Author Archives: Watergate Bay

What’s on in Easter

Cornwall is full of buzz and activity during Easter. Here’s a list of our favourite things to do in the county.

1. Easter at Eden

Eden Project Bee Easter

From 24 March – 15 April  the Eden Project will be hosting the “Giant inflatable challenge”, go wild on bouncy inflatable slides. Learn how to make you garden grow in the form of an obstacle course or take part in crazy Easter games, including a hunt for golden eggs around the grounds.

2. Learn to surf with the Extreme Academy


We have some of the best surf in Cornwall at Watergate Bay and a surf school to boot. Jump in to your wetsuit, grab a board and join the team for a surf lesson, one of the most popular water sports in Cornwall. We guarantee after one lesson you’ll be hooked, especially after you’ve caught your first wave!

3. Watergate Bay Hotel Kids’ Zone

Watergate Bay Easter

We have supervised sessions, family entertainment and plenty of fun in store in Kids’ Zone and the XA Club for hotel guests this Easter.

Free surf lessons for hotel guests (8-15 year olds) with the Extreme Academy will be running from Saturday 24 March to Sunday 15  April. Class times are 9.30am and 1.30pm each day, one lesson per child. Booking is recommended. For more information on what’s on in Watergate Bay during Easter, check the reception blackboard for family entertainment in the family games room.

4. Mount Hawke Skate Park

Mount Hawke Skate park

Mount Hawke Skate Park is one of the largest in the country. Kids (and adults) of all ages and abilities, will love it here. The current set up includes mini ramps, 13ft Vert ramp, 6ft spine ramp, skate grindbox section, BMX rhythm section, and a large street course. Under 11 and over 11 sessions are available, along with equipment hire.

5. Take a walk

It’s no surprise that walking is one of the most popular activities in Cornwall given there is over 200 miles of beautiful coast path to explore offering stunning views of golden beaches and endless horizons. Choose your favourite walk from our top ten and enjoy exploring!

6. Made in Cornwall Easter Fair 

Made in Cornwall are hosting their Easter Fair on Lemon Quay in Truro. The fair will be open 9am to 5pm from Wednesday 29 March through to Saturday 31 March. Here you’ll find local artists and craft makers as well as plenty of food and drink. Everything sold at the fair has been certified by trading standards as being made in the county.

7. Relax in one of our favourite Cornish gardens

Cornwall is home to some of the best gardens in the UK. Enjoying the warmth of the gulf stream, the gardens are abundant with a wealth of rare, exotic and exciting plants and trees, and in Easter the gardens are in full bloom!

8. The National Maritime Museum


Throughout Easter The National Maritime Museum has a great line up of events, including the opening of the new Treasure island play zone. If you’re up to the adventure, try your hand at Pirate school. The Museums latest exhibit – Titanic Stories, presents artefacts that have never been seen before in the country, learn the personal stories of some of the survivors, victims and descendants of the Titanic disaster, some of which are from Cornwall.

9. Cadbury’s Easter egg hunts with The National Trust


Cadbury Easter egg hunts are taking place all over the county at National Trust Properties and Gardens, including Trerice which is just a short drive from Watergate Bay.

10. Visit one of Cornwall’s historic landmarkspendennis-castle

From the birthplace of King Arthur at Tintagel, to Henry VIII’s set of formidable fortresses, Cornwall is full of historical landmarks. Take a trip back in time and discover the secrets of Cornwall’s history.

11. Talk to the animals


Newquay Zoo have a wild line up of events this Easter from duck races to animal enrichment workshops to face painting. Try your hand at the “Eggstreme” Easter egg trail and claim a chocolate treat.

12. DairyLand Easter egg hunt

Dairyland Meerkats Easter

Join in the Easter fun in the egg workshop or take part in the Easter egg hunt. Meet the farm animals that live at DairyLand, feed lambs, ride ponies, pat pets and learn how to milk a cow.

Mother’s Day gift ideas from Watergate Bay

We understand how special your Mum is to you, so we’ve put together a list of our favorite gift ideas. This Mother’s Day treat her to a little piece of Watergate Bay.

