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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
Down House is an imposing and elegant residence situated with views over the golf course and within a few minutes’ walk of the fabulous beach at Crooklets Bay and also the centre of Bude which has an excellent array of restaurants and shops. Noted...
Aa fantastic property offering luxurious accommodation in a sympathetically restored house with all modern amenities. Step into the entrance hall with natural stone floor tiles and immediately feel at home in this beautiful house. With five bedroo...
LUXURIOUS COASTAL PROPERTY WITH SEA VIEWS This stunning detached property nestles in a quiet residential area on the outskirts of Bude town centre. With a beach and selection of amenities within walking distance it provides a great base for a rela...
Ocean Retreat is a ground floor, semi-detached cottage set less than two miles from Tintagel in Cornwall. There are three bedrooms, two king-size doubles (one of which offers an en-suite bathroom), along with a children's bunk bedroom, meaning the...
Henford Lodge is a detached, single-storey lodge set on a holiday park, near the National Trust owned beach of Sandymouth, five miles from Bude. This cottage sleeps four people in two bedrooms, consisting of one double and one twin, as well as a b...