We all know that Cornwall can get quite busy... Really busy in fact!
There's a lot to love about our stunning and awe inspiring county! But, being England's worst kept secret, it's safe to say that you can sometimes feel an overwhelming urge to want to escape the crowds - and we've got just the thing for when exactly that happens!
Here's a list of our top five secluded coves and the best secret beaches in Cornwall to head to when the towns are crowded and the popular beaches are swamped with people, including how to get there and what you need to know!
Without a nearby car park, Nanjizal could be considered one of the most secluded spots in all of Cornwall! What's more, is that the untouched sands, mystical “Song of the Sea” cave and natural, narrow sea arch make it a true hidden gem! You'll just have to walk at least half an hour from Land's End if you're hoping to visit (one of the best coastal walks in Cornwall)!
Getting there: Head to Land's End following the A30 west from Penzance. Postcode TR19 7AA. Follow the coastal path south for roughly two miles, past Pordenack Point and then the path will descend down to Nanjizal!
(edit: this one's not so secret anymore so we'll make this list a top 6 instead!)
Pednvounder is another beach that requires a little bit of a trek to get to. It's just around the corner from Porthcurno in the far west of Cornwall, and the trek is actually a bit more of a climb than a walk! Nonetheless, with it's shallow, seawater lagoon and an unbelievable view of Logan rock, it is a complete paradise!
Getting there: Head to Porthcurno Beach on the A30 from Penzance towards Land's End. Take a left turn onto the B3283 and then another left turn onto "The Valley" road at the town of Trethewey, with Porthcurno car park coming up shortly after. Postcode TR19 6JX.
Walking down from the car park, just before you get to the beach, follow the coastal path to the left, which becomes quite a steep climb at times. Continue on past the first small, sandy cove you see (as shown in the picture above), and you'll shortly see the path descending down to the slightly larger beach of Pednvounder with it's beautiful lagoon!
3) Tregirls Beach, Padstow
Whilst Padstow and the surrounding surf beaches get swamped with people in the Summer, it's good to know that the sanctuary that is Tregirls Beach remains relatively unspoiled. Thanks to the mile-long, stretching sandy beach, you are afforded plenty of space to yourself, and a chance to enjoy a paddle in the Camel Estuary, a bit of sunbathing or just the stunning views across the estuary to Daymer Bay.
Getting there: Driving towards Padstow on the A389, turn left just before Padstow towards St Merryn on the B3276. Where the road veers left leading to St Merryn and a turn off to the right also goes to Padstow, go straight over and down the narrow lane. Follow the road with the Padstow Farm Shop on your left and straight through the tiny village of Crugmeer bearing right when the road forks. After the road takes a sharp right turn, just before the farm houses at the end of the road is a signposted car park on the right with a bumpy dirt road leading you down. Postcode PL28 8HR.
At the bottom of the car park, a footpath will lead you down to Tregirls Beach through a small patch of woodland. You should follow this path through the woodland and out into the sand dunes - not up to the left and onto the coastal path, however you can get back down onto the beach anyway if you have to due to the woodland being flooded. On Google Maps, the beach seems to be called Harbour Cove instead.
4) Prussia Cove / Kenneggy Cove
Located a few miles west of Praa Sands Beach sits Prussia Cove. The name comes from a family of notorious smugglers that lived there during the 18th Century – specifically John Carter, who was given the nickname “The King Of Prussia”. It's a tiny little cove that's perfect for paddling, rock-pooling and snorkelling, whilst it's larger neighbouring beach Kenneggy Cove sits a short walk along the coastal path to the east as an alternative.
Getting there: Located between Penzance and Helston on the A394, in the town of Rosudgeon opposite The Packet Pub, turn off onto the road that leads down to Porth An Alls campsite, with a car park being just a little further down. Postcode TR20 9BA.
From the car park, follow the road down on foot bearing right when the road forks, passing Willy's Cottage on your right and then down the coastal path that descends to Prussia Cove. Alternatively, bear left when the road forks passing the impressive Porth An Alls House on your right and the Coastguard Cottages on your left, following the coastal path to Kenneggy Cove if preferred.
5) Porth Nanven
Otherwise known as Cot Valley Beach (or even “Dinosaur Egg Beach” to some), Porth Nanven is located close to Cape Cornwall and the small village of St Just. The beach is mostly occupied by countless smooth boulders - making it a prime place for photographers at sunset, but not so much the average holiday maker throughout the daytime.
Getting there: From Penzance, follow the A3071 west to St Just. Take a left turn at the clock tower onto Cape Cornwall Road, followed by another left turn just before the primary school onto West Place, and then bearing right onto Bosorne Road. Follow Bosorne Road until you arrive at the beach, opting for the closest car park if possible. Postcode TR19 7NS. A satnav may take you a different way altogether, particularly through the hard to navigate streets of St Just, but I've found these directions the best way to go and the easiest to follow.
Bonus: Porth Joke
Otherwise known as Polly Joke Beach, you won't usually have this one all to yourself exactly. But, you won't find it anywhere near as busy as other nearby beaches surrounding Newquay. And it's just as beautiful as them too, with it's golden sand that's particularly present at low tide. What's more is that, although there is a walk involved when trying to find it, in the summer, the walk can take you through some stunning wildflower fields on West Pentire Headland!
Getting there: Porth Joke is located just outside of Newquay, so avoid driving through Newquay if you can. It's on the opposite side of the river Gannel between Crantock and Holywell Bay. Use the A3075 road that connects Newquay with the the A30 Chiverton Cross roundabout - follow signs for Crantock but when you get there do not take the Halwyn Hill turn off that leads down to Crantock Village and Beach. Continue on to West Pentire and the Bowgie Inn. Where the road forks at Crantock Bay Apartments, bear left and then left again following signs to Polly Joke car park. Postcode TR8 5SE.
From the car park, follow the path that runs parallel to the car park down until it starts to veer left. Here, it's possible to cut through the fields, following the field borderline to the right which takes you west into the connecting fields until a clear path takes you south west and down onto the beach (this clear path is visible on Google Maps if you get stuck!)
What's your favourite beach in Cornwall? Leave a comment below to let us know!