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…

Porthtowan

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.

“Scorched Skies” – The Sun scorches the sky and lays its reflection on the sea covered sand banks of Porthtowan.

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!

Pink clouds reflect on Lushingtons after sunset.

Pink clouds reflect on Lushingtons after sunset.

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.

“Silky Smooth” – The silky smooth receding water whirling its way back out before another push of swell. The clear sky lit by the remnants of a gorgeous summer sunset.

“On the Rocks” – A gorgeous summer sunset in clear blue skies sets over the waters of Porthtowan. Nestled amongst the rocks, the camera captures what little waves there were, breaking on the rocks of the shore.

Bedruthan Steps

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’s Bliss” – The Sun sets out to sea as we stare out amongst the rocks of Bedruthan Steps. A warm red fills the sky as the waves wash away the footprints of the day, ready to start afresh at sunrise.

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.

A dark purple sunset covers the scene as the cliffs and sky reflect off the mirrored beach.

A dark purple sunset covers the scene as the cliffs and sky reflect off the mirrored beach.

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!

"Magenta Magic" - The tide rips its way in at the beautiful Bedruthan Steps. Mass cloud cover allows for a light show hard to match let alone beat. The majestic magenta tones reflect so strong they even cast themselves onto the rocks. The waves awash with deep blues and greens. This sight is honestly one to behold.

“Magenta Magic” – The tide rips its way in at the beautiful Bedruthan Steps. Mass cloud cover allows for a light show hard to match let alone beat. The majestic magenta tones reflect so strong they even cast themselves onto the rocks. The waves awash with deep blues and greens. This sight is honestly one to behold.

Holywell Bay

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.

“Holy Peace” – A summer sunset kisses the sea as the small waves foam at the shores leading your eyes out to the rocks and beyond.

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!

“Between a Rock and a Hard Place” – A moody orange sunset silhouetting the rocks at Holywell bay. Waves lap the cliffs and wash messed up to the shore.

Mawgan Porth

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 Mirrors” – The sun sets over the rippled sands of Mawgan Porth. Glassy water sheens and stains the sands with the mirrored reflection of the sun kissed skies.

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.

The sands dry as the tide recedes at an awesome Mawgan Porth sunset.

The sands dry as the tide recedes at an awesome Mawgan Porth sunset.

Chapel Porth

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.

“Amethysts and Rubies” – A long exposure brings out the amazing colours of this sunset. The sky lights up in ruby reds with the water reflecting amethyst purples. An absolutely stunning view, enough to bring goosebumps to the surface. An amazing treat that doesn’t happen all too often!

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”.

Seas wash the shore on an orange sunset at Chapel Porth.

Seas wash the shore on an orange sunset at Chapel Porth.

 

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!

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22 replies
  1. jonas
    jonas says:

    I love your photographs, damn! There is something majestic about sunsets. Can’t put my finger on it, but it’s the same feeling I have as the wildlife in Africa. The freedom, the beauty.. Keep making those stunning pictures, I dig them!

    Reply
    • Jamie Philp
      Jamie Philp says:

      Hi Jonas, I think I know exactly how they make you feel! I’ve not seen the wildlife in Africa but I’m sure it’s the same kind of feeling! Thanks for your visit and have a nice day :)

      Reply
    • Jamie Philp
      Jamie Philp says:

      Glad you like them Jay! Kepp visiting my page and by your next visit to Cornwall you’ll have plenty ideas on where to go! :)

      Reply

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