Finding the best beaches on holiday can be hit and miss. That long stretch of unbroken gold on the map can turn out to have a china clay factory casting its shadow across your deck chair, while a large sign stating ‘DANGER – No Swimming’ blocks your view of the sea. That quaint little cove that looks so unspoilt on Google Images will remain just that, when you discover that the foot path shown on your OS map was drawn on by your toddler in biro, and you would in fact need to abseil to reach it.
So what’s the easiest way to find the best beaches? Local knowledge, of course! The beaches below are the ones that we and our local family and friends choose to go to, and they’re all within easy reach of Treworgey. They might not all be perfect for you, but this blog will give you a good idea of what they’re really like and a few tips to make the most of them too! (The pic below is Lantic Bay).
Portnadler – 10min drive, 10min walk, dog friendly all year
Park (for free) at Hannafore in West Looe, on the side of the road (get as far along the road as you can to get as near as possible to the start of the coast path). Walk onto the coast path and head West for about 10 minutes. Look out for the first option to go left – it doesn’t look like much, but a little footpath meanders through the undergrowth and leads to a long, steep wooden staircase down to the beach. At low tide, the beach is really big and is almost in two parts. Go along to the more Westerly beach for more sand (less pebbles) and a more pleasant entry for swimming – but don’t get stuck when the tide comes in! Nearest toilets are near where you parked, at Hannafore.
Lantic – 20min drive, 20min walk, steep climb, dog friendly all year
In our view, the most beautiful bay in the area. You get a particularly spectacular view of it, with turquoise sea on sunny days, from the top of the cliff as you start the rather steep descent. We do this regularly with our backpack baby carrier, but there’s no way you could do it with a pram!
Park in the National Trust carpark (SX157516) which has toilets. Free parking for NT members. Turn left out of the carpark (on foot), cross the lane at the T junction and join a footpath. When this opens out into a field, turn left and follow the hedge to a gate, then head down. The beach is sandy at the back, shingle nearer the water, with a fairly steep seabed where you enter the water.
Lansallos – 20min drive, 15min easy walk, dog friendly all year
Another favourite in our family for generations. Park by the beautiful ancient church (which is worth stopping in at) and follow the footpath into the woods. The path is easy and is a magical tunnel of trees most of the way. There are little things for kids to do along the path, such as stepping logs and seasaws to walk over. A good off-road pushchair can just-about do this path. Nearest toilets are at the Lantivet Carpark (SX157516) which is a very short drive away.
The One Just Round from Talland – 7min drive, 10min walk, dog friendly all year
Talland is our nearest bay and is a safe swimming spot with rock pools and a great beach café at the main beach. You can park in the carpark at the main beach (where there are also toilets- just up the lane a few yards), then take the coast path to the West. Look out for the first option to turn down to the left. This will take you down to your own private tiny sandy beach (there’s rarely anyone else on it). A lovely spot to swim from, or to let your children run wild without worrying about them kicking sand in other people’s sandwiches. Note that the last bit of the walk is a bit steep and slippy – you’ll find children scamper down with ease but not suitable for anyone who isn’t sure footed.
Freathy – 30min drive, 5min walk, dog friendly 1st Oct – Easter
A beautiful, sandy beach in Whitsand Bay. We highly recommend going around low tide (ask in our office for tide times or google) as then the beach is long, sandy and glorious. At high tide it splits into lots of small beaches and isn’t quite so spectacular. Look out for a carpark on the left of the road (as you go East) on a right hand bend (if you get to ‘The View’ restaurant, you’ve missed it). From there, cross the road and head down the winding path (fairly steep and no good for push chairs) to the beach. There aren’t any toilets at the beach or carpark, so use that as an excuse to try out one of the café’s on that stretch of coastline.
Watergate Bay – 50min drive, no walk, dog friendly 1st Oct – Easter
Our favourite for surfing as more picturesque than nearby Polzeath, this North coast beach is spectacular, has life guards in the summer, good cafes and facilities and good waves most of the time.