Alluring Cornish Coves

Compared to the south coast, the rugged north is more sheltered with protective headlands enclosing pretty coves and sandy beaches. It’s not difficult to see how smugglers bagged their booty on dark nights with caves lining the beaches and rock pools ready to halt any suspecting passerby. Come rain or shine these beautiful coves are perfect for a day out (or if you’re a pirate!).

Our top 5 north Cornwall coves

Trevaunance Cove

St Agnes is blessed with coves, Trevaunance Cove and Chapel Porth are wonderful to explore. Charming and popular with families, Trevaunance has a small stream and a rocky area, great for watching marine life.

Polly Joke

Known locally as Polly Joke, Porth Joke beach is surrounded by sand dunes, largely grazed on by the National Trust. Caves, rock pools and a little stream adorn this pretty little cove. It’s also less busy than the nearby Newquay beaches.

Wine Cove

Let the kids (& your) imagination run wild in the caves on Porth Beach and then venture round the corner to Wine Cove. Tucked away around the headland between Porth Beach and Tolcarne Beach the cove is beautifully sheltered. Stay nearby at our Porth accommodation.

Beacon Cove

Play rock hopping in the stream or head for the golden sand at Mawgan Porth. Close to Mawgan Porth and easily missed, Beacon Cove is accessed via a steep pathway and a rope may be necessary! Not suitable for swimming but a tucked away gem. Stay nearby at White Lodge Apartments.

Pepper, Fox and Well Coves

Okay, technically 3 coves but they’re very close! Explore the amazing rock formations and caves at Porthcothan Beach and then discover the little inlets hidden in between Constantine and Porthcothan Bays. They can be tricky to access. Near Well Cove there’s a natural bathing pool in the rocks. Stay nearby at Bay Retreat Villas.

Also worth exploring

Great and Little Toddy Coves

At the south end of the popular surf beach of Fistral, these sandy coves are a little bit more sheltered and less crowded, making them popular with families.

Fruitful Cove

We just love the name! At the far end of Watergate Bay this little cove is worth the walk but don’t get cut off by the tide! Stay nearby at our Watergate Bay accommodation.

St George’s Cove

If you’re around Padstow head for the gorgeous St George’s Cove. With views over Camel Estuary to Rock, fine golden sand and shade make it a perfect hideaway.

Hawker’s Cove

As it’s name suggest, this one hides a dark past. Looking out onto the notorious ‘Doom Bar’ where ships to this day can be grounded, legend has it a mermaid laid it as a trap.

Read more about Cornwall’s Secret Beaches and Quirky Coves.