Cornwall’s Seven Bays in pictures


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When the sun is shining, the beaches and coves of Cornwall look drop-dead gorgeous with their turquoise waters and golden sands. The area known as “The Seven Bays”, to the south of Padstow in north Cornwall is a case in point. But don’t just take my word for it. The camera never lies, they say…

My wife is from Cornwall, so we regularly pop down to England’s most south-westerly county. As well as seeing the mother-in-law, I look forward to these trips as I get to walk along the cliffs which separate the Seven Bays – Trevone, Harlyn, Mother Ivey’s, Booby’s, Constantine, Treyarnon and Porthcothan – taking in the best coastal views in the country.

Come with me as I walk north to south.

1. Trevone

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Some beaches in Cornwall ban dogs until October every year, and family-friendly Trevone is one of these. As this was the first Saturday in October, and there was a mini heat-wave, it seemed like every dog owner in the county had brought their pets out to play.

I was surprised by how many people were swimming in the sea without wetsuits, and had a little paddle before walking towards bay number two, Harlyn. This stretch of coast is a forager’s and rock-pooler’s delight, while the view from the cliffs is one of my favourites in Cornwall.

2. Harlyn

After a long walk from Trevone in baking conditions, I was gasping for a drink so when I saw this gazebo sponsored by Tribute beer on the beach at Harlyn, I wasn’t sure if it was real or if it was a mirage. It was the real deal, but unfortunately for me it was for a wedding party that was on the way from Bodmin and I wasn’t allowed any of the chilled champagne or seafood under the canopy.

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In summer, the massive sandy beach here is really popular with families and surfers – the Kelly’s Ice-cream vans that drive from one end to the other are a lifesaver.

3. Mother Ivey’s

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There’s a different type of lifesaver at Mother Ivey’s, which is home to Padstow RNLI lifeboat launch. The bay is sheltered by Trevose Head, the sand is perfectly white and fluffy, and if it was a tad warmer and not so windy you really might think you were in the Caribbean and not Cornwall.

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4. Booby’s

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At first, I thought the name was a joke, but it really is called Booby’s. It’s another popular beach for surfers, although it can be dangerous with its rocks and strong winds. It’s also a favourite spot for Uncle Clive and his dog Sydney – in fact Clive took the picture below himself, although I’m sure he won’t mind me stealing it!

5. Constantine

Grassy sand-dunes back the huge Constantine Bay, which merges into Booby’s at high tide. It’s got a reputation as one of the best surfing beaches in Cornwall. I was so engrossed in the ice-cream I bought from the shack next to the beach’s car-park I completely forgot to take any photos here. Sorry!

6. Treyarnon

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I’d been to Treyarnon before in the height of summer and its sandy beach was jam-packed with surfers and sun-worshippers. But as the weather had suddenly started to turn autumnal, I had the place all to myself. There is an excellent YHA youth hostel overlooking Treyarnon beach, which serves good cheap food. I sat outside with a well deserved beer on one of the pub benches, as waves crashed onto the shore.

7. Porthcothan

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I’d heard reports that the second series of BBC’s Poldark was being filmed in Cornwall when I went on this walk. Some scenes in series one were filmed at Porthcothan, the seventh and final bay I came to, but I had no luck spotting Ross or Demelza. This was another beach I enjoyed all to myself, until the sea fog started coming in from the Atlantic and it was time for me to get on home.

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Categories: CornwallTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

40 comments

  1. Some nice photos but personally I have never got to grips with Corwall, I find it bleak and austere and such a contrast to the rolling greenery of neighbouring Devon. Perhaps I need to give it another try.

  2. That was a great little walk! I was surprised by how blue the water is.

  3. Great pictures. I’m planning a spring weekend trip to Cornwall. I’ll be without an auto, relying on public transport. Any suggestions on locations, places to stay, things to do? Thanks!

    • I’d stay in Padstow, where you can get the ferry to Rock and walk the cliffs to Port Isaac, or hire a bike and get the Camel Trail to Wadebridge and Camel Valley Vineyards. Newquay is not far to the south and there should be a bus between the two – lots of good beaches around here. Another area to aim for is St. Ives – it has its own train station and would be a good base to get a bus to Land’s End and Porthcurno. In South Cornwall there are pretty fishing villages in Polperro and Fowey. If you like walking, the coastal cliff walks are stunning, especially around St. Agnes. Whatever you choose, enjoy! Spring is a great time to go as it starts getting warmer, and is not too crowded.

  4. We both liked this,beautiful pictures

  5. Some glorious pics. Makes me want to pack my bags … Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great ideas that give a me a place to start. I was initially thinking of Padstow! Looking forward to 1st trip to Cornwall. Many thanks!

  7. I saw that former lifeboat station at Mother Ivey’s on ‘Grand Designs’! 🙂 Shame about the beers, Richard. The perfect spot!
    They are glorious beaches aren’t they? No argument 🙂 Many thanks for sharing and ‘hi’ to your mam and dad 🙂

    Did you sort Dubai yet?

    • I’ve never seen an episode of Grand Designs, but will try to see that one on catch-up. I do love that lifeboat station, especially in winter when there’s no one around.

      Yep, Dubai all booked and I’m so excited I could burst! I think I’m going to love it out there.

      • It was an old episode, Richard, so you probably won’t find it.
        It’ll be a good place to celebrate a November birthday. Mine’s just going to be a couple of days in Northumberland or the Lakes because we’re back in the Algarve at the end of the month. Not allowed too much excitement in my life 🙂 🙂

  8. All of them are gorgeous and I’m betting Constantine was too. Love that your ice cream so good you didn’t take a pic – a man after my own heart!!

  9. You were better off without the seafood on a hot day – looked very dodgy to me! What beautiful bays Cornwall has. I am wild about Cornwall, even when it’s pretty wild around me!

  10. Looks nice! It’s a shame they didn’t let you have a drink!:) Funny name of that beach booby’s:))

  11. Beautiful beaches around this area and I like that it is quiet outside the holidays. Can’t wait to get down there and start exploring these beaches for myself. Shame they couldn’t offer you a beer!

  12. Oh man! They all look beautiful. I really have to get down there. This year all my time and money has been used on doing up a house, but next year should hopefully be holiday time!

  13. Beautiful pictures. Looks like a place worth visiting!

  14. Sometimes I wonder if you’re on a personal mission to send everyone to Cornwall… another great post!

  15. Lovely views. Makes me want to come back to the UK soon!

  16. Having been to Cornwall about 4 times with the first time in 1985, this is one of my all-time favourite places in the UK. Love the stunning scenery, locals, and history – just gorgeous!

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