Secret beaches in north Cornwall to escape the summer crowds
One of the many advantages of the rugged north-Cornish coastline is the plethora of hidden coves and secret beaches tucked away under the tall cliffs. They’re not always easy to reach, but with a little effort you really can escape the crowds.
We’re lucky to have several within easy reach of Bude…
Many will know of Crackington Haven, but it’s worth including here as it rarely gets busy. Located 10 miles to the south of Bude, this beach is best enjoyed at low tide, when there’s more space to explore.
There’s a pub and café nearby, and the surf can be good at times – so very much worth a trip.
If you keep heading south from Crackington Haven, you’ll discover The Strangles around one mile on. There is a small National Trust car park on the road side, opposite the footpath down to the beach.
It is a relatively long climb down from the car park, so be prepared. But your efforts will be rewarded, as two beaches join up at low tide, revealing a long stretch of sand.
A truly rugged but beautiful cove, just to the north of Bude.
There are plenty of rock pools, and a stretch of sand at low tide. You may also spot the wreck of the SS Belem, wrecked just off the beach in 1917.
You’ll find a small National Trust car park at the beach, with an honesty box for payment.
Just to the south of Widemouth, around four miles from Bude, is Millook Haven.
The beach is mainly made up of pebbles and shingle, so not necessarily the best spot for lying in the sun – but it’s certainly a dramatic spot for a coastal walk.
There is no lifeguard cover here, and the sea is best avoided by inexperienced swimmers or surfers. But you can guarantee there won’t be too many people around.
Tregardock is around 20 miles from Bude, but you could combine it with a trip to Port Isaac or Tintagel, both of which are close by.
It’s fairly difficult to get to – located at the end of a long path, with a bit of a climb down. But for that reason, it is never busy.
If you’re planning a trip, keep an eye on the tide times. The beach disappears at high tide, but when the sea is out you’ll find plenty of sand and rock pools.
If you enjoyed this collection of secret beaches, take a look at our collection of the best wild swimming spots in Cornwall.
Adam Gibbard, Cornwall Beach Guide, and Visit Cornwall