The South West Coast Path offers visitors a total of 630 miles of superb walking around the Cornish coastline. This stunningly beautiful path offers adventure and exhilaration as well as peace and tranquillity. We’re not suggesting you try and get around it all during your stay at Valleybrook, but we would urge you to at least take in a small section while you are here. There’s nothing quite like the heady scent of flowering gorse at springtime, or the sight of intense blue skies and rolling waves during the summer months. As an added enticement, dogs are allowed on the cliff path at all times of the year.
Cornwall's beaches are unrivalled elsewhere in Britain for their beauty and variety: from unspoilt sandy bays to busy family beaches. They offer ample opportunity for experienced and would-be surfers to hire equipment or learn from an expert. With its proximity to Plymouth, the South East area of Cornwall is an ideal holiday destination with many good beaches on offer, some of which are suitable for dog walking, and numerous attractive coastal villages and towns to explore, including Fowey, Polperro and Looe.
There are plenty of stunning beaches to visit close to Valleybrook with plenty on offer. You can learn to sail or waterski; simply hire a boat, or take a pleasure trip. But if you’d rather keep your feet on solid ground, then you can also pass many a happy hour searching the rock pools for crabs, starfish, sea anemones and shrimps:
Lantic Bay is South East Cornwall's best-kept secret. A quiet sheltered cove with white sands that feels more like the Mediterranean, than Cornwall. It is an excellent beach, but it can be difficult to find. Bathing can be hazardous due to strong rip currents and the toilets are some distance away. The climb down to the beach is unsuitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. There is a National Trust car park on the cliff-top road.
Lansallos Beach is a small sheltered sand & shingle beach reached by a 1/2 mile walk from the Lansallos car park. The walk is too far and too steep for wheelchairs but the beach is not well known so it doesn't get too crowded.
Seaton offers a spacious grey sand beach and lots of rock pools making it popular with families. All facilities are close by and access to the beach is level. At low tide, the beach stretches all the way to Downderry beach and there are pleasant walks to be had along the Seaton Valley. Note that the car parks can get full on hot summer days.
Downderry Beach is a wide and spacious sand/shingle beach with many rock pools at low tide. The main part of the beach is accessible via a path next to the toilets, or via the slipway. The east part of the beach which stretches for half a mile is usually quiet but has more difficult access, reached either by climbing over rocks or scrambling down a slippery path off the coast path. (Note that the east beach has a reputation as an unofficial nudist beach.)
Whitsand Bay is probably South East Cornwall's best beach with a 3 mile stretch of perfect sand, but there are no toilets and access to the beach is steep and slippery. The beach can be used for surfing but there are rip currents. The western end of the beach is occasionally prohibited when the Tregantle Fort firing range is in operation (red flag).
If you fancy a day off the beach, then some of the Duchy's most enchanting fishing villages and harbours lie along the South East coast, and are perfect for a spot of gentle sightseeing:
Looe still retains its importance as a major Cornish fishing port, with a sizeable fleet and busy fish market. Early risers can visit the daily fish market where merchants choose the freshest fish for tables all around the country. Early risers can visit the daily fish market where merchants choose the freshest fish for tables all around the country. A popular destination with tourists, the town is actually divided into two halves, each sited on opposite banks of the River Looe. East Looe includes the fishing harbour, the main shopping centre with its maze of narrow streets and courtyards, and a sandy beach that is separated from the river mouth by the Banjo Pier. Across the seven-arched Victorian bridge, West Looe is quieter, but also has shops, plus a varied choice of cafes, restaurants and hotels leading to Hannafore Point with its fine views of Looe Island which has 12th-century monastic cells.
Polperro, just a few miles along the coast from Looe, is a different kettle of fish. Sheltered from the ravages of time and tide in its cliff ravine, it offers an enchanting jumble of cottages, each one unmistakably the work of a Cornish fisherman. The traffic-free streets that lead to the small harbour were once a thriving centre for smuggling brandy casks and tobacco bales. Today you can see displays of local crafts and fishermen's smocks in the cellars, or you can dine in style at one of Polperro's excellent restaurants. Fishing trips or pleasure cruises are easy to arrange from the quayside. Or you can take the cliff path to explore the secluded smuggling coves of Talland and Lantivet Bay.
Fowey has a unique unspoilt charm which attracts visitors of all ages. The Medieval and Tudor cottages, narrow winding streets, cobbled walkways and bustling quays are quite enchanting. The town has strong connections with the world famous author Dame Daphne Du Maurier, who spent most of her life in the area, and holds a literary festival in her honour in May each year. The sparkling Fowey Estuary has to be one of the most attractive and unspoilt parts of Britain's South coast and the multitude of sailing dinghies, yachts, schooners and motor launches either moored or sailing in the estuary is an impressive sight to behold!