Harlyn Bay

Harlyn Bay, located on the north coast of Cornwall near Padstow, is a wide and spacious beach renowned for its stunning scenery, excellent water quality, and array of activities suitable for all ages.

This beautiful, sheltered bay is framed by rugged coastal cliffs and soft golden sands, making it one of Cornwall’s most family-friendly beaches.

Whether you’re seeking a day of relaxation, an opportunity to engage with nature, or a chance to ride the waves, Harlyn Bay offers a perfect slice of Cornish paradise.

Discovering Harlyn Bay

With a reputation for being one of the safest beaches in Cornwall for swimming and surfing, Harlyn Bay has something for everyone.

Its generous expanse of sand stretches for about half a mile, ensuring plenty of space for sunbathers and sandcastle builders alike, while rock pools and caves invite exploration at low tide.

Highlights of Harlyn Bay

Water Sports: Harlyn Bay is a hotspot for surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking, with equipment hire and lessons readily available.

Coastal Walks: The South West Coast Path offers spectacular walks around the bay, leading to other nearby beaches and offering stunning views of the dramatic Cornish coastline.

Family-Friendly: The gentle slope of the beach into the sea, along with lifeguard patrols during the summer months, makes Harlyn Bay ideal for young swimmers and families.

Nature and Wildlife: The area around the bay is rich in wildlife, with opportunities to spot seabirds, seals, and even dolphins.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Harlyn Bay is easily accessible by car, with a large car park close to the beach.

It’s located about 3 miles from Padstow, which is well-connected to the rest of Cornwall by road.

For those relying on public transport, buses run to Padstow, from where you can take a taxi or enjoy a scenic walk to the bay.


Safety: Lifeguards patrol the beach from May to September, providing peace of mind for visitors.

Amenities: There are toilets and a beach shop near the car park, selling snacks, ice cream, and beach goods.

Eating Out: A seasonal beach café offers refreshments and light meals, perfect for a beachside lunch or a snack.

Maximising Your Experience

Book a Surf Lesson: Take advantage of the excellent surfing conditions by booking a lesson with one of the local surf schools.

Explore at Low Tide: Visit during low tide to discover the hidden rock pools and caves at the ends of the bay.

Stay for Sunset: Harlyn Bay’s western aspect offers spectacular sunsets, with the sky and sea often ablaze with colour in the evening.

Tips for Your Visit

Check the Tide Times: To make the most of the beach and safely explore the rock pools and caves, it’s essential to check the tide times before your visit.

Protect Your Skin: The Cornish sun can be deceptively strong, even on cloudy days, so remember to apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

Leave No Trace: Help keep Harlyn Bay beautiful for everyone by taking your rubbish with you and using the bins provided.

Nearby Attractions

Padstow: This charming fishing port is famous for its eateries, including several by celebrity chef Rick Stein, and its picturesque harbour.

Trevose Head: Just a short drive away, the dramatic headland offers breathtaking views and is a great spot for coastal walks.

Constantine Bay: Another beautiful beach known for its surfing, located a short distance along the coast from Harlyn Bay.


Harlyn Bay offers the quintessential Cornwall beach experience, combining natural beauty with a wealth of activities and amenities.

Whether you’re visiting for the surfing, the scenery, or simply to relax on the sand with a good book, Harlyn Bay caters to all, promising a memorable day out in one of Cornwall’s most cherished coastal spots.

With its family-friendly atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings, Harlyn Bay is a must-visit for anyone holidaying in Cornwall.