Watergate Bay Elements

Designed to give the sense of active relaxation you get from being in the Great British outdoors and a good walk on the beach, invigorating the skin and stimulating the senses. Think grapefruit, lime, peppermint and orange; chamomile, frankincense, clove & geranium. Prices start from £15 per bottle. Order now for Sunday 11th March

Watergate Bay Elements Mothers Day

Watergate gift cards

The perfect gift for anyone who loves to visit the bay. Whether it’s surfing, eating, relaxing or staying, a Watergate Bay gift card lets you and your mum decide when and where. Our gift cards can be used at the hotel, Swim Club, The Beach Hut or the Extreme Academy

Extreme Academy Mothers Day

Day membership at Swim Club

With secluded spaces, wide-open views, busy and quiet places, there’s something for everyone and every mood in Swim Club. Escape for the day with day membership and enjoy an invigorating treatment, a dip in the pool and settle down in front of the ocean view and enjoy your day. Day membership starts at £80. Check availability for Mother’s day.

Swim Club Mothers Day

Escape to Watergate with Taste Of The Bay

For a real Mother’s Day treat why not bring your mum for a proper foodie break away. Stay at the hotel for three nights and enjoy three great restaurants including the new look Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, The Beach Hut and Zacry’sBook now for March.

Watergate Bay Mothers Day

To all those lucky Mum’s out there we hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day!

What’s on in February half-term?

Cornwall has plenty of family activities on offer this February, including lots of half-term specials. It may be a little chilly outside but wrap up warm and you can get out and enjoy what our county has to offer.

This is a guide for the young, and the young at heart.

Kids’ Zone Activities

Kids Zone

Our Kids’ Zone has plenty of fun, supervised sessions on offer this February half term. Budding chefs will make tasty treats like bread, pasties, pizza and pancake pops to celebrate Pancake Day. Kids can get crafty with arty activities throughout the day, making sock animals or Valentines Day crafts. And as always, we have lots of games to play and new friends to make.

Kids Zone supervised sessions
For 3-7 years and 7-12 years every morning from 10am and evening from 6.30pm – Saturday 10 to Sunday 25 February.

Extreme Academy surf lessons
If you are a guest of the hotel during half term learn to surf with the Extreme Academy. Every child receives one free lesson.

Lanhydrock Cycle Trails

Lanhydrock Cycle

©National Trust Images/John Millar

Lanhydrock is known for the late Victorian National Trust House and estate that once belonged to the Agar-Robartes family through the 18th Century. With ancient woodlands, winding rivers and well-kept gardens, Lanhydrock is a great day out. The trails are cycle specific and designed to be ridden in one direction; however, walkers can enjoy the green track just as much, especially if your little cyclist isn’t that proficient yet. There are off road cycle trails and special routes for families and novice riders.

Lanhydrock have a full range of bikes for hire for all heights and abilities. Child seat mounts are also available and they offer free helmets as standard.

The National Maritime Museum

science of the sea

The National Maritime Museum is certainly worth a visit. Featuring 15 exciting galleries unlike any other in the country.

This February half term, discover the wonderful world of chemistry through the everyday life of water. Explorer Dome’s show is a live, expert-led science show with entertaining demonstrations, audience interaction and volunteers will be required! Giving people of all ages a hands-on experience of science and a chance to meet researchers from the nearby Penryn Campus. As well as hearing short talks, visitors become scientists themselves by taking part in a range of activities and demonstrations.

The Eden Project

Early man eden

Take part in an archaeological dig, using brushes and tools to uncover ancient artifacts, or head for the fire pit in the Orchard and learn the survival skills that you would need to survive the Stone Age. Discover the latest film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit – Early Man, including behind the scenes fun and activities.

Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Train the Troops

©English Heritage

Visit Pendennis Castle during half term to step back in time and see if you have what it takes to become a WWI Soldier. Learn about the vital part that Pendennis Castle played in the first World War as the command centre of coast artillery defences for West Cornwall.

