Polgwidden Cove, Falmouth

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Polgwidden Cove, Falmouth


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Review of "Polgwidden Cove, Falmouth"

published 11/09/2017 | LiveMusicLoverLyn
Member since : 23/03/2014
Reviews : 891
Members who trust : 115
About me :
“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” Thanks for all the reads, rates, appreciated esp E rates, every E I give is well deserved.
Pro Sheltered, ice cream and drinks, dog friendly
Cons access
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"~ A Little Gem in South Cornwall ~ with added history interest ~"

Polgwidden Cove, Falmouth

Polgwidden Cove, Falmouth

Trebah’s Own Beach Polgwidden Cove

We were fortunate to visit Cornwall during the early summer heat wave of 2017 one of the places we visited was Trebah Garden and therefore by default also its beach Polgwidden Cove on the south coast of Cornwall and here is my review of this beach and I will begin with a brief mention of its place in history:

Anyone with an interest in history will be interested to know that in 1944 this beach was used as an embarkation point the 29th US Infantry Division for the assault landing on Omaha beach as part of the D Day Landings. The regiment of 7,500 American allies must have been a sight to behold as they left for France.

After the war ended the house and gardens and subsequently beach saw a few changes of ownership before being bought by racing driver and car designer Donald Healey. It was Healey who cleaned up the beach by removing the concrete and necessary infrastructure installed during the war and who built the boathouse that was originally used to store his boats.

These days the Boathouse is a cafe and ice cream parlour serving Cornish ice cream and tea and coffee between March and September.


Where is Polgwidden Cove:

Postcode TR11 5JZ OS grid ref. SW 7686 2696

Polgwidden Cove is actually a private beach attached to Trebah and by far the easiest way to access it is through the garden. However, to do so requires the need to buy a garden ticket.

5km south west of Falmouth and a little over 2km south west of Mawnan Smith the beach can be accessed via a small track that runs to the west of the site via Chycoose and also via the South West Coast Path. The site is accessible at low tide from the other coves nearby, but as far as I am aware, all require a walk to get to. I would therefore strongly urge visitors to visit the garden as well which will then allow free access to the beach via the garden for a week. Furthermore, the visitor then benefits from the advantage of free relatively secure parking and the opportunity to enjoy the garden.

Trebah Garden can be found near Mawnan Smith, which in turn is Nr Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 5JZ and is on the road that runs between Mawnan Smith and Helford Passage and if travelling from Mawnan Smith the garden can be found clearly identified beyond a cross road and Glendurgan Garden.


Suitable for all the Family:

The shingle beach does enjoy a few sandy patches and even in its natural cove position is further protected on one side by a concrete breakwater, probably left from when it was concreted over during the war. The beach shelves quite steeply and this is more noticeable when the tide is out. The upper part of the beach remains as a concrete terrace and here there are picnic benches and wall seating built into the wall that separates the beach from the garden. Buckets and spades can be bought or even borrowed subject to availability from the Boathouse cafe.

Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round, although they do ask that they are kept under control and on a lead.


Our Experience:

We visited the beach as part of a garden visit and actually chose Trebah to visit because it included access to the beach. We had set out another day to a dog friendly beach and never found it, retiring to a pub instead. Then we found Trebah, the garden welcomes dogs and gives free access to the beach. The beach is accessed via a concrete step arrangement that goes up over the wall next to the boathouse and be warned the steps are steep and narrow. Once on the beach you can see the sea ebbing and flowing up the beach, the tree line of the opposite bank and quickly take in the protective basin that forms the mouth of the river and out to sea.

Once we’d walked down the beach on our first visit there were some people with their dog coming around the corner from the easterly direction and it is possible to do so, only at low tide. To that side the beach is subject to some rocks, but these of course serve to add interest for children to look for sea life.

Paddling with the dogs was a pleasure and the concrete breakwater is low enough to use as a seat to dry off afterwards, there were a few people swimming and on another visit, I hope to do so myself.

Once we’d enjoyed a bit of time on the sandy part of the beach and paddled we walked back up and found a free end of a picnic bench before enjoying ice creams bought from the boathouse cafe. The real Cornish ice cream was lovely and they do several flavours, but it is not cheap, not much change from £10.00 for 2 ice creams.

There is no pressure to move away once you have finished your purchase and the beach has a lovely relaxed feel.

Apart from the family who’d walked around the beach on the coast and put their dog on a lead as soon as they read the sign, there was another loose dog that the owner planned to play in the water with, but the dog had other ideas and did cause a bit of bother for other people bounding around teasing other dogs on leads and pinching some food from a picnic. The embarrassed owner managed to catch her lively lab and left.

There were several groups of mums and toddlers and young children and an annual pass for the garden that includes the beach is very reasonable from around £35.00.

On our second visit the weather was showery and blustery and we were surprised that the beach was still quite busy. However, we soon realised why, due to its location the beach is sheltered and protected from the worst of the weather. This time the tide was in and there would not have been any opportunity to get to the beach around the headland. We did however meet a couple who had walked around 8 miles to get to the beach via footpath.

The water is obviously quite deep, quite quickly, so it would be advisable for all except strong swimmers to stay close to shore. It was interesting to watch pleasure cruisers and yachts both moored a short way out and in use in the river mouth and travelling up the Helford river.

On our second visit we bought hot drinks and there is a good choice of barista coffee and teas. The cafe does not have anywhere to seat inside, but who wants to with a view like that anyway.


Other Facilities:

There are no toilets on the beach or nearby, the nearest being up at the top of the hill at the entrance. Sadly the beach is not suitable for wheelchairs or anyone with restricted mobility.



1. view out to sea, shows the sheltered basin
2. View to the other side
3. Enjoy watching the boats
4. ...and another one
5. Dogs enjoy it too
6. World War 2 information
7. A yacht
8. History



A great little find.



As a dog friendly beach location this scores highly, as a general beach it scores well, but due to the need to pay and accessibility issues, realistically I need to remove a star. 4/5

Thanks for reading and I hope you found it useful.


Picture 8: http://www.aboutmygeneration.com/?p=20002

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  • jo-1976 published 16/09/2017
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Product Information : Polgwidden Cove, Falmouth

Manufacturer's product description


Product Details

Country: England

County: Cornwall

Continent: Europe

City: Falmouth

Type: Beach


Listed on Ciao since: 26/08/2017