Polgwidden Cove

The northern banks of the Helford River in Cornwall are home to a number of secret coves and inlets with Polgwidden Cove being one of them. The Helford River has long been recognised for its beauty, as well as its geological and biological importance. It exhibits almost 50km of stunning coastline, from rocky shores to muddy creeks, where unspoiled woodland and rolling fields meet the Atlantic. Polgwidden Cove is a southeast facing, fine shingled beach with a unique slipway ideal for boating at high tide and crabbing at low. The water is safe for swimming but be aware that this is a river and some currents will occur so weaker swimmers should stay close to the shore. It is situated at the foot of the subtropical Trebah Gardens that wind inland up the valley across 26 acres, making this an ideal opportunity to explore both land and shore in a single visit. Be aware that unlike Glendurgan, the beach is not actually accessible from the gardens. During World War II Polgwidden Cove was used by the military to launch an attack on Omaha Beach in Normandy. Since then, some of the concrete military structures have been removed and a boathouse has been built on the beach. Excellent walking opportunities can be had along the north banks of the Helford with small but defined footpaths leading east and west. Take a short walk east towards Durgan and up to Rosemullion Head for impressive vistas across Falmouth bay and the whole River. Alternatively, head west and get a pint at the Ferryboat Boat Inn, Helford Passage.

Dog friendly.

No lifeguards on duty.

Directions: Head toward the North Helford and follow signs to Mawnan Smith. After leaving the village turn left at the cross roads before you reach the Glendurgan entrance. Park in the National Trust car park to the right, opposite Bosloe, and make the 10 minute walk down to Durgan. From here, follow the coastal path west until you reach Polgwidden. Alternatively, park at Helford Passage and take the coastal path east.

Secret beach location: 50.10068,-5.121474