Newquay Zoo

Nearby nature

Get up close with animals from across the world at Newquay Zoo. “Nearby Nature” launches this February half term and it’s not to be missed. Including creepy encounters outside the tropical house, watch the animals go wild for tasty treats, or get to know your favourite animals better with talks from the keepers.

The National Trust

Trerice National trust

©National Trust Images/John Millar

With over 50 locations around Cornwall, The National Trust have plenty on offer over half term. There will be seed planting and welly walking, along with lots of other activities such as nature trails and learning survival skills at certain locations.

Book your stay online or call our reservation team on 01637 860543.

What’s on in Cornwall during May half term

Cornwall is a hive of activity during half term, with great family friendly attractions and events all over the county plus miles of countryside and beaches to explore.


JUNGLE MAY-HEM – 27 May – 4 June
Join in with the JUNGLE MAY-HEM. Complete the Jungle Safari trail for a chance to win an animal adoption! Let your little ones become little animals with our fantastic face painters. Catch interactive talks with the keepers taking place throughout the day.

Awesome Adventures – National Maritime Museum, Falmouth – 26 May  4 June
Go on an awesome adventure this summer. Inspired by the heroic voyages of exploration by ships such as Captain Bligh’s HMS Bounty, join the crew of HMS Adventure in our Play Zone to explore the Pacific Islands.

Learn to surf with the Extreme Academy – Throughout the year
Surfing is the most popular wave riding sport on the planet and we have one of the finest surfing beaches in the country at Watergate Bay. Catch your first wave this May!

Zip Wire at Eden Project: Throughout the year
Take an adrenaline-fuelled ride over the Biomes on the SkyWire. At 660m, SkyWire is still the longest zip wire in England and now it’s definitely the fastest. And you can now fly headfirst in our ’superman’ harness.
Booking is advised.

Lanhydrock Cycle Trails – Throughout the year
Head to Lanhydrock Estate and try out the new cycle trails that take you deep into little explored woodland on the estate. With trails suitable for families and beginners, trailers, tagalongs and disability bikes.
Bike and helmet hire available.

Dog friendly beaches in Cornwall

Dogs are welcome at Watergate Bay all year round. There’s no seasonal ban on our two-mile stretch of beach – it’s a permanent sandy playground studded with rock pools. Your canine companions can join you in The Beach Hut and the Living Space, too, for some post ruff and tumble refreshment. In a selection of rooms pampered pooches can even stay overnight, making early morning walkies a doddle.


But if there’s one thing dogs love more than a beach, it’s discovering a new one. Happily, there are several pet-friendly beaches in Cornwall. At these beautiful beaches your service animal or pet can roam free and enjoy everything nature has to offer. Here are some of your four-legged friends’ favourites.

1. Mawgan Porth

Next door to Watergate Bay, with plenty of sand even at high tide. Relatively quiet compared with other beaches on the north coast. Local shops good for a gander, fish and chips, bucket and spade and a ball.

2. Porthkidney Beach

Two miles from St Ives on the west coast. Huge beach, stretching a mile out to sea at low tide. Rover is free to roam, though he must be kept on a lead when on the footpaths.

3. Prussia Cove Beach

Off the beaten track, half way between Penzance and Porthleven. Small coves of sand and shingle but no beach at high tide. Park at the top and keep exuberant dogs on leads down the coast path. Romantic spot, famous for being home to a family of smugglers in the 18th century.

4. Lantic Bay

One for the energetic.  Access is a mile-long walk with a steep cliff descent, but footpaths are well marked and the beach is worth the trek. Good views of Pencarrow Head. East of Fowey and south-facing, it’s a suntrap.


5. Mother Ivey’s Bay and Harlyn Bay

Mother Ivey’s is a sheltered bay near Padstow. Pretty like its name, thanks to zero facilities and no parking the sandy beach is always quiet. Park at Harlyn Bay and walk 20 minutes west along the coast path. Or just stop at Harlyn, where life guards are in attendance during the summer. Good spot for families.

6. Holywell Bay Beach

A mile-long, sandy beach around six miles west of Newquay. High dunes are great fun for dogs, while the clean and safe waters make it popular with swimmers and surfers. Disabled access from the car park.

