A visual revolution away from cities and motorways, driving along Cornwall’s north coast is like finding yourself in a National Geographic centrefold.
Peeling off the Atlantic Highway near Padstow you will find a multitude of beaches and coves. Each with their own character, they are all worthy of exploration. One such sandy gem is Harlyn Bay, found three miles west of Padstow town.
Following country roads past rolling fields, the odd cottage and leafy hedgerows, Harlyn’s deep crescent bay is a welcome sight. Popular in the summer and winter months, Harlyn Bay offers both space and shelter, a welcome combination.
With sea views spanning for miles disappearing only into the horizon, a cool dip is a tempting proposition for any visitor. Lifeguarded throughout the summer months, from May to September, Harlyn is considered one of the safest beaches in the county to enjoy a refreshing soak. The beach is also dissected by a small stream which is a great compromise for younger swimmers looking to take a splash.
Reminiscent of a Californian movie, Harlyn Bay is a great spot for surfers. Whilst novices can practice all year, pros will have the most fun with a south-westerly wind. Surf classes take off from the beach throughout the summer, so whether you’re a beginner, seasoned vet or providing support from the shoreline, it’s a good idea to bring your wetsuit just in case.
A great choice for families, there are a number of rock pools dotted around the bay. Big kids and little kids alike can peer into magical worlds and miniatures seas with open-mouthed awe. It’s good news for you four-legged friend too, as the beach remains dog-friendly year-round.
Far from noise and neon lights, Harlyn Bay takes natural beauty seriously. The nearest local amenities and shops are about a mile away, so make sure you’ve stocked up on goods before surrendering yourself to a day on the beach. There is a car park behind the beach which provides ample space, although it can get busy in the peak summer months.
Whether you’re looking to hop Cornwall’s patchwork of incredible beaches or spend a day relaxing in golden sands, make sure you’ve bookmarked Harlyn Bay and let the fresh salty breeze whip your problems away.