How lucky are we in this part of the world? That we can watch the sunrise and the sunset over our beaches, all within a short drive. I love watching both, and I’m not sure which I prefer. This post is all about my favourite places to watch sunsets in Cornwall. Let’s crack on…
A summer breeze pushes past my face. A cold, tasty pint of lager touches my lips for the first sip after a hard day’s graft. I look in front of me, and I see waves breaking, peeling across the beach. A surfer picks up a wave and carves their artform across it. As the Sun drops, colours shed across the sky.
Porthtowan is a brilliant place to spend endless hours of your time in Cornwall. From pints pretty much on the beach at the Blue Bar, to live music at the Unicorn. From the gorgeous breakfasts served at Porthtowan Beach Cafe, to the delicious vegan pizza nights at Little Lotus. The surf is pretty top notch too!
When it comes to sunset, Porthtowan can be hard to beat. At high tide, you can clamber down from the cliffs onto the rocks and watch the sunset in peace, with the waves lapping the rocks. At low tide, the whole beach opens up and you can watch the sunset anywhere, you can even stroll to Chapel Porth if you catch it right. You can watch from the cliffs at either side of the beach, or snuggle yourselves down with a campfire (responsibly) and enjoy the view from the beach.
After driving through the hustle and bustle of Newquay. After passing Porth, Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth, you seem to be aimlessly driving the coastal road into nothingness. That is until you come to Bedruthan Steps.
Bedruthan Steps is a spectacular place to visit at anytime of the year, and any hour of the day. The cliff formations here are amongst some of the most spectacular in Cornwall. The steps, although a grueller, are well worth the trek down to the beach. At high tide, your journey will stop at the bottom of the steps. At low tide, the beach is yours to roam. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and plenty of beach to walk.
Come sunset, I’ve found this place to really go off. It’s more than likely just luck, but every time I’ve been here at sunset, I’ve been wowed. The colours have been amazing and the cliff formations make an awesome addition to the view. It’s a place I won’t stop coming back to!
Nestled in between Newquay and Perranporth (and a few other beaches) is Holywell Bay. Not as well known as some other beaches around Cornwall, Holywell Bay never really gets all too packed. With a decent sized beach, plenty of coastal path, and vast sand dunes, there’s plenty to explore.
Holywell Bay is always somewhere I seem to skip when I’m deciding where I’ll go. Because it’s more out of the way, it just gets forgotten. That’s a pretty big mistake to make. Come sunset, there’s plenty of rocks for the sun to set between, making for some awesome views and photographs. The beaches golden sands, along with its breaking waves, make it a pretty sweet spot to watch the sunset do its thing!
Mawgan Porth is yet another place I don’t visit nearly enough. When I was younger, it’d always be our stop off after go karting at St Eval for a beer. This year I’ve been to Mawgan Porth a couple of times for the sunset and I haven’t been disappointed!
Mawgan Porth beach is pretty flat which allows the tide to rush in and out by quite a bit. At low tide, the beaches sands are exposed, normally leaving patterns all over the beach. It’s a pretty popular beach in Summer, probably something to do with its proximity to Newquay. There’s plenty of room for everyone mind, especially at low tide. This is another beach I’ll be paying a lot more visits too for sunsets as the views are spectacular.
I’ll be honest. I mainly chose Chapel Porth to showcase what is probably my favourite picture that I’ve taken. Bearing that in mind, Chapel Porth is an awesome place to watch the sunset. A fairly small beach at high tide, it opens right up at low tide. The cliff walks on either side are fantastic, one leading to the famously photogenic Wheal Coates mine and the other leading towards Porthtowan.
Yet another place that I don’t watch the sunset on nearly enough, Chapel Porth offers plenty of views to take in. The waves can be pretty unpredictable here, especially at high tide, making for lots of different shots if you’re into your photography. I’m not sure if they still do, but the cafe down there used to do the best “hedgehog ice creams”.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this blog post, it’s that I don’t watch the sunset at any of these places nearly enough. There’s something pretty special about watching the sun settle its way beneath the sea. It can bring clarity of thought in times when it’s most needed, and can soothe your soul when nothing else seems to work. Never underestimate the power of nature on yourself, and don’t take my word for it. Next time you’re ridiculously stressed over something, or when you really don’t know what direction to head in, head to the coast and watch the Sun go down. I guarantee when nature’s finished its spectacle, you’ll feel far less bothered by your problems than before you witnessed nature do its thing!