Seven of our favourite beaches ...
Downderry (10 mins)
Drive down to Seaton and then continue through Downderry for about a mile until you get to the church and school. Park here on the road. Walk down the little path beside the primary school to the beach. It’s a bit dull here but if you walk for 10 mins to the left and over a couple of rocky bits there is a lovely quiet cove. Sand at high tide, rock pools at low tide. At low tide you can get around to the next beach - but be careful, you don't get long before the tide comes up.
Whitsand Bay and Freathy (15 mins)
The beach at Whitsand Bay is one of the best anywhere – just be aware that it is pedestrian access only and there are lots of steps. Most of the beach is covered at high tide so plan your trip around the tides – you can get cut off so take care. At low tide you will find about 2 miles of pristine golden flat sand – wonderful! There are a few parking options. There is a car park just before Freathy on the left as you approach the village – if you park here walk along the road towards Freathy and then take the path down to the sea. (Don’t take the path down opposite the car park as it is a tricky climb down to the beach from here). You will see other parking along the coast road. There are a couple of cafes: the Clifftop Café is up near the road and the Eddystone Café is on the beach – both about half a mile east of Freathy. (An investment we all missed – 20 years ago you could have picked up one of the chalets dotted around the hillside for a few thousand – now they are upwards of £300k!)
Talland Bay (20 mins)
Drive through Looe and up the hill the other side, the turn left, signposted to Talland Bay – it’s a narrow lane for a couple of miles to the beach. There are two beaches – the first is rocky, the second is sandy at low tide and pebbles at high tide. Parking is free on the road. If you are feeling a bit more energetic park at the Hendersick Car Park (free) – on the left about a mile before Talland and just after Hendersick Farm – and follow the signs to the coast path, then turn right. It takes about 50 mins and is gorgeous.
Hendersick (20 mins)
Possibly one of Cornwall’s best kept secrets. Park in the Hendersick car park (above) and walk down to the coast path. Turn left on the coast path for about 200 metres, then take the path down to the right. The beach is sandy, with rocks on the foreshore. Once on the beach if you walk along to the right there is a perfect swimming beach. It’s a big pull back up to the car park so save your energy! An alternative route here is to park at the end of the road through West Looe (the other side of the river) and walk about 30 mins along the coast path.
Lansallos (30 mins)
There is an NT car park (paid) in the village and it’s about half a mile walk down to the beach – walk down to the church from the car park and take the path next to the church, then a path off to the left. Beach is sandy at most tides and lovely.
Portwrinkle (15 mins)
Go along the coast road to Crafthole and then turn right down to Portwrinkle. From the car park (paid), looking towards the sea, you can turn left to the lovely Finnygook Beach or right towards the tiny harbour and Hoodny Cove – both are very nice.