Kynance Cove is one of my top favourite beaches in Cornwall. Owned by the National Trust, this beach is best known for its stunning turquoise waters and beautiful scenery, the perfect day out for couples, families or groups. We visited in October on our Honeymoon, when we did a road trip through Devon and Cornwall, staying in Falmouth for 5 nights. I did my masters degree at Falmouth uni so the whole area holds a special place in my heart and it was wonderful to be back after almost 10 years.
Getting to Kynance Cove
Located on the Lizard Peninsula 2 miles west of Lizard Point, you can drive to Kynance Cove and park at the National Trust car park just a short walk from the beach. Once you get to the car park, you will see signs to anywhere you want to go, and a helpful map too. To make the most of your trip it’s best to plan properly and arrive when the tide is going out. We didn’t do this and the tide was at its highest point for our visit, so we didn’t get to explore the beach much.
There are two paths to the Cove itself. The steeper path is a long sloping track you can take during high tide, that leads over the top of the hill behind the cafe, and has a great view over the beaches. The shortest and easiest has steps, but can only be used during low tide. This path is actually part of the official South West Coast Path, which continues round to the Lizard at the end of the peninsula.
Kynance Cove Cafe
Established in 1927, Kynance Cove Cafe is legendary. Run by the Donovans for over two decades, it nestles between the rocks of Kynance Cove. It’s very popular and the picnic tables in front are always packed. Hugely eco-friendly, the cafe uses local produce and supplies as much as they possibly can, compost all their plant-based food waste, and conduct regular beach cleans. The roof of the cafe and cottage are made with photo voltaic solar roof tiles, which generate enough electric to run the public toilet block and produce hot water for the cafe – even supplying additional energy that feeds into the National Grid.
Their menu is perfect for a lunch stop, with freshly made baguettes, salads, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, and obviously, Cornish pasties. These are no dainty pastries, they’re proper, full-on whoppers. I couldn’t finish mine so Matt had 1.3 pasties, which even he admitted was too much.
After our lunch we explored the cliffs, climbing up the steep steps carved into the rocks and following the South West Coast Path. Once you peak the next hill there’s a beautiful view all the way down the coast line.
If we’d visited when the tide is low, we could have explored the caves along the beaches or even done some rock pooling. Lots of families were climbing the rocks on the beach, playing in the water and even lying in the afternoon autumn sun. The rocks at Kynance Cove are a really interesting colour, with a bright turquoise hue – potentially the cause of the bright tropical-looking water? There are two types of serpentine at Kynance: bastite and tremolite. The rocks at the car park, cliffs to the south and the path to the cove are bastite serpentine, which is the main serpentine on the Lizard. The rock is coarse-grained with large shiny crystals of green bastite which give a flecked appearance.
It was relatively busy when we were there, midweek in October. Just imagine how rammed it is on a nice summer’s day! If you don’t like large crowds, this is definitely worth considering when you plan your trip (along with the whole high tide thing). The National Trust opens up the place from Easter to October, and of course it’s busiest in July and August.
What I love about Kynance Cove is that you can make a full day of it or just pop along for a couple hours of sea air and a pasty. We had other things planned later so it was the perfect lunchtime excursion for us on a week packed with fun Honeymoon activities like Padstow, St Ives and Swanpool. Watch this space for more Cornwall goodness!