7. Daymer Bay Beach

A scamp to the north-west of Rock, with fantastic views across the Camel Estuary and to Padstow. Parking available, although the steps down to the beach make access unsuitable for wheelchairs.  Plenty of sand at high tide and a good spot for watching windsurfing.

8. Gwenver Beach

Just east of Sennen Cove and popular with pooches and surfers. Dogs will make short work of the route up and down, while their walkers will find the long flight of steps a good workout. Swimming on flat days is good, but be mindful of rip tides. Lifeguard service spring to September.

9. Mexico Towans Beach

Part of a four-mile stretch of beach starting at the mouth of the Hayle Estuary and finishing at Godrevy Lighthouse. Backed by magnificent sand dunes, the water in front of it is great for swimming and surfing. Another gem of a Cornish beach that dogs love.

10. Watergate Bay

At Watergate Bay we do not impose a seasonal dog ban and encourage you to bring your dog down to play on the beach. We have many rock pools to explore and two miles of golden sand that is sure to tire out any pooch. But don’t fret we also cater for the owners; after an invigorating session on the beach pop into The Beach Hut for something to eat or drink whilst enjoying the view, or pop up to the hotel’s Living Space with is open plan bar area and Mediterranean menu, of course dogs are welcome in both!


Top ten Cornish beaches to watch the sunset

The hour before the sun finally dips below the horizon is a magical time, especially in Cornwall. Hues of gold, orange, purple and red fill the sky and there is no better place to watch the sunset than from a beach. Bury down in the sand, let the sea lap at the shore and allow night time to fall.


With many of our beaches facing west we are lucky enough to get some of the best sunsets in the country. We wanted to create a list of the top ten beaches to watch the sunset but it was too hard for just one person to choose. So we asked you, and it’s fair to say we were inundated with suggestions and reasons as to why your choice should feature in the list, however there were some clear, stand-out choices.


1. Watergate Bay

Whether you are nestled on the sand, up on the cliffs or sipping an Extreme hot chocolate in the warmth of The Beach Hut you are guaranteed to witness a spectacular sunset. Watergate Bay beach stretches for two miles providing a panoramic view of the setting sun.
Check out our Instagram for our best sunsets.

2. Perranporth Beach

With miles of golden sands backed by rolling sand dunes, Perranporth is the perfect spot to find your own secluded part of the beach and take in the sunset.

3. Bedruthan Steps

The beach has beautiful golden sand which is only accessible at low tide meaning you may have to watch the sunset from the cliff tops. The granite rocks that are dotted across the beach are, according to legend, stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan.

4. Mawgan Porth

Mawgan Porth is a firm favourite with beach goers in Cornwall and The Times named it one of the best beaches in Britain. It’s one of the quieter beaches, especially in the evening meaning you could be the only one watching as sun sets.

5. Lusty Glaze

Lusty Glaze is an action packed beach; from surfing to rock climbing to live music, there is always something happening.

6. Sennen Cove

The white sands of Sennen Cove are an idyllic place to rest whilst watching the sunset. It is the most westerly beach in Cornwall, so you get to see every last bit of sun before it dips below the horizon.

7. Porth Beach

Porth Beach is flanked either side by large cliffs which frame the sun as it sets.

8. Crantock Beach

With large expanse of golden sands sheltered by sand dunes Crantock Beach is a cosy spot to watch the sunset. Many of you suggested this beach and we can see why!

9. Gwithian Towans Beach

Blasted by the breeze off the Atlantic, the magnificent beach at Gwithian Towans is always a colourful scene of windsurfers. You can watch the silhouettes of water sport enthusiasts as you take in the setting sun.

10. Any

To be honest any beach in Cornwall is a great one to watch the sunset! All of them have their own unique qualities meaning we cant really pick a top ten, however, these were the most popular choices by far. We’d love to know if you have any more suggestions.

Top ten walks in Cornwall

It’s no surprise that walking is one of the most popular activities in Cornwall given there is over 200 miles of beautiful coastal path to explore offering stunning views of golden beaches, secluded coves and endless horizons. Not only have walkers been drawn by South West coast path but also by the lure of ancient moorland, mineral tramways, clay trails and lakes.

