Church Cove beach, Gunwalloe

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path SSSI National Trust Dog friendly Good water quality for swimming

Season: winter

Wild winter storms and a rising tide greeted me for this seasonal re-visit.  Steps from the beach to the church of St. Winwalloe now began five feet above the level of the sand, due to recent storm action.  The cove was white with foam and the view out to sea was interrupted by regular explosions of white against the black rocks of the headland.  From the bank above the church, I saw a similar site in the adjacent Dollar Cove, as weekending visitors scoured the beach, with metal detectors or by eye, for dislodged Spanish doubloons.

Winter visit photo gallery


Wide open space at the beach for Sally and Stuart.


A wild winter scene at Church Cove.

Season: winter

The high tide at Church Cove coincided with a wild, stormy morning.  The sea looked, smelled, sounded and felt magnificent, as it pounded onto the headlands and beach.  Days like this are part of a wonderful, natural power and harmony, uncontrollable and reassuring.  Safe in the lea by the Church of St Winwalloe, next to the stripped tamarisk, you can imagine the effect of another storm on the Portuguese sailors who spilled their silver, just round the corner at Dollar Cove.

Winter visit photo gallery


An ever changing beach and the buzz of being near it for Joe.


Nick reflects on aspects of his enjoyment of the beach.


Shelter from the storm, at Church Cove.

Season: summer

It was a magical summer’s morning at Church Cove for this re-visit.  You’ll find the unspoilt beach just outside Gunwalloe, between Poldhu Cove to the south and Halzephron Cove to the north.  There was a soothing, mild breeze and bright sunshine, with tempestuous breakers crashing in, on a rising tide.  Church Cove, including Dollar Cove next door, has an inexplicably benign atmosphere, as testified by Andy in his chat, below.  Great beach, highly recommended.

Summer visit photo gallery


Andy puts this beach into a global context.


What the beach and the sea means to Paul, over a lifetime.


On the rocks at Church Cove, on the Lizard Peninsula.

Season: spring

I had a “Lucy in the Sky…” moment on the waterline at Church Cove.  The incoming waves were so aerated that they piled in like swathes of meringue, exploding on the black cliffs into white shards.  It was sunny and warm; I was in a timeless cove, facing the prevailing elements.

Spring visit photo


Miles explains the role of the beach and the coast in his foraging and brewing.


Picture yourself, on a beach by the ocean…

Season: autumn

I came here on Armistice Day and it was ideal.  The beach was windswept and wild, yet had an ethereal presence, with the hermitage and the church of the storms nestled nearby in the dunes.  There is easy access from the road to this beach.


A minute’s silence, at Church Cove, Poldhu.


The church of St Winwalloe at Church Cove, next to the beach.

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