Polly Joke beach

View map of beach Parking available South West Coast Path SSSI Dog friendly

Season: autumn

A serious candidate for the most beautiful beach in Cornwall, this beach is utterly unspoilt. Sitting round the headland from Crantock on the North Coast, Porth Joke or Polly Joke has no development on its edges and looks as it always has, throughout time.  My visit was during the Indian summer of 2011 at low tide, when I caught it at its best.  There is National Trust parking and access is a bit tricky, but well worth it.  It’s perhaps best to park next to the Bowgie Inn on the headland and walk round.


A wonderful eulogy to Polly Joke, expressing the affection so many people have for this special beach.



Bright sunshine at Polly Joke beach, viewed from the path above.

Season: summer

A low tide greeted me at Polly Joke.  The arresting beauty here never alters, but its nuances are ever changing.  Today, the warm breeze and bright sunshine highlighted the paler colours in the granite headlands on either side of the beach.  Seasonal visitors were surfing and sunbathing and there was room for everyone.  Highly recommended.

Summer visit photo gallery


Vanessa emerges from the sea, here with her son Henry.


Jason, by the water’s edge.

Season: spring

This is a magical beach at any time, but I recommend catching it in the morning at low tide, as was the case on this occasion.  Springtime wild flowers were starting to deck West Pentire’s hillsides, the rare cowslips, bluebells and primroses mingling with the cliff-side sea pink.  The beach was deserted and is unspoilt and undeveloped, provoking a sense of timelessness in the visitor. Polly Joke is a wild inspiration, a real tonic in a complicated world.

Spring visit photo gallery


Part of Pete’s routine in a stunning setting.


A view of Polly Joke from West Pentire.


Down on the beach.

Season: autumn

The beach was quiet and tranquil, with just the sound of the birds and the distant sea, as I walked down from West Pentire, past the fallow poppy fields.  On mornings like this, you can lose yourself in the beauty completely.  Polly Joke is pristine, its timeless nature intoxicating.  You get to the water’s edge and have to remind yourself how and when you got there, most odd and satisfying.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Part of Elaine’s and Jane’s routine, through time.


Looking down on a wonderful beach in the morning.

Season: summer

This iconic beach is one of the most viewed in the manonabeach® series, reflecting people’s deep affection for it and the surrounding countryside.  At low tide, a long band of sand led back from the waterline to the dunes and the fields beyond.  You can stand in the middle of Polly Joke beach and turn a full circle, without seeing a sign of human development.  There are magnificent walks in both directions from this beach, plus wildlife to enjoy throughout the year, as well as wild flowers during this spring and early summer season.

Summer visit photo gallery


With Christine, at Polly Joke beach.


On the water’s edge at low tide.

A spring visit photo

Season: winter

Polly Joke is an unspoilt inlet, on the other side of West Pentire from the expansive Crantock beach.  If you’re heading this way in late Spring or early Summer, I’d advise approaching Polly Joke from West Pentire, to see the spectacular wild flowers, that are being encouraged by the National Trust’s Arable Fields Project.  The lime-rich grassland is a haven for poppies and marigolds.

Winter visit photo

2nd winter visit photo


The beach at dawn.


Seals feeding off the rocks at Polly Joke.


The beach, after the tide has receded and the day has begun,

3 thoughts on “Polly Joke beach

  1. Steve Owen

    Thank you so much for all you work. We have been to Treago farm/ Polly for our holidays since 1979. Great to enjoy the place in autume/winter. Keep up the good work.

    Steve Owen

  2. Lorna

    Polly Joke has been my favourite beach since, as a small child, I experienced the feeling of sand between the toes. Although I only live 500 yards from it, each daily walk there is so special that it’s like going there for the first time. No matter what time of the day it is, the light seems to provoke a fresh excitement for me. In the evenings, at sunset, the colours can be unbelievable and reflect on the stream that flows down the valley, under the little bridge and floods across the flat surface of the beach. At this time the seagulls seem to linger on the shoreline contemplating their nightly roost on the cliffs and offshore rocks.

    On wild days, a walk around the point towards Crantock beach is better than watching any thriller on telly! The Chick and Goose rocks can sometimes be consumed by the massive waves and you can be drenched by the spray whipping up over the cliffs leaving a lovely salty taste on the lips.

    Walking the other way to Kelsey Head there’s a wonderful outcrop of rocks on the cliff top that are covered with a spectacular orange lichen which makes a splendid foreground for viewing the Chick Rock. Often there are seals out there to keep you company. You really don’t need to go anywhere else.

  3. Al Green

    I have been going to Polly Joke for some 65 years. As a child, Mum on a Sunday morning would make Pasties and Ice cream, pack them up wrapped I lots of newspaper Dad would drive us to Polly Joke, park on the grass triangle at West Pentire,we would carry everything we needed walk along the path turn left down through the cornfields over the little bridge, down the beach to where the little cove opened up on the left and sit on the rocks that divided the two, and for year’s that was known as “GREEN’s rock and we would all swim.
    After our swim we would dry off and sit down to a hot Pasty followed by cold ice-cream. To this day I still don’t know how she did it, Happy Days


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