There are small beaches all along the river, fringed by woodland, that you can walk to, or take a boat. Larger coves with dramatic cliffs are just the other side of the Lizard Peninsula, about 20 minutes drive, including the awesome Kynance Cove, a supremely pretty beach with unusual rock formations and a light and breezy cafe with a young, funky vibe perched right on the edge of the cliffs. If you only venture out of Helford once on your holiday, make it here!
Kennack Sands, about 15 minutes drive South, is a lovely sandy beach, with easy access, loos and a cafe, making it ideal for young children, and the second beach is dog friendly. Coverack beach is another good family option, as it is right in the village, so near to the Roskilly’s ice-cream shop, cafe, and pub. Teenagers and grown-up kids love Rinsey, (about 4 miles beyond Helston on the Penzance road) for rock-pools, rock-scrambling and a tin mine to explore on the top of the cliff.
Gwithian, near Hayle, is very long, backed by dunes and popular with kite-surfers and dog-walkers – this is one of our favourites for a windy winter walk. Another perfect place to head to in the cooler months is Porthleven, as there is a nice long beach, a woodland walk around Loe Bar, and a couple of pubs to cosy up in afterwards.