Revered by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis, it’s not hard to see why Constantine Bay has captured the heart and inspired the mind of so many.
Just over 4 miles from Padstow, the syrupy swathes of Constantine Bay are a welcome sight. Connecting with neighbouring Booby’s Bay at low tide, it is flanked by noble headlands and backed by undulating sand dunes, creating a coastal cocoon as enticing for bracing winter strolls along the shoreline as balmy summer days lapping up the rays. With so much space to spread out, it is one of those beaches that always seems to have more than enough room for everyone, whether you like playing by the water’s edge, spread-eagling on the sand or tucking away in a quiet corner with a book.
Less sheltered than some of the other beaches nearby such as Harlyn Bay, Constantine Bay has long been recognised as one of the best spots for surfing in the whole of Cornwall. Routinely checked for water quality by DEFRA and producing excellent waves when the conditions are right, it pumps out glassy barrels from the reef break at the southern end of the beach as well as from the middle of the bay at high tide. Don’t be quick to rush in with your board though, these peeling beauties are only for experienced surfers! With lots of hidden rocks this is definitely one for the salt-kissed pros, although there are lots of options for learners nearby.
Great for paddling and swimming in the shallows too, bathers should pay attention when in the water at Constantine as the beach does shelve quite steeply at high tide and there can be strong rip currents when the swell picks up. Fortunately, there are lifeguards on duty in the summer who mark the safe swimming zones out with flags and are always on hand to offer advice and guidance, so you can safely enjoy the refreshing waters before towelling off and plonking back on the sand.
Great news for dog-owners, it’s not just two-legged visitors who can enjoy the glistening shores of Constantine Bay either, as it is a year-round dog-friendly beach. With ample space to play frisbee and fetch along the shore, your pup will be in seventh heaven scattering paw prints in the sand and sniffing out all the fun scents. Later on, reward your efforts with a bite to eat in nearby St Merryn or Padstow with the eclectic array of pubs, restaurants and cafés on offer, or head back to your luxury home from home and toast to another day in this gorgeous slice of paradise.