Aerial view of  a Cornish cove with cliffs and blue sea
Aerial view of  a Cornish cove with cliffs and blue sea

Cornwall - Kynance Cove

The most photographed beach in Cornwall

Popular since Victorian times, the brilliant turquoise water, white sand, mysterious caves and unexpected views of Kynance Cove are still a powerful draw for visitors today. It's hard to overstate quite how stunning this unique cove is.

This beautiful beach's defining features are the serpentine rock formations, including the distinctive pinnacle to the north of the beach. The distinctive red and green stone, which is found throughout the Lizard Peninsula, has been formed into mystical shapes, caves, sea stacks and islands over the millennia. Many of the interconnected caves have their own quirky names, such as Asparagus Island, Ladies Bathing Pool and The Parlour.

At low tide you can explore the caves and islands close-up, but keep an eye on the tides as it's possible to get cut off. There are no lifeguards at Kynance either, so if you fancy a dip in that crystal-clear water then take care. The water here is generally pretty calm in the summer, but it's quite an exposed stretch of coast and the sea can be unpredictable and dangerous.

After all that exploring, you'll probably have worked up an appetite. Luckily, just above the beach is the perfectly placed Kynance Cove Beach Café, which has operated here for nearly 100 years. This off-grid café is the perfect spot for a fresh crab sandwich, Cornish pasty or cream tea.

Kynance is also popular with surfers because it's one of those 'last chance' spots where it's possible to find a wave when everywhere else is blown out. When it's good here it can be really good. The short, hollow and powerful waves get refracted into some interesting bowls - ideal for launching into airs.

All in all, Kynance is one of the prettiest coves in Cornwall and as you might expect, it's also one of the most painted and photographed. Poldark fans may also recognise it from episodes of the hit programme. All of this means it gets pretty crowded here during the summer, and you may have difficulties finding a spot in the car park.

However, you can avoid the madness by taking a scenic coastal walk around to the cove from Lizard Point, which is about 2 miles away.