South Cornwall beach holidays

Sheltered coves and subtropical gardens

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Jules Pearson

Sophie Gackowski
HomeAway travel expert

South Cornwall beach holidaysSouth Cornwall is a land of pretty villages and peaceful harbours; an area known for its seafood restaurants and quirky attractions. Its beautiful bays (like Lantic Bay, pictured left), and subtropical gardens are nowhere near as rugged as the landscapes of the North – but that’s the point. it’s a sheltered landscape with gentle waters, home to little towns like Polperro – of smuggling fame – and sites like the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan. With a holiday cottage in South Cornwall you’re just minutes away from the incredible South West Coast Path, too, offering peaceful strolls and difficult hikes for walkers of all ages and abilities. 

Whether you’re here to watch local fishermen chug away against the sea breeze, or simply sunbathe whilst the British sun makes its short-lived appearance, South Cornwall’s always going to be a great bet for a break. Ready to start booking? Great! But before you do, here’s my guide to South Cornwall’s best beaches.


Top five spots for beach holidays in South Cornwall


Beach holidays in Looe Beach holidays in Looe

When in Looe, you need look no further than Whitsand Bay, pictured left –  its enormous cliffs and golden sands are enough to amaze any city dweller. That said, you’ll find East Looe, Portwrinkle, Seaton and Hannafore if you do branch out! As for the town itself, Looe is one of Cornwall’s oldest fishing ports, and still going strong today – its 16th-century buildings stand testament to it. Sample this morning’s catch at award-winning restaurants overlooking the harbour, or head out to sea on an organised fishing trip for mackerel.

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Beach holidays in Falmouth Beach holidays in Falmouth

Why is Falmouth one of the most popular destinations for beach holidays? Simply put, there are six spectacular shores in and around the town – and that’s just within walking distance. Tiny Nansidwell and picturesque Helford Passage are two coves surrounded by woods, while Swanpool and Castle Beach are lovely, long stretches. Gyllyngvase Beach was awarded a Blue Flag in 2013, and Maenporth Beach – pictured left – has lovely shallow waters for children. At night, explore the town’s relaxed wine bars.

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Beach holidays in St Austell Beach holidays in St Austell

An area discovered in the 18th century to be filled with china clay, St Austell soon became an important hub, shipping its product all over the world. Today, it’s a popular holiday spot, filled with cafés and restaurants, shops and holiday homes – and it’s just a short distance from the Eden Project. As for its beaches, there’s no shortage: Pentewan is a popular place for windsurfing, while Par Sands is backed by dunes. If you’re not sampling one of Falmouth’s cosy pubs in the evening, sample the sunset over Porthpean – it’s outstanding.

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Beach holidays in Mevagissey Beach holidays in Mevagissey

There’s nothing quite like walking through old Mevagissey, taking in its streets that date back to 1313 – but then there’s nothing like watching its little twin harbour, as lobster and sole are brought in for your meal. Illuminated in the evening and humming with the chatter of friends, Mevagissey has to be one of Cornwall’s loveliest towns – and its beach isn’t bad, either. The privately owned Porthluney Beach offers a long stretch of golden sand, and a backdrop of Caerhays Castle. Gorran Haven, nearby, is also popular with families.

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Other beaches in South Cornwall Other beaches in South Cornwall

South Cornwall’s sheltered position makes it a fantastic spot for those looking to lie back and, well, relax! Polperro is home to three beaches – Lantic Bay, Lansallos Beach and Talland Bay – and all are as quiet as they are secluded. Backed by lush grass and opening to shallow, turquoise waters, they’re joined by the similarly lovely coves found in Fowey: Polkerris, Polridmouth Cove and Readymoney. Not forgetting the entirety of the Lizard peninsula. For more information on the best beaches in Cornwall, simply check out VisitCornwall.

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South East Cornwall Holiday Rentals

Character Cottage Near Looe. Walk To Beach. Fantastic Setting For Walkers.

A walk to the beach. A pretty, high standard end terraced renovated 17th century character cottage in the Nat Trust beauty spot of Lansallos, 2 1/2 miles from Polperro and 7 miles from Looe, South Cornwall. The cottage has been tastefully modernis...

Huge House, reasonable tariff, free parking, dog friendly, stunning sea views

SOUTH FACING with sun shinning in the garden from early morning until the evening. Located in the heart of Polperro, overlooking the Harbour and the gentle goings with the PRICES HELD AT 2013 RATE. Property has INFINITY BROADBAND AND BT SPORT!. Co...

Ducks Dive - Gorgeous little property in superb Cornish gardens

This fully self-contained part of a delightful country house provides very comfortable accommodation for those seeking peace and quiet but with the bustling port of Looe nearby. Stunning gardens and baby ducks at the front door are just some of ...

Portwrinkle Apartment - superb sea views, close to beach & restaurants

Portwrinkle is a luxury one bedroomed, first floor apartment with uninterrupted sea and coastal views from the living/dining area. A fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable lounge and bedroom with en-suite shower room make it an ideal choice for ...

Pierinn House, Magnificent sea & harbour views, close to pubs/restaurants

PierInn House is a 4 Star Visit England Rated house and is situated in a prime position on the original harbour wall of the historic fishing village of Polperro. This beautiful 17th Century cottage enjoys outstanding uninterrupted views of the har...

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