Some fabulous beaches are close to Sunnyvista, and most of the ones on this coast are very safe for swimming. Here are some of our favourites:
Par Sands is less than a mile from Sunnyvista and can be reached either by car or on foot by walking over Tywardreath Hill (either along the quiet lane or along the marked footpath across the fields). It is a large safe and sandy beach, dog friendly all year, and over 1km long and at low tide almost as wide. It is very level for swimming and stays at a shallow depth for almost 1km, making it very popular for families with small children and with wind and kite surfers. At low tide there are rockpools to investigate, and the coastal footpath to explore; the walk to Polkerris beach from here is very enjoyable and for the more dedicated walker, the continuation of the walk around Gribben Head and on into Fowey passes some spectacular coastline and wonderful secluded coves and beaches. There are toilets, easy parking with level access onto the sand, and there is usually an ice cream van during summer. The Ship Inn is at the edge of the beach car park, serving good, reasonably priced food all year round. The beach is popular with conservationists and a number of interesting birds can be spotted, including kingfishers, cormorants, peregrine falcons and herons; there is a pond and reed beds behind the beach that attract a number of sea birds and waders; this winter we have seen some rarer birds including bar-headed geese and bitterns.
Polkerris Beach is just over a mile from the property. It is a very sheltered, safe sandy beach with rockpools at low tide. No dogs are allowed on the beach from Easter to October. The Rashleigh Inn (dog friendly) and 'Sam's on the Beach' both serve excellent food and drink all year round, and in Summer there is a beach cafe, which also sells surfing gear and beach toys. Polkerris is a pleasant walk along the coastal footpath from Par, or it can be reached by car in a few minutes. Popular for water sports, it is possible to hire boats or visit their RYA recognised training centre for training courses on windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, sailing and more. Polkerris is a very safe beach, so is popular with young families. There is a car park at the bottom of the hill that is owned by the pub and is marked for their customers' use,; there is a beach car park part way up the hill, and then when this is full in summer there is an overflow car park at the top of the hill. This means that there will be a steep walk back up again, although it is possible to bring a car down to pick people up at the slipway at the bottom. Visit the website for more information about Polkerris www.polkerrisbeach.com
Readymoney Cove is a tiny sheltered beach 2 miles away in Fowey, and is the location of one of Daphne du Maurier's homes in this area. It has toilets and there is often an ice cream van in summer. It is reached by parking in the car park at Hanson Drive and then walking down St. Catherine's parade, a stroll of less than 5 minutes. There are pretty woods behind the beach and a derelict castle, St. Catherine's Point, overlooks the beach (see Places of Historic Interest). In Summer there is a raft set out a distance from the shore for swimmers to lounge on; this is very popular with local youngsters. If you follow the footpath through the woods and along the coast you will pass several tiny pretty sandy coves: Coombe, Little Coombe, Polridmouth and more. These beaches are all unreachable by car and therefore very quiet; all are dog friendly and safe for swimming.
Portmellon Cove is 11 miles from the house, and is a tiny, sandy sheltered cove, with its own pub, the Rising Sun, right beside the beach serving food and drink daily. The pub has a little shop that sells ice cream. There is parking at the pub car park and at the roadside, making the beach very easy to access with pushchairs and beach gear. Portmellon holds a little regatta with dinghy sailing in August each year. Nestling under Chapel Point, there are beautiful walks from here, and Mevagissey is just over the hill.
Crinnis Beach at Carlyon Bay was once the best beach in this area, having crystal clear water and varying levels of surf, with wonderful white sand. However, in recent years the beach has been the subject of several failed attempts to build a resort, and very sadly, it is currently surrounded by derelict building debris, resembling a war torn zone in the Middle East! That being said, the further end of the beach is still a lovely spot, and the sea is clean. The beach shelves steeply and the water can be quite rough with a strong undertow, making it not such a good choice for young children or weak swimmers. It is possible to surf here when the wind is in the right direction. It is 5 miles from Sunnyvista. Parking is currently at the top of a steep hill (although this changes through the year), making it harder to reach for families with small children or lots of beach gear. Crinnis Beach is not dog friendly at present, although it was open to dog walkers during the winter 2010 -11.
Gorran Haven is a sandy sheltered harbour beach, very popular in summer with locals and visitors alike. It is 14 miles from Sunnyvista. There is a beach shop on the slip and several other cafes and beach shops along the tiny street above. There is a large car park 5 minutes walk from the beach and limited parking nearer. There is a toilet block close to the beach. This is a good beach for young families to visit because it is safe and easily accessed. with all amenities.
Pentewan Sands is 9 miles from the house and is a large sandy beach. It has free car parking and a short level walk onto the sands. A river runs through it that is fun for children to play in. There are caves and rocks to explore and Pentewan has several watersports centres that operate from this beach. Dogs are not allowed from 1st April to 30th September. The sea is usually fairly calm but the waves allow for some body boarding and surfing, depending on the wind. It is a safe beach for swimming. There are toilets and level access for pushchairs. Pentewan has an ice cream shop and several places to get food and drink, including the Ship Inn pub. Details of available watersports are in the sports section of this website.
Porthpean Beach is reached down a winding single track road and is 6 miles from Sunnyvista. It is a safe sandy/shingle beach which is reached by walking down a slipway from the bottom of the road opposite the car park. There are one or two beach cafes for food and drink, and there are toilets on the slipway. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 1st April to 30th September. Porthpean is a fairly safe beach for swimming.
Porthluney Beach (Caerhays) is a bit further away but well worth a visit. It is 15 miles from Sunnyvista, a 30 minute drive. Caerhays is a country estate, and has just become a National Trust property; the beautiful castle is adjacent to the beach, and can be visited at set times of the year; the gardens and the surrounding walks and cliff path are extremely scenic - (see Gardens and Places of Historic Interest). The privately run beach is very pretty, and is level and safe for swimmers. It is dog friendly all year, and there are toilets and a really friendly beach cafe, selling tasty food locally sourced. The cafe also sells a good range of beach equipment and toys. The car park is right beside the beach with level access onto the sand, making it popular for families with buggies and lots of beach gear to carry. www.caerhays.co.uk