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Lifeguarded beaches in Cornwall holiday cottages

Lifeguarded beaches in Cornwall

Renowned worldwide for its surf, rugged cliffs and spectacular coastline, Cornwall draws in millions of visitors every year to its idyllic seaside haunts.

One of the best things about a holiday to this region is the inevitable trip to one of its breathtaking beaches that line the South West. From long, exposed stretches of fine white sand to sheltered, shale coves hidden from sight, the extensive variety of beaches showcases the striking diversity of Cornwall’s magnificent coastline. Many of the beaches throughout this county are covered by professional lifeguards at various times throughout the year. The sea is one of the most beautiful yet powerful forces on earth and conditions at the beach can change rapidly, so make sure you’re aware of the nearest lifeguard points and always follow their instructions.

Whether you are going to lounge on the sand, swim in the shallows or planning to conquer the famous Cornish surf, there’s nothing more important than staying safe at the seaside. Read through our guide to lifeguarded beaches in Cornwall and plan an unforgettable trip to one of these beautiful seaside locations.

With 52 beaches to choose from, you won’t be short of sand, sun and surf during your holiday in Cornwall.

  1. Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 1 mile east of St Ives

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Parking available in the beachfront carpark.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Beach shop, café, toilets, lost child centre, first aid post

  1. Chapel Porth

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 2 miles west of St Agnes

Dog friendly? No dogs allowed between Easter and October.

Parking: National Trust owned car park on the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: National Trust café and toilets

  1. Constantine Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September as well as Easter bank holiday weekend. Weekend cover in October and full cover from 20th - 28th October.

Location: 3 miles west of Padstow

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year.

Parking: Limited parking - it is best to park at Treyarnon Bay and walk the coast path to Constantine Bay which takes approximately 10 minutes.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, surf shop

  1. Crackington Haven

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 2nd June - 10th June as well as 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 10 miles west of Bude

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Pay and display car park available at the beach.

Beach Type: Sandy, rocky, shingle

Facilities: 2 cafes, shop, pub, toilets, surf hire

  1. Crantock

Crantock Beach

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 4 miles west of Newquay

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round.

Parking: Pollyjoke pay and display car park close to the beach or you may park up on Pentire Headland.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Beach kiosk open during summer months.

  1. Crooklets

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 1 mile north of Bude

Dog friendly? There is a seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Car park located next to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Disabled access, shops, toilets, café, outdoor swimming pool

  1. Fistral

Fistral Beach

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from Easter Bank Holiday to the end of October.

Location: 2 miles west of Newquay

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: 250 parking spaces available at Fistral beach, with charges varying throughout the year.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Surf centre, toilets, cafes, surfboard and wetsuit hire, nearby golf course

  1. Freathy

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 15 miles south of Saltash

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Pay and display car park located just across the road from Freathy Point.

Beach type: Sandy with rocky coves when the tide comes in

Facilities: n/a

  1. Godrevy

Lifeguard service: Summer lifeguard service located on Peter’s Point from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 5 miles north of Hayle

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: National Trust owned car park

Beach type: Sandy with a low, rocky headland

Facilities: Cafe by the car park

  1. Gunwalloe

Gunwalloe

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 5 miles south of Helston

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: National Trust owned car park located just above the beach.

Beach type: Sandy cove

Facilities: Cafe

  1. Gwenver / Gwynver

Lifeguard service: Full-time lifeguard service operating from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 8 miles west of Penzance

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: Car park open on the top of the cliff throughout summer with a 10+ minute walk down to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy, set at the base of a grassy cliff

Facilities: n/a

  1. Gwithian

Lifeguard service: Fully operating service daily from 5th May - 30th September as well as Easter Bank Holiday weekend and weekends during October.

Location: 3 miles north of Hayle

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between Easter Day and 1st October.

Parking: Parking available between the road and the beach.

Beach type: Sandy with rock pools

Facilities: Cafe and beach shop by main car park

  1. Gyllyngvase

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 2 miles south of Falmouth

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between Easter Day and 1st October.

Parking: Pay and display car park next to the beach (free in winter months).

Beach type: Sandy with rock pools

Facilities: Beach cafe, disabled access

  1. Harlyn Bay

Harlyn Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September as well as Easter Bank Holiday Weekend and weekends during April.

Location: 3 miles west of Padstow

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round.

Parking: Car park available to use in the village.

Beach type: Sandy with rock pools and sand dunes

Facilities: n/a

  1. Hayle Towans

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily between 5th May - 30th September as well as Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

Location: 2 miles north of Hayle

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Pay and display parking behind beach.

Beach type: Sandy with rock pools

Facilities: Disabled access

  1. Holywell Bay

Lifeguard service: Summer lifeguard cover operates between 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 6 miles south-west of Newquay

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round.

Parking: Car park available to use right next to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: n/a

  1. Kennack Sands

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate on weekends between 19th May - 6th July then daily from July 7th - 2nd September.

