Cornwall's geology is varied with granite intrusions and sedimentary rocks. The sand varies and I've only got some from selected areas, mostly the far West in Penwith.
Praa Sands is a popular beach with families and surfers. For chilling out it has the Sand Bar with floor to ceiling windows for views out over the sea in all weathers
Marazion is the mainland side of St Michael's Mount. Busy in the day, it's still a great place when the tides have cleaned the beaches
Famous for the Minack theatre at the top of the cliff, and for the undersea cable museum, Porthcurno has a lovely beach. At low tide you can walk round to a more secluded cove, and along the cliff is the amazing Treen Head with a low tide beach below
Just the other side of the Minack theatre from Porthcurno is Porthchapel - a tiny beach reached down a steep path. The make-up of the sand is similar but much bigger shell fragments
This little cove, on my favourite Cornwall coastal walk (Porthcurno to Sennen, looking out to sea when passing Land's End) changes with the seasons and storms and doesn't always have much sand. The sand's made of shell fragments but of a size between that of Porthcurno and Porthchapel
Whitesands Bay can get very busy with families and surfers, but is big enough to get away from the crowds. You can walk up to the National Trust look out at Sennen where they always say they saw whales earlier in the day (but I've never seen any!) and watch gannets, choughs and other birds, and then tourists with cameras at Land's End
Porthmeor is the surfing beach at St Ives, and is also the one with the Tate Gallery and the famous artists studios. It faces North and gets big waves and gulls that will snatch your ice cream. It has a nice café underneath the Tate which I reckon is better than the famous one on another beach.
Porthkidney is next to the Hayle River. The guide posts for boats coming into the river give a mystic air, especially in mist. It's usually fairly deserted, except for dog walkers.
The Towans means 'The Dunes' and if dunes can be spectacular, these are. They rise to about 100 ft. Bits of the beach are busy with caravan parks above and other bits very quiet. The beach stretches about four miles long and can stretch about half a mile out at low tide
Godrevy beach is the same beach as the Towans. It is busy with surfers most of the time, but that's only over a short area. The "Red River" runs over it - called red because it used to be red from mining spoil upstream. The Godrevy Café and Sandsifter Bar are both worth a visit
Harbour Cove is down the estuary from Padstow and isn't a harbour any more. It has a huge area of sand at low tide and you can paddle through the low water. The real "Doom Bar" with a beer named after it is here with waves breaking far out to sea
© Gordon Stokes, 1980-2019