Watergate Bay

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path Dog friendly RNLI lifeguard cover Easter weekend and May 4 - September 29 Beach cleaned regularly Good water quality for swimming

Season: summer

Brilliant sunshine greeted me for this summer visit.  As high tide approached. the Atlantic breakers rolled in relentlessly and timelessly, with clean sets for everyone to enjoy.  The beach was packed, so the scene-setting film was taken on the cliffs above, where I met John, who added an international perspective to the appeal of Cornwall’s beaches.

Summer visit photo gallery


John’s attraction to the beach.


Looking down at Watergate Bay, on a summer evening.

Season: winter

People milled about at low tide on Watergate Bay beach during this winter re-visit.  It was a mild, blowy weekend scene, with a bright white concentration of surf pounding onto the flat, glistening beach.  As often happens here, there was a misty atmosphere as you looked towards Newquay.  Extensive cliff falls were marked behind the beach.  You need to treat this beach with particular respect on a rising tide.  It’s wild and has a primeval feel, backed by towering, imposing cliffs.

Winter season photo gallery


A tonic from work and a place to call home, for Ian and Lesley.


The wild beauty of Watergate Bay in the winter.

Season: spring

Mist hung in the air for this spring re-visit, with a brisk south easterly breeze framing the waves that roll in from the Atlantic.  Watergate Bay is a flat beach.  Great care is needed on a rising tide, like the one on this occasion.

Spring visit photo


The beach as an escape from the city.


Watergate Bay, on a rising Atlantic tide.

Season: autumn

My visit here was a special early morning treat, as the sun came up on a falling tide, showing the flat beach with a brilliant glassy finish.  Imposing cliffs as a backdrop give a sense of foreboding, a perfect counterpoint to the violent seas crashing in to one of Cornwall’s most dangerous and exhilarating beaches.  There has been extensive up-market and sensitive tourist development based around the Watergate Bay Hotel and up the valley over recent years, so if you have deep pockets you will be well catered for; for all tastes the beach is there to enjoy.  Highly recommended.


A quick look at the power of the North Coast waves, which have eroded the cliffs at Watergate Bay.


The wide expanse of Watergate Bay, on a dawn ebb tide.

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