Cornwall

Poldhu Cove Beach Guide, West Cornwall

Whether your favourite place is firmly plonked in a deck chair, by the shore, in the sea, or up on the cliffs, you are sure to find the perfect spot at Poldhu Cove. With beautiful views, a year-round café, a seasonal surf school, lifeguards and more, this honey-hued gem of a beach is a favourite amongst all generations throughout the year.

Poldhu Beach near Mullion and Cury on the Lizard Peninsula peppered with beach goers. Poldhu Beach Cafe is in the background.

Following the tangle of lanes down through the Lizard is always a treat, especially when, in this case, they lead you to Poldhu Cove. One of the most glorious beaches on the whole peninsula, Poldhu is a west-facing sandy beach sheltered by tall cliffs and marram grass-tufted dunes. With a small number of roadside parking spaces available as well as a large car park, you can enjoy swift access to the beach along a sandy throughway between the dunes. Just remember to bring some change with you for the meter.

Emerging onto the beach, a scene of quintessential Cornish beauty stares right back at you. Even in winter, this beach’s large sandy swathes and turquoise shoreline that quickly gives way to cobalt depths is a sight to behold. Depending on the weather, you can expect to see millpond seas topped with paddleboarders and peppered with blissfully happy sea-bathers, or huge tumbling swells cut with the spray lines of surfers catching their latest wave. Even at high tide, there is plenty of space to take a pew and watch the water, while low tide proffers a vast playground for all.

If you are thinking of visiting Poldhu, here's our handy beach guide.

A view of an empty Poldhu Cove beach looking out to sea

Poldhu Beach Café

Set back within the dunes overlooking the beach, Poldhu Beach Café is a real favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. As popular in summer as it is in winter (hello, luxury hot chocolates), this café is open for an impressive 363 days every year and is always a firm favourite with all age groups. With a choice of inside and outside seating and hot and cold food, you can easily find something to hit the spot after a coastal stomp or day spent in the waves. The café even has its own gift shop selling clothes, beach essentials and gifts. 

Dan Joel Surf School

Whether you are a weathered barreler or have yet to unleash your inner Kelly Slater, Poldhu is one of the best places in Cornwall to learn how to surf. With great beginner waves in summer and thundering giants that attract hardy pros in winter, it has year-round appeal. For added guidance and expert advice, you can also sign up to surf lessons with Dan Joel Surf School, which is located right on the beach next door to Poldhu Beach Café. With lessons suitable for adults and children alike, the whole family can get involved. 

A view of Poldhu beach close to the shoreline with little mellow waves lapping the sand

Facilities 

Poldhu Cove is served by a number of great facilities which makes it really popular amongst families and those who appreciate their creature comforts. For food, you can head to the beach’s popular café, Poldhu Beach Café, or you can head into the nearby village of Mullion for a whole range of foodie options. For convenience, there are also toilets located at the entrance of the beach which are open during the day throughout most of the year. Some parking is available along the road by the beach and there is also a large, council-run car park across the road.

Lifeguards 

Poldhu Cove benefits from a large sandy beach that shelves gently towards the shore. The elements often combine to provide favourable swimming conditions on the beach; however, caution is always advised. Casting a watchful eye over the beach, RNLI lifeguards man Poldhu from the middle of May to the end of September each year, usually between 10am and 6pm. If you’d like to swim, look out for their red and yellow flags and swim between them for safety. You can also check out the latest RNLI updates for Poldhu here.

 A dog carrying a frisbee on the beach. Poldhu has seasonal dog restrictions in the summer.

Dogs

One of the best things about coming to Cornwall with your four-legged friend is the number of brilliant walks you can enjoy together. If you are looking forward to a dog-friendly holiday in Cornwall, then Poldhu will certainly be somewhere you want to consider for games of fetch by the shore. Dog-friendly most of the year, there are some restrictions in place between 1st July and 31st August each year, but only between the hours of 10am and 6pm when the temperature is cooler and there are fewer people.

The South West Coast Path

If you are a keen walker, you will pleased to hear that Poldhu Cove has great access to the South West Coast Path. Depending on whether you simply want to have a quick explore nearby or are planning a longer walk, you can make the most of the beautiful scenery all around this stretch of coast. A really great walk, a half-a-mile wander along the South West Coast Path will lead you north past the back of Mullion Golf Course to Gunwalloe Cove where a picturesque church nestles within the sand. Or, for a slightly longer option, you can head south from Poldhu past the Marconi Centre in the direction of Mullion Cove – roughly 3.5 miles there and back.

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

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