up of Crinnis, Shorthorn and Polgaver beaches, Carlyon Bay is a coarse sandy beach stretching almost 2 miles. Crinnis, at the western end, is popular and good for fishing whilst Shorthorn in the middle and Polgaver are more secluded. Car park close by and facilities. No dogs.
Sandy beach with shallow water. Dog friendly. Café, toilets and parking.
A private sandy beach close to Charlestown. Year round dog ban.
Sandy and pebbly beach close to the Georgian harbour and used as a film location. Scuba diving and sailing popular. Year round dog ban.
A sandy beach with rock pools, popular with families as it’s safe for swimming and has toilets and a snack bar. Sailing club and canoeing. Seasonal dog ban.
A large sandy beach with a car park, toilets and refreshments at a nearby holiday park. Good for water sports, although jet skis are banned. Seasonal dog ban.
South from the St Austell area, the picturesque town of Mevagissey is one of the oldest fishing ports in Cornwall. Surrounded by the natural headland of Dodman Point, it is also popular with fossil hunters.
Accessed along the south west coast path from Mevagissey, the quiet sandy beach is sheltered by the cliffs. Facilities and parking in Mevagissey. Dog friendly.
Sandy beach with limited parking. Facilities in Mevagissey. Dog friendly.
Sandy and sheltered beach on the seafront of the fishing village, once popular for pilchard catches. It has a small harbour with a stone pier and facilities in the village. Dog friendly.
A sandy, dog friendly beach. No facilities.
Sitting below Dodman Point headland, the sand and shingle beach gently slopes to the water. Unofficial nudist beach at one end. 20 minutes to the car park at Gorran Haven. Dog friendly.
Small, sandy, dog friendly beach. No facilities.
Part of the Caerhays Estate, the sandy beach is sheltered and has a ban on water craft. Shop, toilets. Dog friendly.
Amble down the narrow streets of Fowey, a Britain in Bloom Gold winning fishing town and explore the maze of shops, cafès, bistros and galleries. Take the Boddinick ferry over to Looe, or the ferry to Mevagissey.
A small beach in Fowey, uncovered at low tide only with a seawater paddling pool. Seasonal dog ban.
Two sheltered sand and shingle coves set off the beaten track and rarely busy. Car park about 10 minutes walk up a farm track. The beach can disappear at high tide. Dog friendly.
Sandy beach in a small sheltered cove looking out towards the Fowey estuary. Slipway and rock pools. Disabled parking only at the beach but parking is available away from the beach and is signposted from the town. Pleasant walk to St Catherines Castle. Toilets. Seasonal dog ban.
Park at Lansallos village to access the small sandy beach. Waterfall at one end. Seasonal dog ban.
Pebble and shingle beach which can have strong rip tides. Dog friendly. Parking at National Trust car park Polruan.
Park at the National Trust car park in Polruan to access the sand and pebble beach at low tide only. Toilets by car park. Dog friendly.
Towards the north of Green Acres and positioned on both sides of the Looe River, the town was once a hub for pilchard fishing but has also been a popular tourist spot for over 200 years.
Small, sandy dog friendly beach, only accessible at low tide but in a very picturesque harbour area of the working fishing village. Cafés, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops, a museum and toilets close by.
Sandy beach with lots of rock pools but can disappear at high tide. No dogs.
A rocky beach with sand and shingle which has views of St George’s Island at low tide. Dog friendly.
One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall with a wide crescent of golden sand, safe, shallow waters and a pier at one end. At low tide, Plaidy beach can be reached. Sitting directly in front of the town, amenities are on hand but car parks fill quickly in the summer. No dogs.
A small sand and shingle beach with rock pools at low tide. Backing onto a residential area, parking can be limited and the best option is to park at Milldreath and walk. Dog friendly.
Wind down the narrow lanes to the cove at Talland to discover two small sandy beaches, one of which disappears at high tide. Rock pools, boat launch and natural tidal pools as well as parking and a café. Dog friendly.
A steeply sloping sand and pebble beach at the foot of the River Seaton valley, popular with families but can have unpredictable currents. Car park, café, shop and toilets. Dog friendly.
Popular with snorkelers wanting to explore the wreck of the Cutty Sark’s sister ship, the ‘Gypsy,’ Downderry is sheltered by cliffs and is largely grey sand and shingle with rock pools. The main beach is easily accessible with a pub situated on the shore. The eastern end is popular with naturists and can be accessed via a steep cliff path. Dog friendly.
Beaches further afield:
Gyllyngvase in Falmouth is a large, sandy blue flag beach with seasonal life guard cover, amenities and a seasonal dog ban. There are numerous coves and beaches such as Maenporth which offers great family facilities as well as seafaring activities with a shipwreck visable at low tide.
Kynance Cove towards the Lizard has been popular since Victorian times with bright turquoise water, islands and caves. Remote and beautiful, it is one of the most photographed and painted coves in Cornwall. Accessed via a 10 minute walk from the National Trust Car Park, there is a seasonal dog ban.
Penzance and St Ives have some beautiful beaches with Marazion overlooking St Michael’s Mount and St Ives blue flag beaches of Porthmeor and the sheltered Porthminster being ideal for families.
The north coast beaches from St Agnes up to Hayle have a rugged coastline with great coves and bays full of caves, rock pools and stretches of golden sand. Often renown for their rip tides, Newquay’s Fistral and Watergate Bay beaches are popular with surfers. Porthtowan is a blue flag winner as well as Polzeath, just north of the Camel Estuary, where you can park on the beach!