In the run-up to my recent trip to Cornwall I was repeatedly told that I absolutely had to visit Kynance Cove. So, that is exactly what I did. And wow, it was worth it.
Getting to Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove is located two miles north of the infamous Lizard point, on the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula and it has been dubbed the most photographed, filmed and painted beach in Cornwall. But you’ll be in awe well before you reach the Cove itself as the drive down takes you through the heathland, which I believe is known by the locals as the Downs and that definitely provides its own set of spectacular sights.
But, awe aside, it does take a little bit of planning to actually get to Kynance Cove. There is no vehicular access to the Cove itself – which definitely contributes to the fact that its natural beauty has been so well preserved – however this does mean that the National Trust car park at the top of the cliff can fill up quite fast and other than that the closest place to park is in Lizard village which is roughly two miles away. We arrived mid-morning and didn’t have any problems parking, however when we left at about 2pm the carpark was full, so it’s definitely worth getting up early.
Upon arrival there are two routes down to the beach, one which only takes 10 minutes (or double that, if like me you want to keep stopping for photographs of the view) however there are quite steep steps at the bottom. Or, there is an alternative route that takes roughly 20 minutes but is much flatter, meaning parents with pushchairs or those not quite as steady on their feet can still make it down to the beach! This is also the route you have to take if the tide is in, so pay attention to the signs informing you on the current tide situation.
What to do in Kynance Cove
I’d somehow managed to convince my dad and brother to come along with me on my visit and while they were right in their assumption that there wouldn’t be much to do, we easily passed a couple of hours without a second thought. And, if you ask me, there was far more to do than on a ‘normal’ beach.
The tide was out while we were there which meant we were able to spend our time exploring the caves along the beach and climbing up across the rocks to other clifftops which gave us a whole real-life panoramic view of the cove. Admittedly, my brother probably had such a good day because he spent a majority of it laughing at me as I spent my time trying to clamber up the rocks after him, only to slip back down straight back into the puddles that sat at the base of many of the areas he was scaling with ease.
But even if you’re not up for clambering along the rocks, I personally think it is still worth the visit. There were lots of people going for a swim in the sea (although there are no life-guards and the current can get quite strong so it probably isn’t advised), there was a boy paddle-boarding, plenty of sand-castle building going on and a few people were making the most of the views that Kynance Cove offers with a picnic atop some of the (easier to access) clifftops.
Plus, when you’re in a place with views as jaw-droppingly beautiful as Kynance Cove, you could easily pass a few hours simply staring out at the turquoise water, looking up at the serpentine rocks or sunning yourself on the white, sandy beach.
Eating in Kynance Cove
And then, when you get a bit peckish there is a wonderfully quaint and eco-friendly (!) cafe nestled just above the sand – with views looking out over the spectacularly coloured sea. Which proved particularly useful for us, as none of us had been organised enough to bring a picnic anyway. And after a couple of hours of exploring our stomachs were definitely grumbling so we made a beeline for the cafe.
My brother and I both ordered one of Anne’s Cornish Pasties (naturally), while my dad opted for a jam scone, with a bit of traditional Cornish clotted cream for good measure. However, if neither of those things take your fancy then the cafe also has fresh crab sandwiches, baguettes and a mouth-watering selection of cakes on offer too. And while I can’t vouch for them completely, they did look delicious.
Luckily the weather held out for us and the tide was out as well, which, considering we had planned to go on the wettest day of the weekend and not even looked into the tide times before we left, was pretty lucky. But even so, if it had been a horrible day I think the views over Kynance Cove would have been equally as spectacular (the walk down to the cove may have been slightly more nerve-wracking though as I imagine it is lethal when wet!). And all-in-all I’m so glad that everyone recommended a day trip to Kynance, as it was definitely the highlight of my weekend and it is 100% top of my list for visiting again on my next trip to Cornwall!