Explore the secrets of West Cornwall with twelve of the most unspoilt secluded beaches and coves this week set along the hauntingly beautiful coast. They are almost a secret but not quite if you are armed with a well thumbed ordnance survey map and a pair of walking boots to follow Cornwall’s dramatic cliff top walks and lush valleys to the sound of the sea. So shh don’t tell and I will tell you some of my favourite spots to enjoy an idyllic day away from the tourist spots in unspoilt secret West Cornwall.
Kennegy beach is a secret sandy bay just beyond Prussia cove. This is a beautiful cove with pristine golden sands framed by heathland with farmland dipping down to the cliffs edge. This beach is only accessible by scrambling across the rocks from nearby Prussia Cove but it is worth the effort – do keep an eye on the tide though. Read more about Kennegy
Direction Sat Nav (Prussia Cove) TR20 9BA
Take the Penzance Helston A394 to Rosudgeon and turn seaward across Rosudgeon Common beside the Fish and Chip shop. Follow this lane all the way to the end to find the car park. Turn right from the car park and continue on foot, through the circle of the big house and over the stream before turning on to the first pebbly beach scramble eastwards and the magical stretch of sands will come into site!
Alternatively walk over the cliffs from Praa sands before accessing the foreshore
The hidden gem that is Rinsey Beach that is about a ten minute drive from us at Ednovean Farm set below a stretch of National Trust heathland studded with the iconic engine houses of the tin Mines of Cornwall’s past. The breaking waves make this secluded unspoilt beach a popular spot for local surfers but there is also a great tidal pool – Ray Pool – to the east of the beach for less adventurous bathing!
Directions Sat Nav TR13 PTS
From the A394, Turn seaward at Ashton Down Rinsey Lane continue to the end forking right into a narrow lane to the National Trust Car park. Go through the foot gate at the eastern end near the Engine Houses and fork down hill to the cove
Porth Chapel Beach
Porth Chapel beach is idyllically set below tall granite cliffs, with sands of broken shells dipping to the sea – it’s just a short walk from St Levan, tucked between Porthcurno and Porthgwarra and quite near to Land’s End. It is just a perfect spot for an afternoon away from the tourist’s hot spots of Cornwall for a few hours of peace and near solitude.
Directions Sat Nav TR19 6JR
Follow the road passed Porthcurno and the famous Minack Theatre and park beside the church at St Levan. Cross the road and take the footpath following the path under the trees to the cove.
Just beyond the breathtakingly beautiful beach of Porthcurno tucked under the same fabulous cliffs is the further beach of Pedn Vounder. This secluded beach is accessible from Porthcurno at low tide or for the sure footed by clambering down the granite cliff to access the more isolated sands hidden in plain sight from the tourist trail and it is a great alternative from the more populated Porthcurno Beach.
Directions Sat Nav TR19 6JX
Park at Porthcurno or a little further away at Treen and then follow the footpath to Logan’s Rock to pick up the coastal footpath
This is an extraordinary sheltered west facing cove almost within hearing of the dramatic seas that lash Land’s End. Nanjizal Cove remains coquettish though, sometimes with beautiful sands or sometimes reduced to a boulder cove after the storms of winter. Look out for the beautiful sea cave called “The song of the Sea”
Directions TR19 7AA
1. Walk from Land’s End for a super extra bonus when visiting the iconic south westerly tip of the British Isle with its capacious car park. Set out from the bustle of the attractions and you will very soon be alone on the Cornish cliffs save for the sound of the sea and the swooping gulls. Walk one mile eastwards to find this secret beach.
2. Park in one of the lay bys around Trevescan Village before taking the footpath opposite the bus stop down a drive (pubic footpath over) and through the fields to Trevilley farm Keep to the right until you spot the sea and then choose the downhill path over a footbridge and finally down some wooden steps to the beach.
