Five best beaches for kids in North Cornwall
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Five best beaches for kids in North Cornwall

With over 300 beaches to choose from, you may feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing where to take the family for some fun down on the shores! We’ve listed five of our North Cornwall favourites for you to choose from, so all you need to do is check the tide times and choose what type of adventure you’d like to have…

Mawgan Porth Beach

Being just a five minute walk down the path, this beach really is on our doorstep so you won’t even have to jump in the car. The smaller children will love playing in the freshwater stream which runs through, finding shells as keepsakes to take home. More confident swimmers can bounce around in the waters, or catch waves with their bodyboards. During low tide there’s ample sand for everyone and more to discover, even on the busiest of days. It’s blessed with all the facilities you should need for a carefree day and provides the perfect amount of shelter, thanks to the steep headland cliffs which surrounds it.

Top tips:

  • Pack up a picnic from the Wild Café so you can stay on the sands until tea time!
  • Full lifeguard cover from the 19th of May until the 30th of September (2019).
  • Borrow one of our baby backpacks for free to make your walk down even easier. We also have buggies, buckets and spades and kites.


Porth Joke Beach (Polly Joke)

Although relatively small, Porth Beach is adorned with numerous rock pools and caves, making it excellent for exploration and perhaps even mussel picking. Fondly named as Polly Joke to the locals, this beach sits between the headlands of Kelsey Head and Pentire Point West. It is one of Newquay’s best kept secrets, never overrun with tourists and blessed with beautiful clean, golden sands. If holidaying with teens, leave them to lie on the beach, whilst you both go for a picturesque walk along the headland to see the abundance of wildflowers.

Top tips:

  • This tidal beach is completely covered by the waves at certain times of day, so it is important to check tide times.
  • It is a 15 minute downhill walk from the nearest parking (there is a National Trust car park on Cubert Common or private pay & displays at West Pentire), so be sure to consider this when you have little ones and equipment in tow.
  • There is no lifeguard so be sure to keep both eyes on mini-wanderers!


Crantock Beach

Crantock beach is a sprawling and sandy beach, sitting at the mouth of the River Gannel estuary, encased by beautiful sand dunes. There is a flat path to get onto the beach or you can go over the rolling sand dunes.

The tidal river at the northern end is the perfect spot for families, being shallow enough for little ones to play in. Older children can also take a tour of the river with a stand up paddle boarding lesson from the Big Green Surf School. You can of course also go swimming, snorkelling, surfing and wind-surfing, and there’s canoe hire too – a great family activity. Dogs are welcome all year round and there are toilets close by.

Top tips:

  • On a windy day, head for the southern end of the beach where there are high cliffs to provide shelter.
  • There is a car park nearby, which is pay and display or free to National Trust members.
  • The beach is lifeguarded from mid-May to the end of September.


Harlyn Bay Beach

This crescent shaped beach is considered to be a top family beach, and also has a reputation for being one of the safest. It’s wide and expansive, acting as a spacious, golden playground for children to run around on. If your children are keen to try surfing, Harlyn is great for beginners who can learn to pop up with guidance from one of the surf schools. The rocky shoreline will be fascinating for little explorers, or the dog! There’s a car park right next to the beach, so if you’re searching for somewhere with easy access for your baby’s first outing, Harlyn will be a breeze.

Top tips:

  • Just a 15-minute drive from Bedruthan Hotel.
  • Weekend lifeguard cover in April. Full lifeguard cover from the 5th of May until the 30th of September. Weekend lifeguard cover in October and full cover from the 20th-28th October (2018).
  • Bring change for the pay and display car park.


Polzeath Beach

Polzeath Beach is award winning for a reason! It is easily accessible which makes life easier for parents, has great water quality and lifeguard cover, and there are plenty of shops and places to eat if you’ve forgotten to pack lunch, or the bucket and spade! You’ll also be able to get a taste of Cornish ice cream. During the summer it is buzzing with life, the children may even make some friends and if they’re extremely lucky, spot some dolphins.

Top tips:

  • During peak times, Polzeath can be one of the busiest.
  • Consistent and slow breaking waves making it great for surfing.
  • Parking is pay when you leave, so no rushing back to the car.

If you’d like to bring the family to Cornwall this summer, find out about our breaks here.