Kynance Cove in Cornwall: Essential Tips for Visiting this Enchanting Beach

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After 7 years of living in England, I was pretty sure I had seen it all – from rolling countryside in Buckinghamshire to the dramatic Lake District to rocky beaches down at Brighton and Dover, I’ve been to a lot of places.

It wasn’t until I visited Kynance Cove in Cornwall, England, however, that England truly took my breath away.

View of Kynance Cover from above with deep blue sky and stunning blue water with rocks sticking out

The moment we began our walk from the parking lot to the cove, I could sense something was different about this part of the world, but I couldn’t appreciate the absolute stunning beauty of Kynance Cove until I was right up next to it, picking my jaw up off the ground as I saw the crystal clear water and rocky landscape.

Kynance Cove with incredible blue water and a view of the white cafe building

I saw a side to England that I had never seen before, and I’ve put together this list of tips and advice on visiting Kynance Cove in Cornwall to help you discover the same unbelievable scenery I did (oh, and also did I mention I saw some seals in the wild because hello, what is the magical land).

Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK or live in the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!

How to Get to Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is on the south side of Cornwall on an area called the Lizard Peninsula.

The closest town with a train station is one called Redruth, about 30 minutes away, so if you are trying to come via public transportation from London, you could get a train from London to Redruth via London Paddington, and then get a taxi the rest of the way.

Kalyn looking out over the crystal clear blue water of Kynance Cove with deep blue sky

This is an expensive option, due to the length of the taxi journey, but it is possible!

The easier way to get to Kynance Cove is by car. This is how we traveled, as we found that it was almost impossible to really get to see what we wanted to in Cornwall if we didn’t have our own set of wheels!

A sign with a map of Kynance Cove

Luckily we own a car in England already, but if you don’t and are up for an adventure, consider renting  a car from near where you’re staying and experience the freedom of driving around this gorgeous part of the world.

If you don’t have a car, but still want to see Cornwall, consider one of these two guided tours.

We went on a sunny Saturday morning in mid-May and got there right at listed opening time of 8am. By the time we left around noon, the parking lot was going into overflow.

Purple flowers on a cliff over Kynance Cove

The official advice is to get there before 11am on a summer day if you want to guarantee parking, as there are not really other parking options around and it can get filled up quickly.

Once you actually arrive at the Kynance Cove parking lot, whether by taxi or by car, you will pay the small parking fee (free for members of National Trust) and then it’s either a 10 minute steep walk down to the cove during low tide, or a 15-20 minute higher walk on a flatter walk to the cove during high tide or if you have mobility issues and would prefer a more gentle walk.

Path away from Kynance Cove leading up a hill with people walking on it

We took the high tide route coming down from the parking lot because the tide was coming in, but by the time we left we were able to take the low tide route back.

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A path winding through the hills near Kynance Cove with people walking along it

I would only advise taking the low tide route if you have on appropriate shoes (read: not sandals or heels) and each member of your group is confident enough to take care of themselves during the walk. Part of the walk goes over some very awkwardly sized rocks on the beach, not small enough to just crunch over and not large enough to give you a lot of surface area on each one to jump between.

A rocky path towards the cafe at Kynance Cove with water coming up to the cliff and green hills in the background

Instead, it’s a bit of a precarious dance across them as you try not to slip and smash your face into the earth, so people who aren’t confident on their feet should stick to the higher route!


What to Bring to Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove Beach is not spacious enough for you to bring your entire “living your best beach life” set. It gets busy, and the emphasis here is on the swimming and the beautiful views rather than necessarily pulling out your biggest sand pail and getting to work.

Kalyn looking out over Kynance Cove

With that in mind, here’s what you should think about bringing with you to Kynance Cove.

Shoes suitable for walking

Even if it’s summer and you plan on being in barefeet the entire time in the cove, do not forget to bring some shoes suitable for walking down rocky paths. You cannot just park at Kynance Cove and access it directly, you have to park and walk to it.

Deep blue water with rocks sticking out and the cafe at Kynance Cove with people walking up a path

We saw lots of people slipping on the rocks, so something with traction like this shoe is a very good idea for your general safety and not needing to be airlifted off of a rocky Cornwall coast to the hospital.

Flip flops or Water Shoes

Once you actually get down to the beach, you’re going to want to throw on some super cute flip flops like these ones or put heavy duty water shoes like this awesome pair on the kids so they don’t have to worry about cutting their feet on anything.

If it’s not warm enough to enjoy a bit of sun on your skin when you go, then just stick with your walking shoes and make it a “looking” visit rather than a “swimming” one.

Swimsuit

What is a Cornwall beach without a swimsuit? I love one pieces like this one that are both fashionable and functional, as well as nautical bikinis like this one.

Guy loves swim shorts like these ones, and I would recommend putting the kids in wetsuits for most of the year to stay warm in the Cornwall water – it’s never going to be quite the Caribbean despite looking like it!

You can also get adults wetsuits here if you’re wanting to swim off-season – I saw plenty of people in them in May when the water wasn’t warm enough yet.

Snorkeling gear

Bring a snorkel like this one and a colorful mask like this one to add a little extra fun to your day. The water is clear enough in Kynance Cove that it would be worth your while to see if you can spot any small fish or other sea life around you.

Beach Towel

We love heavy duty beach towels like this one or character ones like this one to make the most of a day out. There’s not a ton of room for you to spread out everywhere, but bringing a beach towel to sit on while watching the kids or enjoying the view is a must.

Picnic bag

There is a café that serves amazing food (more on that in a minute), but that is the only option for food at Kynance Cove. That means that you would be smart to bring a soft sided picnic bag like this one with your lunch or snacks in it to enjoy.

