Beaches to discover in Morwenstow holiday cottages

Beaches to discover in Morwenstow

Clare Willcocks 28 March 2023

The enchanting area known as Morwenstow is draped across the rugged North Cornwall coastline, not far from the Devon border, harbouring some of the best beaches in Cornwall for peace and tranquillity. A smattering of hamlets peppers the locale, whose history is as textured as its romantic landscape.

Hawker’s Hut, a driftwood-built cabin perched on the clifftop is the legacy of infamous Victorian vicar RS Hawker. An eccentric poet and compassionate man, he gave Christian burials to shipwrecked seamen and helped in many rescue efforts.

Where smuggling and shipwrecking were once commonplace, the area has mellowed with the passing of the seasons and is now a beautiful destination for a coast walk, or to relax in the scenic surroundings of one of Cornwall’s lesser-known coves. Here’s a round-up of beaches near Morwenstow, which you can easily reach when staying in one of our Morwenstow cottages (tap the button below to browse).

Duckpool Beach

Morwenstow Beaches - Duckpool Beach

Duckpool Beach is a small but wild cove enjoyed for its rough and exhilarating character. Not a beach for swimming or surfing, but great for dog walking and taking shots of the tempestuous Atlantic sea. The handsome beach is backed by cliffs which come alive with wildflowers in the spring and summer. The beach is all but eclipsed by the sea at high tide, but as the waves recede, pebbles and rocks give way to sand.

Situated between Morwenstow and Bude, Duckpool is often less busy than other beaches so it’s ideal for those wanting to get away from it all.

Parking: Small National Trust car park right next to the beach.

Toilets: Public toilets in the car park (April – October).

Facilities: Hedgerow Coffee and Cake mobile kiosk – see Facebook page for details.

Dogs: Welcome all year round (kept under control due to livestock and cliff edges).

Sandymouth Beach

Morwenstow beaches - Sandymouth Beach

Just a few miles north of Bude, this large beach provides ample sand at low tide but is mostly pebbles when the tide is in. It is popular with surfers, with surf hire available, but not ideal for swimming due to strong currents. Families will enjoy exploring the rock pools left when the tide is out, while the beach offers respite for ramblers taking on this hilly yet rewarding stretch of the coast.

The cliffs which hug the beach are dramatic and intriguing, with waterfalls and fascinating rock formations, making a stunning backdrop for a memorable trip to the seaside. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including dolphins and peregrine falcons.

The beach is accessed by an inclining path from the National Trust car park, followed by some steps so is not suitable for all. Sandymouth Beach is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall. 

Parking: National Trust car park is 200 metres from the beach.

Toilets: Toilets by the car park.

Facilities: Sandymouth Beach Cafe. Surf hire is available from Sandymouth Surf School.

Dogs: Welcome all year round (kept under control due to livestock and cliff edges).

Stanbury Mouth Beach

Morwenstow beaches - dog-friendly

A lovely, quiet beach with no facilities, Stanbury Mouth is the place to head if you’re searching for solitude in nature. The pebbly stretch with sand at low tide is the perfect spot for some relaxed rock pooling, or for soaking up the sun on a warm day. Just a few miles from the Devon border, it’s a nice place to pause for a picnic when walking along the South West Coast Path. Surfers are often found at the west-facing beach and sometimes seals can be spotted amongst the waves.

The car parks are about a 20-minute walk away and the access path to the beach is a steep climb, so this is a beach to explore if you are up for a challenge!

Parking: Two small car parks just under 1 mile from the beach.

Toilets: None.

Facilities: None.

Dogs: Welcome all year round (kept under control due to livestock and cliff edges).

Marsland Mouth

Morwenstow cottages - Marsland Mouth

Right on the Devon border, Marsland Mouth is a large, pebble beach, which is most easily reached by walking along the coast from neighbouring Welcombe Mouth. The river that flows onto the beach is the boundary marker between Devon and Cornwall, making it of geographical importance, as well as of geological importance, with its craggy folded rocks and hog’s back cliffs.

One of the pleasures of a trip to this beach near Morwenstow is the amount of wildlife you are likely to spot en route. From butterflies to the bobbing heads of wildflowers, the scenery is awash with life, making for a cheery walk down to the beach.

Pull on your walking boots for an 800-metre romp along the coast from Welcombe Mouth, where there’s a car park at the end of a rough and bumpy track. En route to Marsland Mouth, stop in at Ronald Duncan’s Writing Hut, and see if the outstanding view from the window doesn’t inspire you to put pen to paper yourself!

Parking: At Welcombe Mouth, 800 metres away.

Toilets: None.

Facilities: None.

Dogs: Welcome all year round (kept under control due to livestock and cliff edges).

Stay with us in Morwenstow

The fact that there is not one, but two writers’ huts along this magnificent stretch of coast is a testament to the impact the scenery can have on a person’s mind and creativity. Morwenstow is a wonderful place to spend a restorative break, surrounded by nature and little else.

Find peace in one of our comfortable Morwenstow cottages, whether you’re moved to make art and poetry inspired by the surroundings, or happier to soak up the sunshine on one of Morwenstow’s unspoilt beaches.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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