Where the wild heathland melt into the sands of the coastal stoop this little beach is popular with locals away from the bustle of Sennen Beach
Directions Sat Nav (Sennen) TR19 7DG
1.Follow the great sweep of sands along Sennen Cove at low tide to find this more private and sheltered spot.
2. or park above Sennen village and follow the path down across the dunes to the cove
This is definitely a place to kick off the walking wellies or boots and watch the waves ripple to the shore – sometimes we could see the seal playing in the waves perfectly outlined through the clear seas.
It was a perfect escape for us for the afternoon, and a pure contrast to the coastline around Mounts Bay. It was so unexpected to find an almost tropical paradise tucked under the harsh granite cliffs of this wild, untamed, stretch of coastline.
Directions Sat Nav TR19 7TU
Park near to Pendeen Lighthouse and then follow the coastal footpath in the St Ives direction. Fork right to skirt above the working little boat cove and Portheras Cove will quickly come into view below
One of our favoured favourites of course and about a mile walk eastwards from Perranuthnoe along the coastal footpath… This enchanting rocky cove where tamarisk fringed cliffs dip to the cliffs of small sea caves each with its own two person shingle beach or there is a sandy beach at the eastern end. This is a super spot for snorkelling over the plunging pools and rifts in the submerged granite foreshore where small fish hatch in the summertime.
Directions Sat Nav (Perranuthnoe) TR20 9NP
Walk from Perranuthnoe passed Trebarvah and Trevean Coves and look out for the castellated outline of Acton Castle the cove is below. Climb over the barbed wire fence at the western end or look for a tiny niche in the gorse at the western end, you may have to crawl in parts before reaching the slipway to the beach beside the ruined boat shed – I did say these were secret coves after all!
There is a magical silence that always hangs over Prussia Cove not just one cove but a whole series of inlets made famous for the smuggling activities of the Prince of Prussia and now home to the International Musicians Seminar on the Porth an Als estate above.
Directions Sat Nav (Prussia Cove) TR20 9BA
Take the A394 to Rosudgeon and turn seaward over Rosudgeon common beside the fish and chip shop. There is a tiny unmade car park that fills quickly just above the coves
Walk from Perranuthnoe over Cudden point along the coastal footpath – slightly over an hours walk
A tiny little gem of a cove and of course backed by a sea cave – just perfect for a picnic when the tide is out and an idyllic afternoon alone should you be lucky enough to have the cove all to yourself!
Directions as for Prussia Cove but turn westwards over the point before scrambling down into the cove
Penberth Cove must be a quintessential Cornish Cove almost suspended in time and often used for filming the Poldark series. The huddle of traditional granite cottages above the slipway and Capstan are owned by the National Trust. This tiny hamlet of dwellings are sheltered in the fold of the valley floor with the hillside rising steeply on either side leading to fabulous walks along unspoilt coastline of west Cornwall
Directions Sat Nav TR19 6HJ
Immediately before the turning to Treen and Logan’s rock there is a tiny lane that almost turns back on itself follow this lane down beside the stream and park just before the cottages on the side of the road before walking into the cove
I often wonder how the BBC gets all of their truck down the lane that snakes to this cove across the open heathland to film the Poldark series. Fortunately for car drives there is a convenient car park ready for you to abandon the car and explore this delightful Cove. A tunnel was cut by the miners through the rocks to the cove so that the fishing catch could be brought in at high tide Explore the cove before taking a stroll back towards Land’s End to sit on Gwennap Head or turn eastwards and walk back towards Porth Chapel to soak up the sea and skies of West Cornwall
Directions Sat Nav TR19 6JR
One of the last turns before Land’s End! Take the A3315 and turn seawards at Polgigga by the duck pond.The narrow lane snakes gloriously across wild unfenced heathland to the car park above the cove.
Three more of Cornwall’s unspoilt beaches
After twelve secret beaches and coves there is still room for more in a holiday isn’t there!? Why not try these beaches each unique, beautiful and seldom crowded. Wishing you Happy beach days in Cornwall 🙂