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Beaches in and near Mullion

Nestled within Britain’s most southerly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Lizard Peninsula, the pretty village of Mullion is your chance to step back in time for a while. Now owned and cared for by the National Trust, the pretty harbour is all but unchanged since the late 1800s. Mullion has a rich history of smuggling and fishing, with its coastal location and harbour playing vital roles. 

Today, while you might not find any smugglers, you will find a beautiful spot for a swim. Mullion Cove isn’t on its own when it comes to sandy beaches on the Lizard Peninsula either. From surfing hangouts to iconic vistas, here are some of the best beaches in and near Mullion for you to explore…

Beaches in Mullion

Mullion Cove

The beautiful beach and harbour at Mullion Cove

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: All year round
Facilities: Café, toilets
Accessibility: Five-minute walk to the beach from the car park

One of Cornwall’s prettiest coves and much-loved dog-friendly beaches, Mullion Cove is a lovely destination throughout the year, whether you want to embark on some watersports in the summer or enjoy a spot of storm watching in the winter months. The small beach opens up at low tide, creating a lovely stretch of sand the whole family can enjoy. While Mullion Cove doesn’t have any lifeguards, the waters in the harbour are usually safe and great for a refreshing dip – do keep an eye on the weather though, as the harbour is certainly put to the test by Atlantic storms.

The historic Mullion Cove harbour, with the iconic lifeboat station standing proudly above, is great for launching watercrafts. Whether you’re an avid paddleboarder or kayaker, you’ll love this beautiful stretch of Cornish coast. Head out to Mullion Island to spot the many breeding seabirds or marvel at the fascinating geology. Once you’ve well and truly soaked up the sea air, head up into the village for a refuel at one of the mouth-watering places to eat in Mullion, one of which is one of the AA guide's best restaurants in Cornwall.

Polurrian Cove

The pretty sandy beach at Polurrian Cove near Mullion

Lifeguards: Seasonal (July to September, weekends only)
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (July and August, 10am to 6pm)
Facilities: None at the cove, nearest are in Mullion
Accessibility: Closest car park is in Mullion village, a 10-minute walk from the beach over uneven coastal terrain

Beautiful and wonderfully remote, Polurrian Cove is definitely one of Cornwall’s best hidden coves. At low tide, an expanse of golden sand is unearthed creating plenty of space for your favourite beachy activities. The beach is often great for surfing, thanks to the Atlantic swells, so bring your board if you fancy hitting the waves.

Backed by high cliffs, it’s well worth making the short climb up to the headland to see the beach from above, while perching on the perfectly placed bench. There is nothing by way of facilities here, so it’s a great opportunity for a picnic on the beach. We recommend checking out one of the nearby farm shops for some local foods you can feast on during your beach day, or head to Ann’s Pasties on the Lizard for a soul-warming Cornish treat that pairs perfectly with a sea view.

Poldhu Cove

Looking out through the dunes at Poldhu Cove and the sea beyond

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May to September)
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (July and August, 10am to 6pm)
Facilities: Café and seasonal toilets
Accessibility: Easy, flat access from the car park by the beach

Another west-facing beach on the Lizard Peninsula to benefit from good surf, Poldhu Cove is fantastic for those wanting to dip their toes into the world of surfing. Champion surfer, Dan ‘Mole’ Joel, runs a fantastic surf school throughout the holiday season, which was listed in the top five surf schools in the UK by the Sunday Times.

If you prefer a more relaxed beach day, then simply lie back on the soft sand and doze in the sun before wandering up to the amazing Poldhu Beach Café for some live music and one of their famous hot chocolates – they even do wood-fired pizza on Fridays in the summer months! There is a trickle of a stream running down the beach for children to play in, as well as plenty of rockpools to offer endless enjoyment during your day out under the Cornish sun.

Beaches near Mullion

Gunwalloe beach

The sandy beach at Gunwalloe, also known as Church Cove

Lifeguards: Seasonal (July to September)
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (July and August, 10am to 6pm)
Facilities: Seasonal toilets near the National Trust car park
Accessibility: The beach is a short walk down a slightly uneven road from the car park

Known to locals as ‘Church Cove’, Gunwalloe is a lovely beach in all seasons, whether you fancy a blustery Sunday stroll or a sunny summer’s day by the waves. The small church that sits at the top of the beach (and gives the beach its name) used to be known as the Church of the Storms due to the Atlantic storms that frequent the area.

