There’s an incredible choice of beaches in Cornwall, and we’re famous for our stunning coastline. Here in St Austell, you have easy access to lots of beautiful Cornish beaches: you can even walk to some of them from The Cornwall.
Many people come to stay in St Austell to be near attractions such as the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. However, on a sunny day, you can’t beat a trip to the seaside. What are the best beaches close to the Eden Project?
This sheltered beach is popular with families, and it’s easy to see why. Porthpean Beach has lovely, inviting sand and clear waters for swimming, and it’s also home to the Porthpean Outdoor Activity Centre and the Porthpean Sailing Club. The beach facilities are good, with loos, a shop and a cafe in the high season. Head to the east side for fascinating rock pools.
Walk or cycle the Pentewan trail down to this lovely sweep of sand (or drive down to the beach’s car park). The beach is owned by the nearby holiday park, and visitors to the beach can use the park’s facilities. It's a popular spot for watersports and swimming, and its soft white sand makes it a lovely place to relax with a book.
Leave the bustle of the pretty harbour behind, and head along the South West Coast Path to Mevagissey Beach (also known as Polstreath Beach). Because the cove isn’t easily accessible (there are 200 steps down to the beach as well as the walk from town), it’s often a quiet spot to relax or swim, and the surrounding cliffs keep the sandy beach nice and sheltered.
This two-mile-long beach is actually divided into three areas: Crinnis, Shorthorn and Polgaver. The beach is actually often called “Crinnis Beach” rather than Carlyon. There are often events here in the summer, including competitions, performances and pop-up food stalls. There’s a large car park near the beach.
Most people come to Charlestown to admire perfectly preserved harbour and dramatic tall ships. However, it’s also home to an appealing little beach. It’s a sandy and pebbly beach surrounded by cliffs, dotted with intriguing little caves (be careful when exploring these in case of rock falls).
Come to this sandy beach for peace and tranquillity. The privately owned beach has no facilities, and there’s no parking nearby. Leave your car at Charlestown or Porthpean, and enjoy a 10-15 minute walk along the coast path (we think this adds to the visit).
If you don’t mind heading a little further afield, Gorran Haven is a pretty place to visit. The sheltered sandy beach is at the heart of the village, so you’ve plenty of amenities. The village is about 11 miles away from St Austell, a drive of 20 minutes or so.
This beach near Gorran Haven is best-suited to the adventurous beach-goer. Great Perhaver beach has no facilities, and is approached along the coast path, followed by a steep climb down the cliffs (we’ve heard that it’s actually easier to arrive by boat!). Once harem you’re rewarded by a peaceful, sandy bay, sheltered by the cliffs. Please note: there’s no beach at high tide. Check the tide times before setting out.
If you don’t mind a short drive, you can reach many more beautiful beaches. Head to the North coast for the beaches of Padstow and Rock, or try Port Isaac and its surrounding coves. It’s only 40 minutes by road from St Austell to the famous surfing beaches at Newquay.
Want to know more about Cornwall’s beaches? Get in touch with us at The Cornwall - we’re always happy to share our local knowledge.