Gunwalloe Beach

Nestled on the stunning Lizard Peninsula, Gunwalloe Beach offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and adventure, making it a must-visit destination for holidaymakers in Cornwall.

With its sandy shores, dramatic cliffs, and intriguing shipwrecks, Gunwalloe Beach is not just a place to relax and soak up the sun; it’s a site of rich heritage and natural wonders waiting to be explored.

Discovering Gunwalloe Beach

Gunwalloe Beach, also known as Church Cove, gets its name from the charming Church of St Winwaloe, which sits just beyond the high tide mark, partly embedded in the sand dunes.

The beach is divided into two parts by a rocky outcrop leading to the sea: the main sandy beach of Church Cove and the pebbly Dollar Cove to the northwest, named after the silver dollars that have occasionally been found here, remnants of ancient shipwrecks.

Highlights of Gunwalloe Beach

Historic Church of St Winwaloe: This 15th-century church offers a picturesque backdrop and a glimpse into Cornwall’s medieval past.

Shipwreck Diving: The waters around Gunwalloe are known for their shipwrecks, making it a popular spot for diving enthusiasts keen to explore beneath the waves.

Surfing and Swimming: With its gentle waves, Gunwalloe Beach is ideal for beginner surfers and families looking to enjoy a day of swimming and water sports.

Dramatic Coastal Walks: The South West Coast Path runs through Gunwalloe, offering breathtaking views and the chance to discover the rich flora and fauna of Cornwall’s coastline.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Gunwalloe Beach is located on the western side of the Lizard Peninsula, near Helston.

It is accessible by car, with a National Trust car park situated close to the beach.

For those using public transport, buses serve the nearby village of Gunwalloe, from where it is a short walk to the beach.

Best Times to Visit

Gunwalloe Beach is enchanting year-round, but the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is warmer, and the days are longer.

Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended to avoid the crowds and to experience the beach’s tranquil beauty.


Safety: Lifeguards patrol the beach during the peak summer season, ensuring safe swimming conditions.

Amenities: While there are limited facilities directly on the beach, the nearby village of Gunwalloe has a small selection of cafes and shops.

Parking: A National Trust car park is located near the beach, with charges applying for non-members.

Maximising Your Experience

Explore Both Coves: Make sure to explore both Church Cove and Dollar Cove to fully experience the diverse beauty of Gunwalloe Beach.

Visit the Church of St Winwaloe: Take a moment to visit this historic church and enjoy its peaceful surroundings.

Stay for Sunset: Gunwalloe Beach offers spectacular sunsets. Stay till the evening to witness the sky turn into a palette of vibrant colours.

Tips for Your Visit

Check the Tide Times: Some parts of the beach can become cut off at high tide, so it’s essential to check the tide times before your visit.

Respect the Environment: Help preserve the beauty of Gunwalloe by taking your litter home and sticking to marked paths to protect the local wildlife.

Water Safety: Always swim in designated areas, especially when lifeguards are present, and be mindful of the sea conditions.

Nearby Attractions

Poldhu Beach: Just a short drive north from Gunwalloe, Poldhu Beach offers excellent surfing conditions and a lovely cafe.

Lizard Point: The most southerly point of the British mainland, Lizard Point, is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery and wildlife.

Helston: Explore this historic market town, known for its annual Flora Day celebration and the Helston Museum.


Gunwalloe Beach is a gem on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, offering not just a stunning seaside retreat but also a gateway to the area’s rich history and natural splendour.

Whether you’re looking to unwind on its sandy shores, delve into the past, or embark on a coastal adventure, Gunwalloe Beach promises a memorable experience for all who visit.

It’s a place where the beauty of Cornwall’s coastline is vividly on display, inviting holidaymakers to explore, relax, and connect with the natural world.