The small coastal village of Harlyn centers around the golden sands and Atlantic swells of Harlyn Bay – a stunning family-friendly beach just a few miles from Padstow. Flanked by low cliffs and characterised by a steep high tide shelf, it’s one of North Cornwall’s most popular holiday spots, and a beautiful place for coastal getaways in all seasons.
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Excellent for surfing, especially during the spring and autumn when it remains sheltered from the prevailing winds, it’s also perfect for swimming, bodyboarding, kayaking and paddleboarding. The beach is lifeguarded from Easter to the end of September and during the October half term.
Harlyn is one of Cornwall’s best and most popular beaches, yet unlike many of its counterparts it welcomes dogs all year round, which is great news for those in search of paws-friendly holidays. There’s a large car park with easy access to the beach (although it can be busy during peak times), as well as public toilets.
There are some lovely walks along the coastal path too and if you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can hike the 6.7 mile route to Padstow which travels along the beaches at Harlyn and Trevone, then follows the rugged coastline to Stepper Point which has stunning views.
With Padstow being right on the doorstep there are plenty of places to eat out, with the most popular haunts being Rick Stein’s and Nathan Outlaw’s restaurants. Harlyn itself has a handful of its own eateries however, the most highly rated of which being The Pig and Duchy Grub.
The Camel Trail is a fantastic 18-mile-long cycling and walking path in Cornwall, UK, stretching from Padstow to Wenford Bridge, passing through Wadebridge and Bodmin. If you’re starting from Harlyn Bay, you’ll need to drive or take a short journey to Padstow to hop onto the trail.
The trail is a family-friendly adventure, offering stunning views of the Camel Estuary, lush countryside, and charming villages along the way. It’s mostly flat and follows a disused railway line, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Families can enjoy a leisurely ride or walk, passing by picturesque landscapes, old bridges, and even a Camel Valley vineyard. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and take in the beautiful scenery while exploring this scenic trail!
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