Family beach trips on the North Coast
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Family friendly beaches on the North Coast of Cornwall

We’re always being asked about the best beaches close to the hotel. With soft white sand, craggy cliffs with caves to explore and sand dunes to roll around in, we really are spoilt for choice on the North Cornish coast. But here are some of our favourites, complete with information about access, facilities and highlights.

Mawgan Porth

mawganporthRight here on our doorstep, Mawgan Porth is a perfect family beach. Large and welcoming, at low tide there are small caves to explore and a wide expanse of sand to enjoy. At high tide, plenty of beach remains on which to pitch your parasol and build sandcastles galore. The river running through the southern side of the beach is great fun to ford and build damns across. You can while away an afternoon watching flotsam and jetsam float by its way to the sea.

There’s a large car park close to the beach, disabled access to the sand, public toilets including an accessible loo and plenty of shops to buy snack, ice creams and upmarket gifts. You can hire water sports equipment and lifeguards patrol the beach in the peak season. Dogs are welcome on Mawgan Porth Beach.

Porthporth2Porth Beach is a lovely, large sandy beach just down the coast road towards Newquay and very family friendly. Protected by headlands on both sides, it’s a sheltered spot that offers plenty of interesting things to do and see. You can reach Porth Island, just off the coast to the east, by a narrow footbridge. Here you’ll find some impressive prehistoric defensive earthworks to explore and the remains of a settlement.

At the end of the island is a blow hole that can be seen at mid tide, especially on windy days. The views from here – looking south west towards Newquay Bay and north towards Park Head – are spectacular

There are cafes across the road from the beach and a pub right there on the beach – the Mermaid. There is no surfing permitted during the summer season when the lifeguards are on duty between the hours of 10am and 6pm and dogs are banned between Easter and September. The car park is on the beach, which means little legs don’t have so far to trudge after a long day on the sand. There are public toilets as well as plenty of shops and cafes.

Crantock Beach crantockCrantock, on the other side of Newquay is another beach that always makes a big hit with families. Although access from the carpark in Crantock can be a little arduous as you have to clamber up and down a few large sand dunes, it’s well worth it for the rock pools that surface at low tide and the picturesque River Gannel that meanders through on its way to the sea and makes a great paddling pool for small people.

For a really fun adventure, make your way to Crantock from the Fern Pit Café on Pentire Headland in Newquay. At the bottom of the Fern Pit’s garden, you can take the ferry across the river over to Crantock Beach. Crantock is dog friendly and lifeguarded in Summer with toilets and a carpark on the far side of the dunes.

Treyarnon BayTreyarnon-BayOne of the seven bays for seven days to be found along this stretch of the coastline, Treyarnon is an excellent beach for all manner of family seaside activities. This is a clean beach which, at low tide, reveals a large area of golden sand. There are lots of rock pools to explore and sheltered coves that are ideal for sun bathing. Make sure you visit the natural swimming pool at the bottom of the low cliffs near the Youth Hostel. This was a hollow in the rocks that was dammed at one end. It is flushed out by the incoming tide and easily accessible at low tide.

The coastal footpath provides breath taking views along the coast to Trevose Head in one direction and Newquay and even St Ives on a clear day, in the other direction. At the mouth of the bay is Treyarnon Island. This large rock, topped with grass and thrift, is separated from the mainland by a narrow gulley and is a nature reserve and home of breeding sea birds. The coastal path and beach provide a wonderful platform from which to view the surf rolling in, the amazing sunsets, seals and if you are fortunate a school of dolphins.

The car park can get full on a busy day. You’ll find toilets, a shop and beach wheel chair at Treyarnon. This beach is lifeguarded in summer and there can be strong undercurrents and large breaking waves, though clear warning signs are usually displayed.

Constantine BayConstantine-bayNot to be confused with the equally beautiful Constantine on the south coast, North Cornwall’s Constantine Bay is a stunning crescent of soft golden sand. Low tide reveals a large sandy bay with plenty of rock pools to explored to the left of the bay, and sand dunes and more sandy coves to the right. Constantine is perfect for families, surfers and walkers, with its sunny aspect, excellent surf and gentle headland walks in either direction.

Constantine Bay Beach is Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014 – with excellent water quality. Lifeguards patrol in Spring and Summer, there is plenty of parking and disabled access is good.