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Planning a beach holiday in North Cornwall? You should be – this is serious surfing country (though it’s safe to say sunbathers, scuba divers and watersports fans won’t go unsatisfied, either!). More rugged than South Cornwall, its sweeping bays of warm, golden sand stretch for 40 miles from Perranporth to Bude, offering great Atlantic rollers backed by fantastic cliff-sides – in truth, there’s possibly no better spot in Britain to hop upon your board and tackle those waves. Bright, turquoise seascapes and grassy cliff faces await those who’d rather enjoy coastal walks along the Camel Trail, or take day trips to sites like Tintagel Castle.
In fact, when you’re not sunning yourself on the sand, the North’s collection of thriving seaside towns ensures you’re kept busy: from heritage safaris to spas, art galleries to gardens, beaches won’t be the only thing that’ll make your break the best one yet. Tempted? Here’s my guide to the best beaches in North Cornwall.
Top five spots for beach holidays in North Cornwall
Beach holidays in Padstow
Book a holiday cottage in Padstow, and you’ll have no less than nine stretches to explore along the Camel Estuary. Families, check out Harlyn Bay; surfers, head down to Constantine. Looking for somewhere more sheltered? Make your way to Mother Ivey’s Bay on the Trevose Headland, pictured left, for a stroll. This little fishing port is also a hotspot for foodies, so treat yourself to the freshest seafood and sample Paul Ainsworth’s dishes down at Number 6 – he featured on the BBC’s Great British Menu back in 2011.
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Beach holidays in Bude
Duckpool and Widemouth, Sandymouth and Crackington Haven – Bude’s beaches may have funny names but they’re all brilliant spots for families. Come here in summer, and shores are packed with little ones enjoying sun, sea and sand, pattering bare feet in front of pastel-coloured beach huts as they master the construction of sandcastles. Crooklets Beach, pictured left, is a great spot for crabbing, as is Summerleaze – ask at the tourist information centre in town and they can kit your kids out with everything they’ll need!
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Beach holidays in Newquay
If you want to explore a different beach every morning (and perhaps eat a different ice-cream alongside) you can’t go wrong with a stay in Newquay. A pretty town surrounded by seven miles of sandy shores, it’s a wonderful family resort with eleven stretches to choose from – as well as plenty of attractions for when the weather isn’t on your side. Explore rockpools at Great Western or enjoy a stroll along Watergate Beach, pictured left. Surfers, however, will want to head for Fistral Beach, the epicentre of surf culture in the UK.
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Beach holidays in St Agnes
Once a centre for Cornish mining, today St Agnes is a lovely and laid-back sort of place – a town for those seeking a quieter beach break. Its main shore is Trevaunance Cove, one of Cornwall’s best-kept secrets when it comes to spectacular shores – come here when the tide’s out to walk to neighbouring Trevallas Porth. Better known but equally breathtaking is Chapel Porth Beach, its enormous waves crashing against the sand and its sea spray truly revitalising. Back in town, why not travel to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm?
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Other beaches in North Cornwall
From Boscastle to Mawgan Porth, Perranporth to Wadebridge, North Cornwall’s filled with beautiful towns, and with each comes a selection of beaches. The Blue Flag 2013 beach at Polzeath is known for dolphin sightings, while Porthtowan has cocktail bars ready to quench your thirst. Rock Beach has been known for its celebrity guests, while Port Gaverne in Port Isaac is surely one of Cornwall’s most serene. In truth, we couldn’t possibly do justice to the North Coast’s every offering – for more info, simply check out VisitCornwall.
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Written by Sophie Gackowski
North Cornwall Holiday Rentals
• Very private outdoor heated swimming pool (March to September ).
• Luxurious outdoor Hot Tub for 6 persons (March to September ).
• Games Room with pool table/Sky TV and Playstation.
• Children’s playroom with TV (Freeview) and Playstation.
Sleeps 4. Two bedroom bungalow situated in the Parkland grounds of Penstowe Manor, a 19th Century Cotswold-style manor house. On-site facilities include heated indoor and outdoor pools within the Manor House grounds, bars, restaurant and children'...
This beautifully remodeled holiday home is perfect for family holidays with a very large, open plan living space incorporating a contemporary kitchen, TV lounge and dining area and a retractable glass wall to the outside space. Located within a he...
Looking for a gorgeous rural holiday let with local amenities and beaches within a short drive? Look no further! Reeve House Annex has been beautifully refurbished to a very high standard and has fabulous views over surrounding countryside with Bo...
A brilliantly situated holiday cottage with three bedrooms (one double, one twin and a single) and a large, open plan kitchen/diner. The location is perfect, and everything you’ll want is within a two minute walk - beach, canal wharf, shops, resta...