Britain has hundreds of beaches and bays, some of which are more attractive than others, whether it's gorgeous Caribbean-worthy sands or islands named some of the world's prettiest.
Now, a recent study has unveiled the UK's most popular beaches. Taking the crown is Cornwall's Kynance Cove, a small beach on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall has been attracting sunbathers and wild swimmers for years.
I’m a big fan of Cornwall and have visited on road trips around the coast each summer for the last few years. In either a spate of excellent luck or choosing the right dates to visit I’ve even been blessed to visit in a heatwave twice in a row when Conrwall’s beaches are at their absolute best.
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My experience of Kynance Cove was definitely a stand out point in my road trip as I stayed in a bed and breakfast on the Lizard so my fiancé and I could climb down to the water early in the morning when the tide was in to go swimming.
Reviews of the cove on TripAdvisor aren’t lying when they say that the water on this beach is otherworldly. When we visited we parked up at the car park and walked the five minutes of rocky path down to the seawater – and it is so blue on bright days that it could almost be glowing.
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Unlike some other UK coastlines which boast silt-filled brown water, the Lizard Peninsula is blessed with clear, bright turquoise water much like that seen in Rhodes or Spain. Taking a dip first thing in the morning you could see right through it to the bottom!
Having turned up so early, the cove was quiet with only two other visitors nearby and it was the perfect way to start the day. Although, I must offer a sincere warning – even in the midst of a major heatwave the water is freezing cold and will wake you up with a sharp gasp.
I’d recommend you follow my lead and buy, or rent, a decent wetsuit which lets you feel warm while enjoying the chilly, but beautiful water. Staying on the Lizard was a great way to make sure we got to the beach early as we didn’t have to drive and parking is limited so if you arrive too late you might not bag a spot.
When the tide goes out Kynance Cove is fairly large with a wide, white sand bay to relax on – and you don’t need rock shoes as it’s so soft – while when the tide is high there’s little beach to speak of. There are toilets by the car park, a beach restaurant and you can also go paddleboarding.
The beach is accessible and parking is just 300 metres away, it’s free to enter and has picturesque cliffs shielding the bay from high winds. It’s no wonder so many people like to come on a hot summer’s day!
The small village on the peninsula offers a number of restaurants, charming shops and ice cream stands. I wouldn’t say much of the food was all that impressive, but it’s decent comfort food – and the brownies with clotted cream on top are to die for.
Journeyera.com, who ran the study, said: "What sets Kynance Cove apart is its Instagram-worthy turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs, making it not just a place to sunbathe but also a canvas for photographers and nature lovers. The relatively short length seems to concentrate its appeal, making every meter a hot commodity on social media."
With that being said, while I’m not surprised that Kynance Cove featured as the most popular beach in Cornwall it’s not actually my favourite. My top picks would be Tintagel Haven – where I got engaged – which is surrounded by high headlands, topped by King Arthur’s Castle.
Tintagel Haven is a tiny bay with a long and steep descent, a cave rumoured to be Merlin’s birthplace and plenty of jellyfish. When the tide is out there’s a small section of sand to relax on and the water swells around a rock in the centre of the cove before swelling out towards an uninterrupted ocean view.
My second top choice was actually also ranked as the second most popular in the study. Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall is a massive white sand beach right on the tip of Cornwall by the open-air theatre.
In the sunshine, the water is a rich, cobalt blue, the sand is bright white and there’s lots of room for sunbathing. However, it’s likely less popular than Kynance as it’s harder to reach and is at the very end of South West England.
While Sennen Cove is another beautiful beach nearby with gold sand and plenty to do from surfing to swimming and even flying kites. There's somewhere for everyone in Cornwall!
- You can find out more about the popular beaches on journeyera.com.
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