South Cornwall's St Austell Bay is a spectacular mix of small cove and large sandy beaches, heritage and picture-postcard fishing harbours and tropical gardens. In the summer months family friendly beaches at Gorran Haven, Carlyon Bay and Par are top spots for beach holidays, with plenty of holiday parks, luxury villas and holiday cottages in the area. Some of Cornwall's most beautiful harbour villages are here, like Mevagissey where you can hop aboard a ferry or boat trip, browse the many craft shops and galleries or relax in a harbourside inn or cafe. Watersports lovers will find some great spots here including Pentewan beach on the western side of The Bay with excellent swimming, surfing, kayaking, wndsurfing and sailing opportunities. Nearby Porthpean beach has an activity centre on the beach offering a range of activities including coasteering, sea kayaking and open canoeing.
St Austell Bay is perfect for summer beach holidays, year round golfing breaks around stunning coastal golf courses at Porthpean and Carlyon Bay, spa pamper getaways in luxury spa hotels and seasonal escapes. Charlestown's famous Georgian harbour is the ultimate retreat with shipwreck museum, tall ships and easy access to cliff path walks. Base yourself in a luxury apartment, cosy B&B or great value family holiday park around the Cornish Riviera's Bay, and you'll be ideally placed just minutes from some of Cornwall's most popular attractions including the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan near Mevagissey.
St Austell Bay's many beautiful beaches include large sandy beach bays, hidden gem cove beaches and peaceful sand and shingle beach boltholes accessible down steep steps branching off the South West Coast Path, like Polstreath beach just north of Mevagissey. Large sandy beach Pentewan further north is a mecca for watersports and safe family bathing. The Bay also has many dog friendly beaches like Par Sands Beach, a large flat sandy beach welcoming dogs all year round and well equipped with amenities including a pub, cafe and watersports centres.
Little Polkerris Beach on the eastern side of St Austell Bay is a beautiful sandy cove beach also with good watersports facilities offering windsurfing and sailing courses, and with an inn, restaurant and gallery alongside. Crinnis Beach is one of three beaches making up Carlyon Bay and is very popular with families. Carlyon Bay is a large sandy beach with great facilities including adjacent parking and a host of watersports opportunities. For naturists, situated at the very far end of Crinnis Beach is Shorthorn Cove which is an Official Naturist Beach.
Portmellon Cove Beach in the Mevagissey area is a small sandy beach, ideal for swimming, with a slipway for boat launch. Dogs are welcome on this Mevagissey beach. Around 3 miles south of Mevagissey, Gorran Haven beach is a top spot with families featuring two pretty east facing cove sandy beaches with crystal clear waters safe for bathing, and an adjacent unspoilt village.