Seaside Escapes: Exploring 10 of the Prettiest Coastal Villages in Cornwall

Seaside Escapes: Exploring 10 of the Prettiest Coastal Villages in Cornwall

Cornwall, with its rugged cliffs, long stretches of white sand, and picture-perfect fishing villages, has a timeless appeal for visitors of all ages and promises an unforgettable seaside escape.

The villages along its coastline have unique personalities and charm, that together with their history and natural beauty, draw people back again and again.

This month, Cornish Keepers is taking a journey through 10 of our county’s prettiest villages by the sea. From the North coast to the South, and even the far West, we’re sharing our best-loved villages in Cornwall where you’re never far from the sound of the sea.

St Mawes

St Mawes is one of the most photographic villages in Cornwall. Nestled on the stunning Roseland Peninsula, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Fal Estuary, with its scenic harbour and colourful fishing boats, it’s a true haven for those looking for a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

Wander through the quaint streets of chocolate-box cottages, boutique shops, and inviting cafes, and pay a visit to the imposing St. Mawes Castle, a historic fortress dating back to the 16th century. Or perhaps a stroll along Tavern Beach or a boat trip along the waters of the Carrick Roads Estuary – there is so much waiting to be explored.

Book a stay at Cornish Keeper’s holiday home Penty Lowen in St Mawes.

Helford Village

Strictly speaking, Helford Village isn’t right on the coast, but it’s just a stone’s throw away, up the banks of the Helford River, south of Falmouth.

Steeped in maritime history, this picturesque hamlet is one of those places where time seems to stand still. Its pretty, rose-covered cottages, winding lanes, traditional pubs, and ancient harbour remain just as they have been for centuries, and its fascinating history as a hub for smugglers in days gone by adds a real air of mystery.

Kingsand / Cawsand

This duo of villages on the southeast coast of Cornwall sits beside the glistening waters of Plymouth Sound. Think striking views, sandy beaches perfect for lazy seaside strolls, and narrow streets dotted with charming fishermen’s cottages & pubs.

It’s a lovely spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life amongst idyllic scenery. And there’s truly no better place for a spot of sailing, a fresh crab sandwich from a local eatery or a swim in the crystal-clear waters (although we can’t guarantee it’ll be warm!) 


Perched on the southern coast of Cornwall, Polruan is one of those villages in Cornwall that offers a glimpse into traditional Cornish life. Its pastel-coloured houses cascade down the hillside to a bustling harbour below. And across the river lies the town of Fowey (easily reached by ferry from Polruan) with its boutique shops and eateries that are lovely for a Cornish cream tea.

Explore Polruan’s winding streets, take a walk to find the village’s historic fort, or simply sit and watch the boats drift by.


For an authentic taste of coastal Cornwall, Mevagissey is a fishing village with a rich maritime history. Its active harbour sees fishing boats landing their daily catch just as they did in years gone by.

You’ll find meandering streets of independent shops, galleries, and traditional pubs serving up freshly caught fish and seafood, alongside other local fare.

And for those who’d like to venture further afield, there are miles of coast path to explore, alongside the area’s hidden coves and wildlife-rich waters which can be accessed by boat. 


Moving west, breathtaking Porthcurno promises a visit that you’ll never forget. With powder- soft sand, a world-famous open-air amphitheatre carved into the dramatic cliffs, and endless views of the waves, it’s a true paradise for beach lovers.

Beyond its natural splendour, Porthcurno is also home to a friendly beach café and the Telegraph Museum, which tells the story of Porthcurno’s pivotal role in global communications as a former hub for international telegraph cables.

Whether delving into Porthcurno’s past, strolling along the shoreline, or enjoying theatrical performances at The Minack theatre, you will have a wonderful time in this exceptional corner of Cornwall.

Sennen Cove

As we continue our journey westward, we reach Sennen Cove, a seaside village renowned for its out-of-this world views and vibrant surf scene. Set against a backdrop of rugged cliffs and rolling Atlantic waves, you’ll love the raw beauty of this Cornish village that sits on a bay of golden sand.

With a pub, a fish and chip shop, and just a few café/bars, Sennen has everything you need for a quiet getaway. And with mile upon mile of coastal paths to discover and world-class waves to ride, this is a haven for hikers and surfers alike. Oh, and by the way, the sunsets are spectacular too!


Heading north to the shores near St Ives Bay, Gwithian captures hearts with its wild beauty and unspoiled landscapes. You’ll find a vast expanse of sand dunes and panoramic views of the surrounding coastline.

Like Sennen, surfers flock to its shores, drawn by the renowned waves. And nature lovers revel in the diverse flora and fauna inhabiting the sand dunes and cliffs, perfect for leisurely strolls or birdwatching.

While you’re visiting, make sure you also make time for Godrevy Beach which is home to the fabulous Sunset Surf Café & Bar, and take a walk up the National Trust cliffs to see native seals in one of the coves below.

Port Isaac

Well known for its role as the backdrop for the beloved TV series ‘ Doc Martin,’ Port Isaac charms visitors with its attractive village of whitewashed cottages and its working fishing port that has been the lifeblood of the village for centuries. This is reflected in the tempting scent of fresh seafood that drifts from local pubs and restaurants – do sample some if you have the chance!

Besides its reputation for serving up great Cornish food, Port Isaac is also popular for its range of shops and galleries that are lovely to venture into. And like all Cornish villages, there are also masses of beautiful walks to discover in all directions!


Set in a sheltered location on the Camel Estuary near Padstow, the beautiful village of Rock is a hot spot for beachgoers and watersport fans, as well as being a haven for food lovers!

With sandy shores and amazing views of the water, it has an undeniable charm, which coupled with its upscale restaurants and cafes, makes people fall in love with the area.

Offering ideal conditions for sailing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding or simply basking in the sunshine on Rock Beach or nearby Daymer Bay, you won’t be short of activities in Rock.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to reconnect with nature, the villages in Cornwall offer the perfect backdrop for a dream getaway.


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