Blue Flag beaches are awarded not only for water quality, the award criteria also is concerned with the beaches facilities such as disabled access, life guards on duty and toilets etc. It doesn’t mean that there are no other beaches worth visiting in Cornwall with the family,(far from it, there are lots of tiny coves and sandy escapes) this is just the tip of the iceberg and we will be featuring some hidden gems in our next Family-Friendly Beaches in Cornwall series.
Here is a snapshot of a small collection of beaches that have been awarded Blue Flag status in Cornwall, and overview on what they can offer for families looking for little bit of seaside fun…
Image: Jamsta @ Wikipedia under Creative commons licence
Polzeath is in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The beach here is sandy and safe, gently shelving into the sea. At high tide Polzeath beach is very small but at low tide it turns into a fantastic sandy haven for all the family, extending about half a mile in all directions. Not only does Polzeath beach boast fine golden sand but it is also fringed with rock pools and if you are lucky you could well spot the odd dolphin or puffin.
Polzeath itself is a small village located on the headland opposite Padstow. There are lots of shops lining the beach front here for family holiday-makers. Within the village itself you will find a number of restaurants, cafés and pubs.
Polzeath beach is very popular and can get busy during the summer months. It is great for rock pooling, sand castle building and is also a fun beach for learning to surf or body board. It is located in a nature reserve and so home to many interesting wildlife species.
Image: Evans1551 @ Wikipedia under Creative commons licence
Trevone Bay is a rural secluded un-spoilt beach located in north Cornwall close to Padstow. This beach has golden sand and little coves and is home to good marine wildlife. Dogs are welcome here except between Easter Sunday and 30th September when the seasonal ban comes into force. The sea is quite strong here making it popular with surfers. Trevone Bay is a popular little beach with families, it has rocky ledges either side of it, home to lots of rock pools. Apparently if it’s rock pools you are after though, you should visit the Rocky Beach (Newtrain Bay) next door as it has both fab rock pools and a big tidal pool too for splashing around in.
Porthtowan is a large west-facing beach fringed with granite cliffs. The beach is sandy, perfect for sand castle building and children will also love exploreing the rockpools for life.
Being a Blue Flag beach means that the amenities here are good. There are also a range of cafes and shops within close proximity including the Blue Boar a fashionable beachside café bar. Blue Boar Facebook Page
Porthtowan (Cornish Porth Tewyn, meaning cove of sand dunes) lies on Cornwall’s Atlantic costa just over a mile west of St Agnes, it is a family-friendly beach and is popular with surfers too.
Carbis Bay is located just one mile east of St Ives. It is privately owned by the Carbis Bay hotel but open to the public. The hotel provides beach facilities including washrooms, and food and drink outlets.
This wonderful golden sandy beach in Cornwall is about a mile long and the water is generally quite calm, not great for surfers but perfect for families with toddlers! There is a host of wildlife here, with occasional sightings of dolphins and other sea animals like seals and spider crabs.
Dogs are welcome here (except between the first Sunday before Easter and 30th September when the seasonal ban is in place, however dog walks are allowed between 5 and 8 am).
Image by Lantographer under the creative commons license
Gyllynvase Beach (Falmouth)
One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall is Gyllyngvase Beach (AKA Gylly) with its wide golden arc and beautiful blue sea it is easy to see why.
Gyllynvase Beach is a south-acing family resort beach with something for everyone, from water based activities to sand castle building. The award-winning, Gylly Beach Café is built over the beach with lovely views, and prides itself with using local produce wherever possible and offers a fresh contemporary menu (shellfish, fish, tapas, salads etc). There are lots of amenities here, along with a beach café selling ice cream and beach goodies next to Gylly Beach Café throughout the summer months. Gylly beach is located to the south of Falmouth town centre which is a 15 minute walk away. There are also Green Flag Award winning gardens making the area well recognised for its environmental quality.
Image: Tony Atkin under the creative commons license
Coming next: Hidden Family -Friendly Coves in Cornwall