If you have ever visited St Agnes in Cornwall you will already appreciate why I am so in love with this place. I adore everything about it but mostly, I enjoy nothing more than to spend my free time exploring one of the four beaches in and around the area.
Trevaunance Cove, Trevellas Porth, Chapel Porth and Porthtowan are the main beaches here and each is unique in its own little way! Whether you prefer spending your time relaxing on the sand, soaking up the scenery or perhaps you like to head straight for the sea; maybe surfing or body-boarding is your thing? Maybe you are keen to go in search of the many rock-pools that are often formed at low-tide or see the fascinating caves, you can be sure St Agnes has it all!
Trevaunance Cove is the main beach at St Agnes. Increasingly popular with families and surfers you will soon see why. The beach itself is mostly sheltered and surrounded by clean waters, little coves and high cliffs. At high tide you will find a shingle beach and at low tide a sandy beach is revealed. As the tide goes out, you can see the ruins of the old harbour, as well as find many rock-pools and caves to explore. To the right of the beach, over towards the large boulder-style rocks, you will see Trevellas Porth (more details below).
Once here, Breakers beach café, Schooners and the Driftwood Spars are the closest places to purchase food and drinks. Each offers something a little different in the way of their menu choices. Just a short walk up the road though, you will find many more of our favourite cafes, pubs and restaurants. We can highly recommend the Taphouse and the Greenroom café.
There are parking facilities nearby but during busier periods this becomes limited. There are public toilets just a short walk from the beach too.
Just some of the activities available near to Trevaunance Cove include:
This is the neighbouring beach to Trevaunance Cove and one of my absolute favourites. In the summer months you will mainly find me here, either swimming in the sea or lying on the sand reading a magazine. I’ve even been partial to a bit of snorkelling here too!
Trevellas is a small pebble beach that uncovers a large wave-cut platform and a sandy beach during low-tide. It sits in a valley called Trevellas Coombe, or known more locally as, ‘Jericho Valley’. Everything about it makes my heart sing. It’s one of those hidden gems that only locals and regulars to the St Agnes area would generally know about.
Access can be found via the cliff-path that’s situated close to the public toilets at Trevaunance. The short ten minute walk up-and-over the cliffs are most definitely worth it when you see what’s on offer here. The views from the cliff-top are spectacular! You can access the beach by vehicle, however, negotiating steep hills, narrow winding roads and rocky terrain in an unmaintained car park needs to be considered before you travel. I regularly see visitors getting stuck here so do be careful. If you are not familiar with this area and need to drive here, I would suggest parking near to Wheal Kitty and accessing the beach on foot.
Note: There are no facilities here. Just pure sea, sand and stunning views surround this idyllic location.
Approximately four miles south-west of St Agnes and located within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), lies Porthtowan. The small coastal village has become an increasingly popular holiday destination over the years, not surprising when you see what’s on offer. With a great family beach that’s famous for its golden sands, clean waters and Blue Flag status, it is also well-known for being one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing spots. Surrounded by large cliffs it often provides some shelter on those more blustery days.
At low tide the beach stretches to approximately one mile; further if you include the distance over to Chapel Porth. It is possible to walk along the beach to Chapel Porth (East Cliff towards the right hand side of the beach) and around West Cliff into Lushington Cove where you will find Tobban Horse (eroded headlands in the shape of, you’ve guessed it, a horse). At low tide the beach expands giving hours of exploring fun. However, make sure you check the tide times to be sure that you don’t get cut-off. Whilst here, look out for the tidal pool that is nestled at the foot of the cliffs; it’s one not to be missed!
Facilities here include a public car park and toilets. The main village is just a short walk away and has plenty to offer in the way of cafes and shops. We can highly recommend the Blue Bar for food and drinks. In the summer months, and after an evening sea-swim, we will often nip in here for a quick drink ready to watch the sunset. The views are incredible!
Chapel Porth is the adjoining beach to Porthtowan. Owned and managed by the National Trust, this stunning location is one not to be missed. Set in a valley and nestled between high cliffs, this beach at high tide is mainly complete with rocks and pebbles. At low tide though, a large sandy-beach is exposed, providing lots of opportunity for beach-walks, sandcastle building and hours of bathing. Again, lots of rock-pools and caves can be found here for all of you avid explorers.
There is a car park that is free to paying National Trust members and chargeable to others. At peak times this car park becomes increasingly difficult to find space so be prepared.
The café at the edge of the car park supplies lots of tasty snacks, hot and cold drinks too. Famous for its Hedgehog ice cream and delicious Croque, be sure to bring along some spends. There are a few benches at the front of the café so that you can sit and enjoy your coffee. There is also a public toilet here too.
Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my take on the beaches in and around St Agnes and find the information useful. Remember, this is my take on the beaches and written with a view to help others who are planning to visit the area. More detailed information is simply a click away.
To help make your visit much easier, I’ve included some important links regarding tide times; beach safety and seasonal dog restrictions.
RNLI – Lifeguard services