Crackington Haven Beach

Image courtesy of trewena.com

In Brief

Suitable for: Families, walkers and geologists!
Location: Crackington Haven, between Bude and Tintagel
Parking: There’s a large car park over the road from the beach
Dog friendly?: Yes, apart from mid-May to late September

Sometimes there’s just something about a name, isn’t there? Well, Crackington Haven looks just like it sounds: cracking. This Cornish north coast beach, with its towering cliffs on either side, looks like it’s been carved out by a single swing of a Norse god’s axe. And that axe was probably called Crackington too.

The beach, which is at the end of a long steep valley, is an integral part of the village of Crackington Haven, which is indeed a stunning and isolated ‘haven’ on the north coast between Bude and Tintagel. It’s mainly stone and pebbles at high tide but as the water ebbs away, a sandy beach is revealed that offers decent sunbathing space as well as areas where kids can build excellent sandcastles.

Unsurprisingly, rockpools abound at Crackington Haven Beach at low tide. But it’s not just the littluns who enjoy exploring the foreshore. They are joined by geologists and rock hounds because this area is home to some crazy rock faces, formations and a unique geological feature. Zigzagging folded layers of sedimentary rock make up the so-called ‘Crackington Formation’ that was formed by the pressure of the earth over millions of years. It’s so famous in stony circles that it is named so wherever the geological phenomenon is found across the globe.

On the western side of the beach at low tide, the water pulls back to reveal masses of Crackington’s famous rock formations across a headland called Bray’s Point, which separates the sands from the neighbouring Tremoutha Haven Beach. There’s hours of fun to be had clambering and climbing at this point, as well as surveying these unique boulders.

There are facilities in the nearby village including public toilets, a general store, a coffee shop and a pub. Crackington Haven is also a popular spot for hikers who explore this remote area of north coastline on foot. We recommend an excellent walk that starts from the beach: here. Even if you’re planning to stay put on the beach all day, we recommend you make a recce up to the top of the soaring 400ft cliffs on the eastern side of the bay to take in the towering views. So, if you’re into beaches with epic scenery and famous rock formations, this little gem that’s made a global impact is a must-visit. Rock on!