You don’t have to be a seasoned walker to enjoy exploring Cornwall, but might we suggest some comfortable shoes.

Check our our top ten walks in Cornwall and feel free to suggest your favourites in the comments box.

1.Cardinham Woods, central Cornwall, nr. Bodmin


(Photograph by Josh Coombes)

If you’re looking for fun and adventure or peaceful strolls, fresh air and natural beauty, Cardinham Woods is the place to go. Cardinham is famed for its walking trails, from easy routes for beginners to longer walks that include steep valley climbs and fanastic views. Take a picnic with you or stop off at Woods Cafe for a treat afterwards – you’ll have earned it.

2. Watergate Bay coastal path


Whether you choose to walk south towards Porth and Newquay or North towards Mawgan Porth and Beruthan Steps you’ll be offered panoramic views across the Atlantic. Time it right and you’ll also get to take in a magnificent sunset. Remember to bring your camera!

 3. Godrevy to Hells Mouth (and back again), North Cornwall nr. St Ives


Exhilarating cliff top pathways and glorious ocean views. This route takes you around Godrevy headland to the dramatic Hell’s Mouth and back again, taking in the wonderful heathland of the Knavocks.

4. Respryn Ramble, cenrtal Cornwall nr. Bodmin


This circular walk from Respryn car park takes in fantastic scenery along the River Fowey and through the ancient woodland on the National Trust’s Lanhydrock estate. Stunning shows of wild daffodils occur in March, followed by bluebells in April and May.

 5. Bodmin Moor, central Cornwall


Bodmin Moor’s landscape of granite tors and rugged landscape lends itself beautifully to walking and rambling. Follow one of the marked routes or amble your way from tor to tor at your own pace.

6. Tehidy Country Park, North Cornwall nr. Redruth


Tehidy is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. With over nine miles of paths in 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, Tehidy is an enchanting place to visit all year round. There are many places along the paths to stop for picnics too!

7. Kennall Vale, between Redruth and Falmouth


The first part of the walk is not very promising, but when you reach the top of the slope an extraordinary world opens up to you. Unveiled is an array of old mining equipment once used to make gunpowder. Since mining stopped in the 1900s nature has claimed back the land, filling the quarry with water and covering the old buildings in layers of moss. The expression “a walk through history” is an overused one but at Kennall Vale that’s a good way to put it.

8. Camel Trail – Wadebridge to Padstow, North Cornwall nr. Watergate Bay


Follow the River Camel from Wadebridge to the bustling harbour of Padstow. This five and a half mile walk runs along a flat path that was once the site of a railway parallel to the river. Meander along the path and take in the sights over the estuary, just keep your eyes and ears open for the cyclists!

Take a closer look at the trail here.

9. Luxulyan, central Cornwall nr. St. Austell


This valley has a rather industrial past, but it’s hard to imagine it considering its appearance now is calm and tranquil. Take your dog for a walk here and see if you can uncover some of its hidden history.

10. Watergate Bay


If you’re not set up to travel to some of these beautiful locations, you could step outside of the hotel and walk along the beach. At low tide Watergate Bay beach stretches out for two miles and has plenty of nooks and caves to explore.

Have we missed your favourite walk? Let us know in the comments box below.

Josh Coombes Photography

Top ten places to swim in Cornwall

From fun pools and infinity pools, to tidal pools and oceans, Cornwall has a swimming experience for everyone. Swimming is the perfect way to keep fit, why not travel the county and experience some of the most unique swimming pools in Cornwall.

Here’s our top ten.

1. Jubilee Pool, Penzance


Penzance is an historic harbour on the south-facing shore of Mount’s Bay with one of the mildest climates in the UK. One of the hidden gems of Penzance is the Jubilee Pool, the UK’s largest seawater lido. It’s a fabulous venue for swimming, sunbathing or simply relaxing by the poolside. A shallow children’s pool set within the main pool area provides an ideal environment for youngsters to enjoy the water in safety.
The pool will open every day from 25th May to 1st September 2013 from 10.30am – 6pm.