While these swells can mean you’ll find surfable waves here, the beach also has quite a strong pull so caution should always be exercised. Lifeguards do patrol in the summer months though, making it safer to swim. Another beach making good use of streams, kids will love building dams and exploring up the water to the nearby bridge.

Dollar Cove

The shingle and slate beach at Dollar Cove near Mullion

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: All year round
Facilities: Seasonal toilets near the National Trust car park
Accessibility: The beach is a short walk down a slightly uneven road and path from the car park

Have you always dreamed of finding a treasure worthy of pirates? Well, Dollar Cove is rumoured to have one hidden away somewhere – it even gets its name from the silver dollars that have been found on the beach from a 400-year-old shipwreck!

In between treasure hunting, you can enjoy the rugged landscape of the beach, which provides endless clambering opportunities for the kids as well as interest for the geologically minded. There are also lots of flat rocks for pebbly towers and sandcastle drawbridges. The sea here is similar to the other sandy beaches around the Lizard Peninsula, so care should be taken and you should never swim in inclement weather.

Kynance Cove

The iconic rocks and turquoise waters at Kynance Cove

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (July and August, 10am to 6pm)
Facilities: Café by the beach and toilets
Accessibility: Very steep, uneven path down to the beach with steep steps at the end

One of the best beaches in Cornwall – not to mention one of the most beautiful sights – Kynance Cove is a powerhouse of Cornish charm. Featured in many TV shows (including Poldark and House of the Dragon), Kynance Cove is known for its epic views and incredible serpentine rocks, which give the formations their unique hues. One of our favourite things about Kynance Cove has to be the creative names given to some of the islands and rock stacks over the years such as The Drawing Room, The Parlour, and Asparagus Island.

If you’re looking to spend a day here, we recommend arriving for low tide as it will give you the most time until high tide covers the sand. If you do arrive later in the day, a short drive to Lizard Point will allow you to enjoy the stunning coastal walk from the village to Kynance Cove, where a swim in the turquoise waters will be all the more magical for the extra effort. Finish your day off with a cream tea in the wonderfully well-placed café and you’ll be counting the minutes until you can visit again.

Pentreath beach

Looking over the cliffs at the sandy stretch of Pentreath beach near Mullion

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: All year round
Facilities: No
Accessibility: A fair walk from either Kynance Cove or Lizard Point car parks and the path is very steep/rocky at the end

Access comprises of rocky and uneven terrain, making it an adventure to reach this beautiful and untamed cove, which is certainly one of Cornwall’s hidden secrets. Once you’ve made it down the goat path, you’ll be met by a pebbly beach at high tide and a stunning stretch of golden sand when the tide is out, giving you every beachy aesthetic during your visit.

There are rockpools on either side for curious eyes to explore and the quiet nature of the beach means dogs can enjoy some sandy zoomies. In fact, if you and your dog are sure-footed, Pentreath beach is one of the best dog-friendly beaches on the peninsula as it’s very rarely busy. Swimming is not advised here due to the swells, although surfing could be in the cards with the right conditions – you may want to opt for a beach with easier access though if planning to bring surfboards.

Loe Bar beach

The stretching sands and sea at Loe Bar beach near Mullion

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: All year round
Facilities: No
Accessibility: An uneven walk from Porthleven along a coastal path or from the Penrose National Trust car park where there is a steep hill at the end

If you’re looking for a great expanse of sand whatever the tide is doing, then Loe Bar never disappoints as it always has a strip of sand for walkies. While unsafe for swimming on either side of the bar (for humans and dogs), Loe Bar is a much-loved beach with locals and visitors alike as it’s part of a lovely walk around Loe Bar and it’s dog-friendly all year round. You can even cycle across the beach as it’s part of a lovely cycle route through Penrose and around the lake.

It's also a great destination for a stunning coastal walk from Porthleven. You can either sit yourself down in the sand for a picnic with a view at the halfway point, or aim for one of the many fantastic places to eat in Porthleven, which make for the perfect refuel after your clifftop stroll.  

Ready to hit the beach? Explore our beautiful cottages in Mullion and Cornwall, where you can enjoy quick access to the Lizard Peninsula’s many great beaches.

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