Location: 5 miles north east of Lizard

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban on the main beach in place between Easter and October (between 7am and 7pm) while the East beach (furthest from the car park) allows dogs all year.

Parking: Large car park available to use at the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Shop, cafe and toilets

  1. Longrock

Lifeguard service: Marazion lifeguards are on duty at the eastern end of the beach during the summer months.

Location: 2 miles east of Penzance

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: Parking is available in Longrock village and right next to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Longrock village has a shop, pubs and petrol station.

  1. Lusty Glaze

Lusty Glaze

Lifeguard service: Seasonal lifeguards operate from April to October.

Location: 0.5 miles east of Newquay

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between 31st May - 30th September.

Parking: Large field available for parking at the top of the cliff which overlooks the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Restaurants, children’s creche, beach shop, showers and changing rooms.

  1. Marazion

Lifeguard service: Seasonal lifeguard service operates during the summer months from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 5 miles east of Penzance

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: There are a number of car parks available to use on the beach front to the west of town.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Marazion town has a host of facilities, including shops and cafes.

  1. Mawgan Porth

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguard cover daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 5 miles north of Newquay

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round.

Parking: Car parking is available opposite the entrance to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Gift shops, beach shops, toilets

  1. Mexico Towans

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 3 miles north of Hayle

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: Car parking available close to the beaches.

Beach type: Sandy backed by sand dunes

Facilities: Nearby café and surf school

  1. Northcott Mouth

Lifeguard service: Lifeguard cover from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 2 miles north of Bude

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: There is a small car park next to the beach.

Beach type: Rocky with sand

Facilities: Café and toilets on the beachfront.

  1. Penhale Sands

Penhale

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguard cover daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 2 miles north of Perranporth

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: Pay and display parking is available nearby.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, lost child centre

  1. Pentewan

Lifeguard service: Unfortunately, no lifeguards operate at this beach, however there are lifebuoys and an emergency telephone on the beach.

Location: 7 miles south of St Austell

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between 1st March - 1st November.

Parking: There is a large pay and display car park at the rear of the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: There are toilets and refreshment facilities in town to the rear of the beach.

  1. Perranporth

Lifeguard service: There is RNLI lifeguard cover on Easter Bank Holiday Weekend as well as weekends throughout April, during the summer period from 5th May - 30th September and weekends throughout October.

Location: Perranporth

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round, although they must be kept on a lead during July and August between 9am and 5pm.

Parking: Pay and display car parks nearby

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, beach shops and cafes

  1. Poldhu Cove

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguard cover daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 6 miles north of Lizard

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Large car park available next to beach.

Beach type: Sandy cove

Facilities: Disabled access and cafe

  1. Polurrian Cove

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate weekends from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 6 miles north of Lizard

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: The nearest place to park is in Mullion village, an approximate 10-minute walk from the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Cafe

  1. Polzeath

Polzeath

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards cover the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, weekends during April, every day from 5th May - 30th September and weekends during October.

Location: 11 miles north of Wadebridge

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Several car parks close by

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Sand chairs, toilets, cafes, restaurants, surf hire

  1. Porth

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 2 miles north east of Newquay

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place between Easter and October

Parking: There is a pay and display car park on the beach with charges varying depending on the time of year.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Beach cafe, restaurant and shop

  1. Porthcothan Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 5 miles west of Padstow

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: There is parking available in the council-owned car park across the road from the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets and a beach shop located in the car park.

  1. Porthcurno

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: Porthcurno

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Large car park above beach

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Cafe, toilets at car park

  1. Porthkidney

Porthkidney

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 3 miles east of St Ives

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: Limited parking at Lelant Church

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: n/a

  1. Porthleven

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 7th July - 2nd September.

Location: 3 miles from Helston

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: Available around the harbour area

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: You will find a variety of facilities including cafes and restaurants in the town of Porthleven.

  1. Porthmeor

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate on Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, weekends during April and daily between May 5th and 30th September.

Location: Less than 1 mile from St Ives

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: As parking is often difficult in St Ives, it may be beneficial to park in St Erth or Lelant and then take a train to St Ives.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Cafe

  1. Porthminster

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: St Ives

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day until 1st October.

Parking: As parking is often difficult in St Ives, it may be beneficial to park in St Erth or Lelant and then take a train to St Ives.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Porthminster Beach is a 5-minute walk from St Ives town centre where there are plenty of facilities, including cafes and restaurants. There is also a cafe on the beach front.

  1. Porthtowan

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate over Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, weekends during April, daily from 5th May - 30th September and over weekends throughout October.

Location: 5 miles north of Redruth

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day until 1st October.

Parking: Pay and display car park next to the beach

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: There are toilets in pay and display car park and cafes along the beach front.

  1. Portreath

Portreath

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily throughout the summer from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 5 miles north-west of Redruth

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day until 1st October.

