Are you looking for Lizard beaches? The Lizard peninsula is one of the best places to visit in Cornwall. There are so many amazing beaches here, some with white sand, others with turquoise water – it’s the perfect place for your Cornwall staycation!
If you’re new to the Lizard peninsula or Cornwall in general, this guide is here to help! This is a round-up of the best lizard beaches, including everything from popular spots like Kynance Cove to less famous places like Loe Bar Beach.
Where is the Lizard peninsula?
To find the best Lizard beaches, you’ve got to get to the Lizard peninsula first!
The Lizard peninsula is located in West Cornwall (about 30 miles from Land’s End). Its nearest towns are Helston and Falmouth, and it traverses southwards from both of these towns, eventually terminating at Lizard point, the furthest south point in mainland UK.
How do I get to the Lizard peninsula?
Most visitors drive to the Lizard peninsula. You will need to take the A394 to Helston and drive down the Lizard main road to wherever you want to go.
Public transport is a little more challenging, but the L1 and 34 buses connect Helston with Lizard village, Poldhu Cove and Mullion Cove.
Where to find the best Lizard beaches!
Kynance Cove is the most famous beach on the Lizard – and perhaps the most popular in West Cornwall!
With stunning blue waters and golden sands, as well as various rock formations, this beach is straight off a postcard.
There is a cafe at Kynance Cove just above the beach, and you can walk along the cliff path on either side to get an epic view of the rocks and sands. If you want a longer walk, you can go 45 minutes or so along the coastal path to Lizard Point, the furthest south point in the country.
Be careful on these steep cliffs – people have fallen off them in the past. To stay safe, keep on the path while you’re exploring.
There is no lifeguard service at Kynance Cove, and it is easy to get cut off at different tides. Make sure that you are aware of this when visiting.
If you want to enjoy the best of the Cornish coast, visiting Kynance Cove is a must-do!
Poldhu Cove Beach
Poldhu Cove Beach is another favourite of all the Lizard beaches.
Poldhu beach is very long – so you’ll have lots of space to stretch out and enjoy the sand – and it is popular with families.
A lifeguard is on duty during the summer months, and swimming and surfing zones make it a popular place for a dip.
This is a beautiful stretch of coastline, owned by the National Trust, so it’s a great place to take a walk!
There’s also a cafe at Poldhu Beach which is open daily.
Mullion Cove Beach
Mullion Cove Beach is small and isn’t really a beach to use if you want to sunbathe – it is more of a harbour. There is a small patch of sand at low tide, but it is nearly all covered at high tide!
However, the harbour is picturesque, and it’s well worth a visit if you want to see the most beautiful beaches on the Lizard Peninsula!
Look out for the historic lifeboat station and the cave, which is exposed at low tide – just be careful when exploring and only enter it if the tide is going out, and you’ll be back before it starts coming in.
It’s also worth visiting Mullion, located slightly inland and the biggest village on the Lizard Peninsula.
Cagdwith Cove has two small shingle beaches. Both are quite small, and as it is a fishing village, it isn’t the most popular of all the beaches in the Lizard! The water quality is not tested on either Cadgwith Beach, and there is no lifeguard.
However, if you just want to see the sea and sunbathe, Cadgwith Cove is a beautiful village that is well worth visiting. Head to the Cadgwith Cove Inn on a Friday night to hear Cornish language singers!
Kennack Sands Beach
Kennack Sands Beach is much larger compared to other Lizard Peninsula beaches. While it is remote, it is very popular with tourists in the area, mainly due to the expanse of sand at low tide and the range of facilities.
It’s a very family-friendly beach due to its size, rock pools and stream, and there is a beach cafe and toilets.
There is a privately owned car park – if you park here, you need to pay for the whole day. You can also park further up the road for free.
There are lifeguards on duty in the summer months.
Gunwalloe Church Cove Beach
Gunwalloe Beach, also called Church Cove, is a pretty, clean beach owned by the National Trust. The church by the beach is what gives it its name – it’s an interesting building, with a separate bell tower which is quite rare for churches of its size.
The waves can be turbulent at Gunwalloe Church Cove Beach – the church used to be called the ‘church of storms’ because of its positioning! This means that there is some good surf for people who know what they’re doing.
Swimming can be dangerous because of these waves, but there is a seasonal lifeguard. Follow their instructions about safe swimming!
Porthleven Beach is just north of the Lizard, near Helston. This is a huge sandy beach with plenty of space. There are also many amenities in Porthleven town, making it one of the most friendly beaches in South Cornwall.
If you’re looking for a beach for families, there’s plenty of space to make sandcastles and run around here.- but swimming is not recommended due to strong undercurrents.
If you’re a surfer, there are some good waves here – but only surf if you have experience. There is a seasonal lifeguard service.
When the tide is out at Porthleven, you can walk all the way down to Loe Bar Beach. You can also hike above the beach on the South West Coast Path.
Coverack is a lovely village with a long seafront and an expansive beach when the tide is out. It is a sandy and pebble beach – not the smoothest of Cornish beaches, but it’s still a pleasant one to explore!
There are also a few cafes, shops, and restaurants in Coverack, and it’s worth walking along the seafront to the harbour, where you can go stand up paddleboarding.
There is no lifeguard service at the beach.
The Manacles Reef is located just out to sea. This collection of rocks has caused many boats to sink over the years, which means that it is today a popular diving location.
Porthallow is another beautiful coastal village, and Porthallow Beach is special for hikers, as it marks the middle point of the South West Coast Path.
Don’t come to Porthallow looking for golden sands – it is a pebbly beach, but the water is lovely and clear, and it is a popular site for scuba diving. It is also relatively sheltered, as it is on the eastern coast of the peninsula.
It’s worth walking around the beach and village and enjoying the beautiful buildings and peaceful atmosphere.
The village was famous for its pilchard trade, and the pub – The Five Pilchards – commemorates this!
Where to stay on the Lizard Peninsula
- Camping: Cadgwith Camping is a beautiful site, close to Lizard Point and Cagdwith Village, with beautiful sea views. Facilities are basic, with portaloos as WCs, but there are lovely hot showers. The hosts are amiable and helpful, and they rent out fire pits in the evenings. Plus, they can bring breakfast or cream tea to your tent in the morning! There is also a good phone signal here.
- Caravan: For something a bit different, why not check out Kitty’s Unique 60s Caravan. This is a vintage caravan with a bed, kitchen facilities and shower block located on a campsite.
- Mid-Range Hotel: The Paris Hotel in Coverack is a historic and cosy bed and breakfast with friendly staff and good dining options inside. Rooms at The Paris Hotel have all the amenities you need and are cleaned to a high standard.
- Luxury Hotel: Housel Bay Hotel is a 4* property with its own private beach area. Some of the rooms at Housel Bay Hotel have gorgeous sea views, and it is near Lizard Point. There is a bar and restaurant on site.
The Best Beaches on the Lizard!
There are so many amazing beaches on the Lizard peninsula! Whether you’re looking for excellent family beaches, a typical Cornish fishing village or dramatic cliffs for hiking, the Lizard has it all.