Family friendly beaches in Cornwall: Crantock

Picture of the beach at Bedruthan on a grey day in Cornwall. Winding steps lead to the coast path.

Crantock Beach is situated on the River Gannel estuary. With over a mile of sweeping golden sands, it’s a popular family friendly beach, yet it rarely gets crowded. It’s great for paddling, swimming and surfing, not to mention sandcastle building! Crantock has the added advantage of being dog friendly: you can take your dog on the beach all year round.


At the north end of the beach (nearest to the car park) is the mouth of the River Gannel. This is often the busiest area. Further along the beach there are plenty of rock pools and caves to explore at low tide. If you search hard enough, you might find the Lady in the Cave – a carving in the rock of a woman’s face with a poetic inscription. The carving is reputed to be the work of a local man who created them as a memorial to his lost love, who drowned after being cut off by the tide while riding her horse.

It’s worth taking the time to explore Crantock village, which is just a short walk away from the beach car park. Small and pretty, with its thatched houses and village green, it’s the epitome of an English village.


There are two pubs, the Cosy Nook cafe, and a couple of shops. St Carantoc’s Church, parts of which date back to Norman times, is also of interest.

A short walk along the cliff path will take you to the Bowgie Inn, where you can sit outside with a drink and soak up the view.


The area around Crantock is perfect for walking – the South West Coast Path runs through the area. In May and June the nearby area of West Pentire is covered with wildflowers. It’s a truly spectacular sight, and highly recommended for for anyone who is keen on photography.

Things to do

If you fancy a more active day out, take a look at Crantock Bay Surf School, based in the car park. They offer surfing and paddle boarding lessons as well as kayaking trips on the River Gannel.

Useful information

There are lifeguards on duty at Crantock from May to September.

You can hire surfboards, body boards, wetsuits, deckchairs and parasols from a kiosk on the beach (during high season). Drinks, snacks and ice cream are also available.

Getting there

Crantock is close to Newquay and approximately 35 minutes’ drive from Bosinver. The post code for SatNavs is TR8 5RB.

When you reach Crantock, drive through the village, following the signs to the beach. Parking is available right at the beach in the National Trust car park.

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Action Nan and the rest of the team are always busy writing posts that we think you’ll like – from top tips on where to take the kids, to what’s likely to be going on in the local area when you stay – we’ve got it all in our blog!