Rock beach

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 in which to lose yourself.  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.

Autumn visit photo gallery

What the beach means to Cat and Will.


A succinct eulogy from Claire and Fraser.

Sunshine all the way at Rock.

Season: autumn

At dawn, imagine the pull of tidal water, with a full moon that has caused the high spring tide straight ahead of you and with the emerging sun over the sand dunes directly behind you.  On an 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.  There were plenty of visitors up bright and early, taking the ferry over to Padstow.  Looking up the estuary to Stepper Point, it became clear why so many people are drawn to this part of Cornwall, such is the unspoilt beauty here.

Summer visit photo gallery

With Katie, a regular visitor to Rock, explaining 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 this mid-December visit.  The car park and toilets are right next to the beach and there are eateries lining the road.  The River Camel has 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 a highly desirable place to visit, not least due to the outstanding walks round to Daymer Bay and on to John Betjeman’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 return of the Jane D training gig for the Rock Rowing Club after practice.

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