Camera

This is seriously one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and my iPhone pictures don’t do it justice. These photos were taken on this camera, but if you don’t have the budget for that, still consider a more dedicated travel camera like this one. Honestly, worth it! GORGEOUS.

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What to Do at Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is a natural wonder, and so my tips for visiting Kynance Cove mostly involve actually appreciating it! Put away your Whatsapp messages, tell Netflix that you’re busy right now, and just enjoy the awesome views and stunning Cornish landscape.

White cafe at Kynance Cove with green grass rock behind and water in front with people at the cafe

Besides just putting a towel down and appreciating the view, either from the walk above the cliffs or from the actual cove, you can…

Discover Enchanted Coves

Kynance Cove is, in and of itself, one big cove, but it also has smaller, carved out rock formations once you get down towards the beach that are a dream to explore. You feel as if you’ve stepped foot on a deserted island or are smack dab in the middle of a postcard.

Kalyn sitting on a rock looking out over the blue water at Kynance Cove

When the tide is low, these coves will be much easier to access, but when the tide is rising or high, you can still reach a few of them and it will be even less crowded. Just make sure you’re keeping an eye on the water level so you don’t find yourself stranded.

Go Swimming

As I mentioned, swimming is allowed and encouraged in Kynance Cove when the weather is right and the water conditions aren’t rough.

You’ll find plenty of locals swimming here, and it’s such a gorgeous spot that you’ll want to get here early in the day to swim with as few people as possible.

The view form a cliff at Kynance Cove looking over deep blue water with a clear blue sky and rocks coming out of the water

This is, of course, a natural beach, not a pool, and there are not lifeguards watching over swimmers. If you are not a strong swimmer or have kids, enjoy the sheltered waters of the cove and don’t go too far out.

Play Water Games

Whether you want to bring a paddle and ball like this one or make up your own water games with a snorkel and mask, the clear waters of Kynance Cove in Cornwall are perfect for playing games with family and friends.

Go Seal-Spotting

Perhaps the most wonderful part of our trip to Kynance Cove was the seal we spotted bobbing up and down in the water! I had never seen a seal in the wild, which probably makes me seem very sheltered, but it was such a cool sight to see him just enjoying life and coming to the surface of the water every minute or so.

A seal from above in Kynance Cove looking at the camera

We saw the seal at high tide, so it was clearly enjoying the shallower waters that were available closer to the shore at this time.

Seals are a popular spotting in Cornwall, so keep your eyes open and spend some time to watch them if you do see one!

Enjoy Coastal Walks

From Kynance Cove, you can enjoy other walks around the Lizard peninsula. This means you can make it a day trip just to the Cove, or you can make it a stop on your journey if you just want to look at the views and don’t plan on getting in the water.

Kalyn walking on the cliffs at Kynance Cove with blue sky and clouds and light blue water in the background

Where to Eat at Kynance Cove

There is one café at Kynance Cove, not run by the National Trust but by a separate family. We got there early, so enjoyed a cream tea and piece of chocolate cake (it was probably like 9am, but you know what, there’s never a bad time for chocolate cake).

A cream tea with a scone jam and clotted cream and cup of tea with blue sky in the background deep blue sea and some deck chairs

They have picnic tables to sit outside, as well as chairs you can just sit in and watch the ocean lap at the cliffs below.

The cafe at Kynance Cove with picnic tables outside and a blue sky

They also have tables inside if the weather turns or you want to eat in the shelter away from the birds trying to grab your food, and they do lunch options so you can just grab something from there if you find yourself at Kynance Cove in the afternoon.

Blue and green deck chairs looking out over the blue water at Kynance Cove with blue sky

Besides this café, there are no other cafes in or near Kynance Cove without driving to them, so plan ahead!

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Alice | Girl with a saddle bag

3 months ago

I’ve never made to the Lizard (instead I’ve always visited the north coast of Cornwall. But now I wonder why on earth I haven’t! This looks absolutely gorgeous and May seems the perfect time to visit. Are there any pretty villages nearby worth popping into or staying in?

girlgonelondon

3 months ago

Hi Alice! Thanks for sharing.

We were only there for a very short visit, with a wedding and wedding activities packed in, so need to do some more exploring, but here are a few thoughts:-

We stayed in a small village called “Praa Sands”, which has a really great sandy beach that stretches a long way. We went early one morning for breakfast and all the surfers were out. It had a really calming vibe (not sure what it gets like in the height of summer, but parking restrictions suggest it’s probably a busy spot!).

Nearby you have Prussia Cove, which has hardly any building around it, with mostly undisturbed views and walks near the sea. Our friends got married there, and there are some cottages that can be hired you can stay in that I would 100% recommend based on location alone.

Then further along towards Penzance is Marazion, which I thought was really nice. It is very small, and very cute. It manages to keep a small village feel whilst having lots going on and tourists visiting. The reason tourists go there is that, opposite it, is the amazing St Michael’s Mount. This is a castle built on an island, which can be accessed only by boat or by walking when the tide is low. It is really quite stunning!

Sorry I can’t give more information than that right now, but a second visit is certainly in order!

Where do you like to go in the north of Cornwall?

Mitch Holmes

3 months ago

Nice blog but very disappointed to see you saying Cornwall ENGLAND. it has never been part of England and as a Cornishman I find this pretty insulting, sorry!

girlgonelondon

3 months ago

Hi Mitch! Thanks for your feedback! I included England because research suggested that geographically it was a county in southwest England – no offense intended! I am not from the UK so perhaps have less of an understanding of this, but open to being informed! Will do more research. Thanks!

Chris Dunkerley

3 months ago

Looks like a wonderful visit, and very detail information for we tourists.

I am Australian and will be there in a few months, so thanks.

I am also of Cornish descent, and know that Cornwall is not England nor is it in England No matter what modern English maps and lazy media say. It really needs editing to avoid offence.

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