Exploring Cornwall: The Lizard Beach Guide
The Lizard Peninsula, Britain’s most southerly mainland point, is known to be home to some of Cornwall’s best beaches. From dramatic cliffs to pebbled slopes and white sands, there’s no end to the delights you can discover, whether you're after bracing winter walks or relaxed summer swimming.
The best way to discover the beaches (including a few hidden gems!) is to simply take to the many coastal paths and wander along the coastline. However, if you’re looking for a little more direction during your break, we’ve put together this quick list of some of the Lizard’s best beaches.
Possibly the most famous beach in the area, found on the western side of the Peninsula. This lovely sandy beach and its dramatic cliffs and turquoise waters are a favourite with photographers and families alike. In fact, people of all ages flock here during the summer to build sandcastles, take to the water and simply drink in their spectacular surroundings. There’s plenty of parking, refreshments and toilets, so it’s easy to spend a whole day enjoying this lovely beach. Dogs are welcome between the 1st October and Easter day.
A wonderful beach to visit with children, who will love exploring the sand, dunes and rock pools. This beach is lifeguarded during the summer, and is equipped with refreshments, toilets and parking. Dogs are welcome between 1st October and Easter day.
Cadgwith Cove is actually two shingle beaches, both in the lovely village of Cadgwith, with its winding streets and chocolate-box cottages. If you arrive at the right time, you can even see the local fishermen unloading their catch! Cadgwith Cove is well equipped with refreshments, parking and toilets, while dogs are allowed on East Beach all year round.
If you’re after a quintessential hidden Cornish cove, Lankidden is a lovely choice. It can only be reached by the mile-long coastal path from Kennack Sands, but this often means that it’s very quiet – you might even get the whole place to yourself! You’ll find the beach at the bottom of a steep track, where the sloping sand is interspersed by rocky outcrops. Swimming here is generally safe, although please bear in mind that there is no lifeguard cover.
Hidden between Lizard Point and Kynance Cove, this rocky inlet is a favourite with bird watchers, who have the chance of spotting a Cornish chough. There isn’t much sand here, apart from a slither at low tide, but there is a grassy area just above the cove which makes for a pleasant place to relax with a picnic, or just to enjoy the views. Dogs are allowed all year round, but there are no other facilities.
Another excellent family beach, owned by the National Trust. Poldhu Cove is a fantastic option for water sports – especially surfing, thanks to the west-facing bay. This, combined with the crystal-clear waters and soft sands, mean that it is usually busy. Poldu is equipped with parking, toilets, refreshments and disabled access. There are also RNLI lifeguards on duty during the summer, while dogs are allowed between the 1st October and Easter day.
A popular beach for families with small children, this south-facing beach has good facilities including a lifeguard, toilets, refreshments, parking and disabled access. It’s also a popular spot for surfing.
There’s a rumour that there’s treasure hidden at Dollar Cove. In the past, people have found silver dollars from the wreck of a 17th Century ship, but you’re more likely to be wowed by the ancient rock formations surrounding this sandy beach. Dogs are allowed throughout the year.
Found on the west side of the Lizard Peninsula, this sandy beach is exposed at low tide and provides a safe place for swimming and paddling. The beach has refreshments, parking and toilets.
This narrow, rocky cove is found between cliffs to the east of Lizard Point. The low tide sometimes reveals a small strip of sand, but otherwise there are plenty of rocky outcrops to sit and enjoy the views. There are also a number of rock pools to explore, while the crystal-clear waters make it a wonderful spot for snorkelling and diving. There’s a small, free car park about half a mile up the road.
This pebble beach allows dogs throughout the year, and the quiet surroundings mean that the whole family will love exploring this Cornish gem. There are no facilities or immediate parking, so visitors will have to park in Lizard village and walk along to the beach.
For those who like the idea of a more out-of-the-way beach, Housel Bay is a great choice. Only accessible during low tide and via a steep path from the South West Coast Path, this small and sandy beach is perfect for escaping the crowds. Dogs are welcome throughout the year, although the beach has few facilities.
Lizard Peninsula Holiday Cottages
With all these beaches, and many more, right on your doorstep, not to mention all the fun attractions, friendly towns and breathtaking countryside, there’s nowhere quite like the Lizard Peninsula for an unforgettable break. We have a wonderful collection of self-catering holiday cottages around the Lizard, so whether you’re planning a family holiday or a romantic weekend for two, you’re bound to find your perfect hideaway.
Take a look at our holiday properties around Lizard today.