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Beaches in and around Charlestown

Located on south Cornwall’s stunning subtropical coastline, Charlestown is awash with stretches of sand that are both picturesque and activity-packed, depending on your individual sense of holidaying fun.

From family-friendly beaches to secluded coves, there’s an array to pick from, whether you wish to escape for a stint of sunbathing or to indulge in a spot of swimming, kayaking, windsurfing or sailing – the enticing choice is entirely yours…

Porthpean Beach

Ideal for families, Porthpean sits a short stroll along the coast path west from Charlestown and presents a safe sheltered beach for a variety of watersports (and is also home to Porthpean Sailing Club). Accessible via a gently sloping slipway and with a small promenade at the back of the beach complete with facilities including toilets and a snack bar, it’s as convenient as it is idyllic.

Charlestown Beach

Sitting to the left side of the harbour, Charlestown Beach is a diminutive sandy stretch with pebbles of geological interest and a series of small caves, but beware of falling rocks. Ideal for a quick sea dip or seaside respite.

Carlyon Bay

Boasting three beaches joined by over two miles of golden sands, Carlyon is a beautiful sweeping bay with parking facilities and work-in-progress rejuvenation project, Carlyon Beach, which promises to deliver a beachside village complete with homes, restaurants, bars, cafés and shops, along with cultural hub including food festivals and theatre.

Pentewen Beach

The large beach is located a few miles west of Charlestown and is an adventurer’s playground, with the likes of surfing, swimming, water skiing, sailing and windsurfing all popular pastimes here. Plus, there are toilets and refreshments to be found at the slipway and Holiday Park to the rear of the beach.

Ready Money Cove

Head east toward Fowey for the uber scenic and wonderfully sheltered, Ready Money, which is nestled between cliffs and presided over by St Catherine’s Castle and coach-house-former-home of famous author, Daphne du Maurier. 

Polkerris Beach

Beautifully sheltered by a harbour wall and boasting pristine blonde sands, Polkerris is a picturesque hamlet west of Fowey and former final home of Daphne du Maurier. With toilets, shop and café all close to the beach, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Mevagissey Beach

You’ll find Polstreath about a quarter of a mile up the coast from Mevagissey, but will need to descend several hundred steps after leaving the coast path to gain access to the shingle and sandy stretch, which is a beautiful and untouched cove minus the crowds, thus perfect for some prime escapist loafing.

Par Sands Beach  

For a walk – or swim – on the wild side, take a visit to Par Sands, where you’ll be greeted with gorgeous shallow waters fringed by greenery and sand dunes. And with plenty of facilities and easy access, it’s a fabulous spot for families or anyone wanting some convenient waterside downtime.

Polridmouth Cove

The secluded twin cove of Polridmouth sits between Gribben Head and Fowey and is accessible only through a wooded track, giving it a wonderful away-from-it-all feel. Come here to abandon the masses and enjoy a hassle-free spell of sand-between-your-toes and sea swimming.

Note: Some of these beaches aren’t patrolled by lifeguards so always exercise a degree of caution. Check signs for dog-ban status.

Find out more about holidays in Charlestown here >

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