Parking: Privately owned car park on beach

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, disabled facilities, first aid post, lost child centre, café, restaurant, shops, surf life-saving club.

  1. Praa Sands

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September, Easter Bank Holiday Weekend and weekends throughout April.

Location: 6 miles west of Helston

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day until 1st October.

Parking: Car park available close to the beach

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, shops, cafes

  1. Sandy Mouth

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 5 miles north of Bude

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round.

Parking: There is a National Trust owned car park a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach, down a moderately steep track.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, seasonal cafe, surf hire

  1. Sennen Beach

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September and over. Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

Location:  9 miles south-west of Penzance

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day until 1st October.

Parking: The main car park is located on the beach, an overflow car park located at the top of the hill and an RNLI car park in the village.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, beach café/ restaurant, shop, surf hire.

  1. Sharrow

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September.

Location: 12 miles south of Saltash

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day until 1st October.

Parking: There is a pay and display car park located just across the road from Sharrow Beach.

Beach type: Sandy cove

Facilities: n/a

  1. Summerleaze

Summerleaze

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September as well as Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

Location: Less than a mile from Bude

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round, however they must be kept on a lead from 21st May - 30th September between 10am-6pm.

Parking: There is a large pay and display car park located on the beach as well as many other car parks in town.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Disabled access, toilets, café, shops, Bude town centre 5 minutes’ walk.

  1. Tolcarne

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: Newquay

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from 1st May - 30th September.

Parking: Although there is no car park specifically for the beach, there is a public car park that can be accessed behind Bristol Hotel.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Shop, surf school, crazy golf, toilets and café.

  1. Towan

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate weekends in April, daily from 5th May - 30th September and weekends throughout October.

Location:  Newquay

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round

Parking: There is parking available on the residential streets in Newquay town centre.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Disabled access and toilets, cafes, restaurants and other facilities in Newquay town centre.

  1. Trebarwith Strand

Treb

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 2 miles south of Tintagel

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round

Parking: There is a main car park set a little way up the valley and there is also a smaller car park close to the beach, as well as a handful of roadside spaces.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets

  1. Trevaunance Cove

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May – 30th September.

Location: 1 mile north of St Agnes

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round

Parking: There is a small Pay and display car park next to Trevaunance Cove as well as another car park a short walk away up the hill.

Beach type: Sandy, backed with high cliffs

Facilities: There is a pub, beach shop and toilets all within a few minutes’ walk.

  1. Trevone Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 19th May - 30th September.

Location: 3 miles west of Padstow

Dog friendly? Seasonal dog ban in place from Easter Day to 1st October.

Parking: There are two large car parks at either end of the beach and a handful of spaces next to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy with rocky ledges

Facilities: There are toilets, a café and a shop on the beach itself and other amenities in Trevone village, just a short walk away.

  1. Treyarnon Bay

Trey

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September.

Location: 5 miles west of Padstow

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round

Parking: Large car park next to the beach

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: There are toilets, beach kit hire and a shop at the top of the beach that are open during the summer.

  1. Watergate Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate daily from 5th May - 30th September as well as over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Location: 3 miles north of Newquay

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round.

Parking: Two pay and display car parks towards the centre of the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Toilets, beach café and shop

  1. Whitsand Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate between May and September.

Location:  12 miles south of Saltash

Dog friendly? Dogs welcome all year round.

Parking: Two car parks close to the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Cafe at Tregonhawke

  1. Widemouth

Widemouth Bay

Lifeguard service: RNLI lifeguards operate weekends in April, daily from 5th May - 30th September and weekends throughout October.

Location: 3 miles south of Bude

Dog friendly? Dogs are welcome all year round on Black Rock and South Beach only.

Parking: Free car parks at the north and south end of the beach.

Beach type: Sandy

Facilities: Seasonal cafe and toilets.

Additional safety information

How do you know if the beach is safe to use?

Know your flags and you will understand which beaches are perfect for swimming and which aren’t suitable. The three types of flag are the bathing flag, surfing flag and danger flag.

Red and yellow

The bathing flag is yellow and red. There will be two on the beach, swim between them as they signal a safe zone of water. They also identify it as a lifeguarded beach. 

Black and white

The surfing flag is chequered black and white, and it signals that surfers are using this patch of water. For your own safety, swimming is not recommended.

Red flag

The danger flag is red. Do not enter the water if you see this flag.

Which of these beaches are you hoping to visit?

Cornwall’s coast is one of the UK’s most desirable holiday destinations. Its endless natural beauty draws millions, so whether you travel to surf the rugged northern beaches or relax on the scenic stretches of sand down south, ensure you stay safe by visiting a lifeguarded beach.

Can’t decide which beach is for you? Get inspired by browsing our range of accommodation and let the destination choose you.

(All this information is accurate at the time of writing and subject to change. Please check local information before travel.) 

Author: Molly Durham

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