Rock beach

Beach facilities

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

Season: autumn

Rock is a jewel in the North Cornwall crown.  Sitting across the River Camel from popular Padstow, there’s a serene calm in the morning here, before the up-market eateries and shops open.  The beach is expansive, backed by sand dunes, that have intricate pathways to lose yourself in.  The views from the beach are breathtaking, all the way along past Brae Hill to Daymer Bay beyond.  The village has all the facilities that you might want on your holiday or for a day visit.  Highly recommended.

Autumn visit photo gallery


What the beach means at Cat and Will.



Sunshine all the way at Rock.

Season: autumn

At dawn.  Imagine the pull of the tidal water, a full moon that has caused the high spring tide straight ahead and the emerging sun over the sand dunes, directly behind you.  On the exposed sand bar, right at the moment of the furthest magnetic pull of the tide, you are part of a natural harmony.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Monica’s morning routine.


A fine panorama, on a high spring tide.

Season: summer

A bright, blowy day brought the dinghies out onto the River Camel, on this summer re-visit.  There were plenty of visitors, up bright and early, taking the ferry over to Padstow (see my earlier chat with ferryman John, below).  Looking up the estuary to Stepper Point, it became clear why so many people are drawn to this part of Cornwall, such was the unspoilt beauty.

Summer visit photo gallery


With Katie, a regular visitor to Rock, who explains her reasons for returning.


At the Porthilly end of Rock, where most of the sailing takes place.

Season: winter

Although chilly, Rock and the beach were bathed in sunshine for my visit in mid December.  The car park and toilets are right next to the beach and there are up-market cafés, lining the road alongside.  The River Camel is one of the most beautiful estuaries in Cornwall and Rock has retained a sense of tranquility during the off-season, as the tourist spotlight has tended to move across the water to Padstow in recent years.  Rock is still a highly desirable place to visit, not least due to the outstanding walks, round to Daymer Bay and on to John Betjemen’s Greenaway and Polzeath.

Winter visit photo


Listening to Dominic of the Rock Rowing Club, on a sunny December morning.


My chat with John, one of the pilots of the Rock ferry.


Watching the Jane D training gig for the Rock Rowing Club, coming out of the water after practice.


The beach, as seen from the dunes above the Camel Estuary.

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