Watch the video on Jubilee Pool by Visit Cornwall

2. Watergate Bay Hotel Swim Club


The Watergate Bay Hotel 25m infinity pool with ocean views is the ultimate pool for relaxation. Featuring a café-bar, three treatment rooms, an outside cedar hot tub and direct access to the beach. Flanked on two sides by glass, it is an extension of the Atlantic, only warmer. Bi-folding doors along one length of the pool can be opened on sunny days making it feel just like an outdoor pool.

Day membership or being a guest of the hotel will give you access to Swim Club for the day.

3. Summerleaze tidal pool, Bude


Sea swimming but without the worry of being swept out to sea. Bude’s sea pool located on Summerleaze beach is part-natural part-man made created in the 1930s. The Pool provides plenty of room for paddling or serious swimming: inflatables, snorkels surfboards and even scuba divers are welcome.

4. Padstow to Rock


The Padstow to Rock Swim is one of only a handful of UK Open Water swims that anyone can enter. The one mile swim across the Camel Estuary aims to raise substantial sums for charity and since 2007 has achieved sums of over £150’000.
Reckon you could do it? It’s much harder than it looks!

5. Swimming the Brisons


Each year people take to the Atlantic to swim from Brisons rock to Cape Cornwall, just off Lands End. The Brisons is a large rock about a mile out to sea which at high tide looks to be split in two; some even refer to it as ‘General de Gaulle in his Bath’. The event is never advertised but instead relies solely on word of mouth; so get down to Lands End and see what else you can find out about it.

6. Oasis Fun Pool, Newquay


Oasis Fun Pool at Hendra Holiday Park is a perfect attraction for the whole family, whatever the weather. They boast an indoor and outdoor pool, three water flumes, giant tap, a river rapid ride, fountains and waterfall plus a toddler area with slide.

7. Sea swimming at Gyllyngvase Beach, Famouth


One of only six Blue Flag 2012 award winning beaches in Cornwall, Falmouth’s largest beach, Gyllyngvase, is a fine crescent of sand popular with families, swimmers, wind-surfers and canoeists.

Swimmers can often be seen taking a dip early in the morning.

8. Kernow Splash Mobs


Every Friday, up until mid-September, Kernow Splash Mob meets at 6.30pm at Porthminster Beach, St Ives, to improve their swimming technique and have some splash mob fun. The sessions are free for all, and the group invites people of any age to join them.

9. The Tamar Swim


The Tamar Swim will take place on 15th June. It’s a 1,200 metre swim along the river dividing Cornwall and Plymouth. The event has a limited number of places but you could always head down to the Union Inn in Saltash and show your support to those swimming.
The swim begins at 10am and swimmers must bring a brightly coloured swim hat so that they are easily spotted.

10. The sea


There is enough of it about, so jump on in, with or without a wetsuit.

Watch this blog for some more interesting swimming related posts!

Caitlin Moran – guest blog


Caitlin Moran came to stay.

We asked her to share her experience of Watergate Bay in our Another Place magazine.

She said, “Yes.” We said, “AMAZING!” And, this is what she wrote.

I’m not one for exaggeration or hyperbole – I never do them! I am THE WORLD’S LEAST HYPERBOLIC BEING! – but I genuinely can’t imagine someone going Watergate Bay and not loving it.

It’s a place designed to soothe a soul-become-peevish: two days here will melt your hunched-up shoulders back to their normal place.

A week might just prevent you suddenly standing up in the office one day, screaming, “I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!”, stealing the photocopier, and running down the fire-escape, forever.

The idea is simple: mankind becomes sane again when it goes and splashes around in the sea. It turns into a child again – collecting shells, swimming, running. Playing cricket at sunset, stumps in the sand, as the shadows grow longer. Mankind by the sea is the very best kind of mankind.

But as mankind gets older – hits perhaps, say, 38-ish – mankind might want to oscillate between the sometimes visceral effects of the sea, and  – again, say – a hot-tub, in which mankind could drink a margarita. Or perhaps mankind might bang its head a bit on a surfboard, become a little sullen, and need to go for an hour-long massage that smells of rose-oil.

