Kynance Cove

In Brief

Suitable for: Romantics and seascape lovers
Location: Near Lizard Point and south of Mullion, Porthleven and Helston on the Lizard peninsula
Parking: Large National Trust car park above the beach
Dog friendly?: Open to dogs at all times except between 1 July and 31 August

If Fistral Beach is ‘Star Wars’ then Kynance Cove is ‘Mulholland Drive’ or ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. It’s not a massive blockbuster, adored by so many like that famous Newquay beach. But it is an utter work of art. A critic’s favourite. One of the most painted and photographed beaches in Cornwall, Kynance needs to be seen and sunbathed on to be believed.

Kynance Cove is a perfectly polished pebble’s throw away to the west of the famous Lizard Point, the most southerly tip of mainland Great Britain. It sits pretty on its corner of the Lizard peninsula, just south of the village of Mullion, itself a few miles below both Porthleven and Helston. But what makes it so special? Ah, everything, really. The white sandy beach, the crystal clear waters, the dark red rocks, the views and the inimitable atmosphere.

The beach, which is owned and looked after by the National Trust, almost disappears at high tide, leaving towering serpentine rocky obelisks surrounded by those turquoise waters. At low tide, the finest stretch of white sands is revealed, providing one of Cornwall’s most picturesque seaside images, particularly on a hot summer’s day. As a result, a wealth of secret caves and sea stacks are also exposed at low tide, every single one worth exploring.

Okay, so when we said earlier that Kynance Cove is not ‘a massive blockbuster’, well, on some summer days, you’d think the biggest show of the year was being held down there. It’s become known by enough people for it to be a really busy spot during the high season. Popular since Victorian times, it’s often considered to be the jewel in the crown of the gorgeous Lizard peninsula’s collection of coastal gems. It’s not hard to see why it was used in dreamy coastal scenes in the hit BBC TV show ‘Poldark’, complete with smouldering Aiden Turner, who played the title role of Ross Poldark, walking along the white sand.

And it’s ‘Poldark’ that can account for this sharp increase in popularity at Kynance Cove over recent years. However, the vistas and the atmosphere also play their parts. This popularity does mean that the large National Trust car park up on the cliffs can get full pretty quickly in the summer so get there early if you’re driving. And then, to get to the beach, you need to descend for about 10 minutes down the cliff to earn those rewarding sands and scenes.

Nestled against the rocks just above the beach is a café which has operated here for years. That’s worth a stop after an exhilarating day taking in one of Cornwall’s, nay the world’s, best beaches. It’s simply stunning at Kynance, crowds or no crowds. You’ll leave having soaked up a truly remarkable slice of Cornwall’s breathtaking coastline.