Cornwall Scoops 6 Blue Flag Awards
We sent Lynda George, our Operations Manager, to check out the six Blue Flag Awards:
Delighted to accept the challenge we sped off enthusiastically to the coast to check out these coveted Blue Flag beaches. This award has to meet the new excellent standards required under the new EU Bathing Waters Directive and is a really tough one to beat! A total of six beaches in Cornwall have been awarded this status under a scheme run by the campaign group Keep Britain Tidy, and we made it our mission to visit them all in one day.
We stayed in Watergate Bay at the Beachcombers Apartments, just a stone’s throw from Watergate Bay so in itself a superb base. We decided to start from the northernmost beach on the list which is Sandymouth close to Bude on the border of Devon.
A superb surfing beach, but we were there at low tide which means we saw an absolutely stunning expanse of golden sands and rock pools. It was tempting to stay and explore the rock formations and cliffs, but we were on a mission so we drove south to the next Blue Flag beach at Polzeath.
The beach where Enid Blyton’s Famous Five spent their holidays! It is also a favourite spot for poets to be inspired and Sir John Betjeman is buried at St Enedoc nearby. Another popular surfing beach in the Camel Estuary, Polzeath beach is backed by National Trust land but with no time to explore, we popped into the nearby cafe for a big Cornish breakfast before heading off for the next Blue Flag beach on our list at Porthtowan.
Backed by impressive cliffs, Porthtowan is another popular surfing venue plus a popular family beach and a designated Area of Natural Beauty. We walked to Chapel Porth beach just a few hundred yards away along the beach but no time to stop! Onwards to the next Blue Flag beach at Carbis Bay.
A beautiful mile-long sandy beach in a sheltered spot near St Ives which forms part of the wider St Ives Bay but you can see all the way from Porthminster Point past the Godrevy Lighthouse to Hawke’s Point. The coastal path runs along the cliff tops with noisy screeching gulls and kittiwakes plus the chance to see lizards, slow worms and thousands of butterflies. No time to stop though (this was a tough assignment we set ourselves to complete this in a day) and we were ready for lunch so we pressed on to our lunchtime stop also in the St Ives area.
Considered to be the “jewel of the South West” and this was truly magical, with golden sand, surf and the cleanest bluest water but although we searched the horizon we couldn’t see the grey seals or basking sharks that are often seen here. There is a large car park by the beach and with an abundance of cafés, we had plenty of time to enjoy our lunch (handmade Cornish pasties, naturally) and to admire the surfers’ prowess and the tanned lifeguards! On our list for next time is definitely a visit to the Tate St Ives gallery.
The coast drive was stunning but we had to bypass Land’s End at the western tip and head for the south Cornish coast near Falmouth where the sixth and last Blue Flag beach was our destination.
On the outskirts of Falmouth with lovely gardens behind so we parked near Pendennis Castle and enjoyed a walk in the evening sunshine to the beach. It was a glorious end to the day which wasn’t as rushed as it may sound! So many sandy beaches to see and we only stopped at the top six Blue Flag beaches. There are so many others to see, but we will keep coming back to Cornwall to check out more.
Guest blogger: Lynda George