Or it could be that mankind might find a rainy day rather off-putting, since it’s hips started getting this odd ache on colder days – and prefer to sit in a massive squashy armchair, drinking brandy hot-chocolate and reading Riders by Jilly Cooper  – occasionally looking up, through the huge windows, to observe the redoubtable Carl from Extreme Academy tiring its offspring out during an exhilarating, all-day long surf-lesson.

Yes. When mankind thinks about that, that’s really much what mankind would like. Followed by a gigantic dinner, overlooking the sea, with the children excitedly talking about how many “waves” they’ve “popped” while mankind beckons over the wine-waiter and whisper, “Something ballsy in a skull-sized glass, please. And keep it coming.”

As much sleep as you like, in a perfectly-made bed, before waking to find the beach empty and clean again – ready for you to do it all over again, but just slightly differently. Perhaps a cheese toastie for lunch today, and then floating in the pool, then a pedicure, then Monopoly. Oh God, that’s the best day ever.

Every time I’ve come to Watergate Bay, I haven’t left until I’ve booked in for the next time. And each time I book my next stay, I book it for longer than the previous one. And bring friends. Who bring friends. Who all become evangelical.

I have yet to tire of the endless, simple cycle of staying in the sea until I’m hungry or tired, returning to the hotel to be fed or soothed, and then going back into the sea until I’m hungry or tired again. So many places should be able to do this – keep a whole family suspended in a perfectly happy, lavish bubble, on the edge of the sea – but so very, very few do.

So that’s why, if you found it hard to book a room at Watergate Bay this year – “Sorry, that room’s taken” – it was probably my fault. I basically live here now. But now you’re here too, you’ll understand why.

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran was raised in the gutter by wolves and was a columnist for The Times aged 17, because she was desperate to leave Wolverhampton and not share a bedroom with seven siblings. She has won Columnist, Interviewer and Critic of the Year for The Times, and her book, How To Be A Woman, was 2011 Book Of The Year, and has now been published in 32 countries. When she stays at Watergate Bay, her favourite table is the big one by the balcony, which she bagsys no returns.

Ten best beaches in Cornwall

Inspired by Watergate Bay’s listing as one of the top 20 English beaches 2015 in The Telegraph, we compiled a list of the top 10 beaches in Cornwall.

It proved to be a bit of a challenge for just one person to pick. So instead we set about asking as many employees and friends of Watergate Bay Hotel for their favourites. It’s fair to say we were inundated with suggestions and reasons as to why their choice should feature in the list, however there were some clear, stand-out choices, and here they are, in no particular order…

1. Perranporth

Perranporth beach stretches out for three miles on the north Cornwall coast, when the tide is out, perfect for walking your dog or finding a quiet spot to enjoy a spot of sun bathing. Because the beach is so long it can feel like you have the whole place to yourself.

The beach is flanked on one side by rolling sand dunes which make for an enjoyable walk or, for those of you who are into your fitness, a challenging run. Local riding stables also take rides along the beach and kitesurfers can often be seen towards the north end.

On top of this the beach bar/café, The Watering Hole, which is only accessable via the beach it serves food and drink throughout the seasons and plays host to some great live bands.


Perranporth Beach

2. Whitsand

Whitsands is a beach largely over looked by visitors and tourists but the people of Plymouth and Cornwall have long cherished this beautiful stretch of coast line on the south coast.

Whitsands is accessible by a long set of stairs that passes the very popular Cliff Top Café, or by a series of cliff paths that seem as if they have been forged into the cliff over the years by eager visitors. It is a steep decline down onto the beach but well worth it – sometimes the best beaches are the most difficult to get to!


Whitsands Beach

3. Constantine Bay

This west facing beach on the north coast is very popular with surfers and swimmers due to the great surf and because the water quality is frequently tested and approved by DEFRA. However, it is advised that only experienced surfers take to the waters at Constantine Bay due to the hidden rocks and strong rip currents.

