It’s fair to say that you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches around Port Isaac, such is the spectacular selection of sands readily available to holidaymakers.
From the family-friendly to secluded coves, surfer’s haunts and dog-welcoming – a smattering of coastal offerings ensures that whether you wish to kick back and relax or actively explore, the north Cornwall seaside village will prove the perfect host.
Port Isaac Beach
With the village built around the harbour and its beach, Port Isaac’s small but famous sandy stretch is always populated with fishing boats, but makes an especially nice and convenient spot when exposed by the ebbing tide.
Plus – it’s something of a mini playground for little ones since it’s in a particularly sheltered spot and presents a pretty stream and cluster of rock pools with the low tide.
Venture west for this wonderfully rugged and rocky cove, which can be accessed (at low tide) via the South West Coast Path – so makes an especially appealing stop-off for walkers.
Another one for the walkers, Lundy Bay is a beautiful – but rocky – beach positioned between New Polzeath and Pentire Glaze Haven. Revealing oodles of rock pools with the dropping tide, it’s accessed by a scenic walk through a wooded valley that winds down to the sheltered cove.
The popular Polzeath Beach sits in the centre of main village and presents an inviting expanse of flat golden sands that are especially suited to families. As a surfing destination, the combination of Atlantic swells and gently shelving bank means that whether you’re a novice or seasoned semi-pro, the slow-peeling breaks are sure to satisfy.
Surrounded by all the amenities you’ll need, it offers great convenience along with (seasonally lifeguarded) safety – but for those wishing to escape the buzz, walking trails either side will take you to more secluded, less populated – and utterly idyllic – locations such as Broadagogue Cove, Daymer Bay, Rock and Pentire Point.
Nestled between Rock and Polzeath you’ll find the gorgeous golden sands of Daymer Bay, whose wide, shallow beach presents a particularly beautiful spot for swimming.
Next door, Broadagogue Cove is chock with cowrie shells and rock pools, making it the perfect site to stroll to for some beach combing and rock pooling with the kids.
A short and scenic stroll round the corner from Port Isaac (in an eastward direction) lies the diminutive and dog friendly stretch of Port Gaverne. Here you’ll discover an abundance of rock pools and caves at low tide, while just off the beach sits the rather fabulous, Port Gaverne Restaurant and Hotel.
Toward Tintagel, Trebarwith Strand is a definite treasure on Cornwall’s north coast. Boasting a bevy of facilities including a café, toilets and parking – as well as seasonal lifeguard cover and dog-welcoming status – it’s a popular destination for both families and couples alike.
Surfing is one of the main draws of this Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide Recommended (2014) stretch – so be both aware of the sea conditions and tidal movements as it disappears almost entirely with the high tide.
To escape the wave-seeking crowds, amble along to the tiny neighbouring cove (and pub) of Port William for an al fresco pint or two.
Tricky to access and located under the famous Tintagel Castle, this picturesque piece of sand is worth scrambling to if possible purely for the sublime sight of the waterfall and, of course, the historic tunnelling feature that is, Merlin’s Cave.
Want to explore further? You can find more ideas about things to do in and around Port Isaac here.