Cornwall

Kynance Cove, the Lizard

Located on the Lizard in West Cornwall, Kynance Cove must be one of the most recognisable beaches in the UK and is a must-visit with its white sandy beach, looming caves, majestic cliffs and clear turquoise waters.

Managed by the National Trust, Kynance Cove has been a popular place to visit since the Victorian times, when travellers caught the train to nearby Helston, then an omnibus onto the Lizard and then made the final journey by donkey!

We’re not suggesting you hire a donkey to get to Kynance, but the Victorians were on to something with their love of fresh sea air, botany and healthy living that inspired the likes of Alfred Lord Tennyson who described the sea at Kynance the ‘glorious grass-green monsters of waves’.

Today, we might be a little more Instagram than poetic inspiration, but we can all still benefit from the healing qualities of the sea and coast, and you’re not likely to find anywhere more impressive than Kynance Cove with its immense rocky formations, whiter-than-white sandy beaches and the mysterious caves of multicoloured Serpentine, a rock unique to the Lizard.

To get there, there’s a National Trust car park nearby, but during school and public holidays, do aim to get there early as it gets very busy. Alternatively, if you don’t mind a longer walk, park in the centre of Lizard village and follow the signposts.

Rugged, wild and majestic, the coast path towards Kynance is impressive, and make sure look out for seals bobbing in the water and choughs wheeling in the sky, a rare species of crow which have thankfully returned to Cornwall’s cliffs in recent years.

Nothing prepares you for THAT view though when the cove appears below. ‘Breath-taking’ might be an overused term but it fits here! You’ll either see sandy swathes of beach or no beach at all (always check the tide times before you go) – but it’s still achingly beautiful. 

Those seeking a leisurely, easy stroll should stop here or take the longer ‘pushchair friendly’ more level path (not suitable for wheelchair users as it’s still rough in places), whilst more able-bodied folk can head down the many steps and cross the stones onto the soft sandy beach. 

It’s a perfect spot for a picnic, so explore the many nooks and crannies to find a quiet corner to set up. Children will love discovering the caves whilst you have a relax – but do keep an eye on the changing tide as it’s easy to get cut off. 

If you’ve not brought a picnic, there’s a seasonal café which sells anything from teas and coffees to light lunches, plus the benches out front have stunning views of the cove.

There’s a dog ban on the beach at Kynance between 7am and 7pm from Easter Sunday until 30th September, however there are plenty of footpaths that wind around the headland offering excellent dog walking opportunities.

Please note that Kynance Cove doesn’t have a lifeguard service.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Cornwall here.

Kynance Cove, the Lizard, near Helston, Cornwall TR12 7PJ | 01326 222 170 | www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kynance-cove

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