By car, or public transport, to get to Crantock Beach it’s a round-trip round the Gannel and into Crantock village – a distance of approximately 5-6 miles – but you can get to Crantock Beach easily from Newquay if you’re walking. You can park on Pentire, then visit the Fern Pit Cafe and use the steps in their garden to get to the bottom of the cliffs – from there, it’s either a simple walk across the sand, or, if the tide’s in, there’s a little ferry, just a small rowing boat/dinghy, that’ll take you across.
Once you’re on Crantock Beach you’ll discover it’s probably one of the most diverse and exciting of Newquay’s Beaches, with lots of great ways to enjoy the water. The Gannel runs down into the sea on Crantock Beach and as the tide comes in the Gannel backs up a mile or so, flooding the entire area, so make sure you don’t get caught out as it can move very swiftly. I have many memories as a child of my father helping trapped tourists cross the fast-flowing Gannel as they hadn’t realised the tide was coming in and they got stuck the wrong side of the water. If this happens to you, don’t worry, just clamber up the rocks – you can sit it out there (several hours of course!) or wave at people until somebody sends a boat out while the whole beach enjoys watching you get “saved”.
Crantock Car Park
If you are driving to Crantock Beach, then there is a car park, with public conveniences, at Crantock Beach – however, access to Crantock Beach is by walking up and over the sand dunes from the car park, so it’s not ideal if you’ve limited mobility or have a buggy or wheelchair with you.
The car park is a National Trust car park, so it’s free for NT members.
Services on Crantock Beach
For food, there’s a small kiosk on Crantock Beach, or you can climb the 100 steps to get up to the Fern Pit Cafe on the Newquay side – you can order/collect freshly cooked seafood from the bottom of the steps in their shop, visit or phone your order ahead (minimum of 1 hour’s notice required) and then they will cook a lobster or crab fresh for you to collect, a crab for 2 people costs roughly £5-6 and makes a great beach picnic treat.
The alternative is to take a 1/4 mile walk inland to one of Crantock’s pubs, both of which are to be found alongside Crantock Church. The Old Albion is known as “probably Cornwall’s most photographed pub” and has a smugglers’ tunnel under the fireplace/hearth. Alternatively, if you go to the far southerly end of Crantock Beach you’ll see a pub above you, out on the headland – this is the Bowgie Inn and it’s possible to find a path that will take you there at low tide. The Bowgie has an alternative car park you might use to access Crantock Beach, it’s pay and display.
Also at the southerly end of Crantock Beach are a few caves; one of these caves on Crantock Beach contains an interesting carving of a horse and a poem carved into the stone. I’ve been a few times to see these carvings and have discovered that the sand shifts a lot over the year and I’ve seen the carving just poking out of the sand on one visit, yet the next time it was about 10 feet or more above my head.
Services on Crantock Beach, Newquay
- Car Parking: Yes
- Public Lavatories: Yes
- Easy Access for Wheelchairs and Prams: No
- Food Available: Yes
Where to Stay Near Crantock Beach
There are lots of holiday cottages to rent in Crantock, or there are some caravan parks close by. One caravan park has direct access to the beach, via the South West Coast Path.