For those of you who aren’t feeling a dip in the Antlantic but love to explore, Constantine Bay offers a multitude of rock pools abundant with sea life at low tide. Come rain or shine, rock pooling is a great family activity!


Constantine Bay

4. Watergate Bay

It would be impossible not to mention our beautiful beach, Watergate Bay; two miles of fine sandy beach on the north coast of Cornwall.

We are a great beach for water sports  attracting world class kite surfers and surfers a like. For those of you who aren’t necessarily ‘world class’, Watergate Bay is home to the Extreme Academy Surf School who provide lessons to all standards of water sports enthusiasts  The bay is so popular in the water sports world that it hosts national competitions such as English Nationals Surfing Championships and European Long Board Championships. Other events that take place on our beach are Polo on The Beach returning this May, the Ultra Trail SW and its own festival, Electric Beach.

Watergate Bay also boasts some great places to eat, namely The Beach Hut and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall.

Recently Watergate Bay has been included in England’s Top Ten Beaches compiled by The Telegraph and been awarded ‘Excellent Bathing Quality’ by the Marine Conservation Society.


Watergate Bay

5. Lusty Glaze

Just south of Watergate the privately owned Lusty Glaze beach has a reputation for beach entertainment second to none; with a great beach-side restaurant, live music, surfing, a zip-wire, adventure centre and traditional beach huts. This Summer see’s Seth Lakeman and The Proclaimers perform on the beach plus the return of Beach Dodgeball and Beach Tag Rugby.

Lusty Glaze beach is situated just outside Newquay accessible by 133 steps or from Newquay towncentre.


Lusty Glaze

6. Crantock Beach

Crantock is a National Trust site offering a large expanse of golden sands sheltered by sand dunes. Popular for swimming, snorkelling, surfing and wind-surfing with board and canoe hire on the beach. Crantock gets the odd visit from a few dolphins too! Walking from Crantock the path leads to a sandy cove called Porth Joke known locally as Polly Joke.


Crantock Beach

7. Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps

Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps is also a National Trust site and an absolute must-see beach; the landscape is synonymous with shipwrecks and smugglers and spectacular clifftop views. A few miles north of Watergate Bay, it offers especially beautiful coastal walks between the two.

The National Trust have recently updated the cliff steps leading down to the beach, but visitors need to be aware of the risk of being cut off by the tide..


Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps

8. Porthcurno

Porthcurno, located in the far west of Cornwall, has been described by many as a ‘paradise’. The beach has won several awards for its fine, white sand and turquiose sea loved by families. Probably the most spectacular part of Porthcurno is the open air Minack Theatre perched on top of the cliff, built in 1920s; open all year round fo you to visit.

The cliffs provide excellent shelter making the beach a real sun trap. There is a stream running down one side of the beach which is perfect for toddlers to paddle in.

There is nothing quite like watching the sun set from Porthcurno.

Seasonal dog ban applies.

Porthcurno Beach

9. Gwithian Towans

Gwithian Towans, at low tide, is a vast expanse of beach just north of St. Ives, usually awash with kite and wind surfers due to the constant swell. Seals and sea birds are a common sight at Gwithian, as for many this is their breeding ground. Sea life is also present in the many large rock pools that are left behind at low tide, a firm family favourite.

The Sunset Surf café, open all year round, looks over the beach serving locally sourced food, where possible with great views of the Godrevy lighthouse.

The beach is accessible via a path through the sand dunes.

Seasonal dog ban applies.

Gwithian Beach

10. Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove is known for being Cornwall’s most westerly surfing hub with top rated surfing conditions. Not only is it popular with water sports enthusiasts, but climbers are often drawn to Sennen Cove due to its protection form westerly Atlantic winds.

The beach lies beside Sennen village, a small, working fishing harbour only a few miles from Penzance. The parish of Sennen boasts a beautiful selection of sea-front galleries, cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops. Whilst the beach itself is very relaxed making it extremely popular with both tourists and locals.

Seasonal dog ban applies.

Sennen Cove

So there you have it, our top 10 beaches in Cornwall. If you have any other beaches to add, which we are sure you will, leave us a comment below.

Photo’s sourced via Pinterest.