Cornwall boasts some of the country's most beautiful beaches, and we've listed below a handful of the finest, all just a short drive away from Poltair Holiday Barns. Don't forget the suncream...
Godrevy and Gwithian Beaches
Godrevy Beach, managed by the National Trust, is less than a five-minute drive away from Poltair and is part of the breathtaking stretch of sandy beaches sweeping around St Ives Bay. With seasonal lifeguards (check here for season dates), facilities and ice-cream van, this is the ideal place for a day at the beach with all the family. Kick back with a picnic whilst the children wear themselves out on the sand, and admire the famous lighthouse on Godrevy Island, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's novel To The Lighthouse. Or maybe you'd like to take lunch at the delightful Godrevy Cafe, serving great coffee, luscious homemade cakes and hearty lunches (call 01736 757999 to check opening times out of season). Stroll along the beach for just a few minutes to discover beautiful Gwithian, featuring Sunset Surf, a surf shop and family-friendly cafe that holds hugely popular evening events during peak season.
The walkers amongst you will find yourselves in heaven at Godrevy; there are miles of stunning walks over coastal grasslands and heathland, where you can explore areas rich in wildlife. Guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and cormorants all nest on the steep cliffs, and keep an eye out in the water for seal colonies. Walk Godrevy Head or Godrevy to Hell's Mouth for some inspirational experiences, or alternatively try the North Cliffs for breathtaking scenery and a relatively level stroll.
Of course walking may not be your thing, and if you'd prefer your action a little more high-octane then why not try one of the two accredited surf schools located at the beach, ShoreSurf and GAS? Whether you're a beginner or more advanced, there can't be many nicer ways to spend a sunny day at the beach than gliding along the waves and locating your inner surf-god!
Please note that dogs are not permitted at Godrevy or Gwithian during peak season.
Porthtowan and Chapel Porth Beaches
A sandy beach in west Cornwall which, at low tide, stretches to around a mile and a half in length, and which was awarded the prestigious Blue Flag in 2011, Porthtowan is a favourite amongst surfers and a popular family beach. Set in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it features a large car park as well as nearby cafes, children's play park, shops, watersport equipment hire and toilets. Lifeguards patrol during the season - check here for season dates. Dramatic cliffs and dunes also make this a spectacular area for a cliff walk - head east to St Agnes or west to Portreath.
Don't forget to visit the popular Blue Bar at Porthtowan, a family-friendly beach bar which serves delicious, hearty, locally sourced food all day, and which transforms at night into a brilliant venue showcasing eclectic events from live music to comedy. Dogs are also welcome at the Blue Bar.
Chapel Porth Beach is only a few hundred yards north of Porthtowan and can be reached on foot along the beach at low tide, or via the South West Coast Path at high tide. St Agnes Beacon and the surrounding clifftops are virtually all that remain of a huge area of heathland that once swept across Cornwall, and from late summer the heather and gorse are alive with colour. Meander around the paths at Wheal Charlotte, Wheal Coates or Trevellas and marvel at the fragments of Cornwall's mining history that are still visible today.
A great stop along the coast path from Porthtowan is the Chapel Porth Beach Cafe; serving sandwiches, soups and "the world's best hot chocolate", this is the perfect pit-stop at which to refuel on a long ramble!
Please note that dogs are not permitted at Porthtowan and Chapel Porth beaches during peak season.
Remember: always be safe on the beach: check the tide so you don't get caught out, and know what the flags mean.