Great Lantic Beach, Lantic Bay
Great Lantic Beach, Lantic Bay

On the rocky coast between Polruan and Polperro is the secluded bay, protected by the headlands of Blackbottle Rock at Pencarrow Head. This is Lantic Bay, owned by the National Trust.

The South West Coast Path skirts along the clifftops, with views over one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Cornwall - and one of the quietest. Perhaps it is the relatively remote location, but unlike other stretches of National Trust coastline in Cornwall, Lantic Bay is a quiet outpost. When we visited we had the entire beach to ourselves.

The combination of relative peace added to the gorgeous aquamarine waters and the pristine white sand makes Lantic Bay one of the most attractive stretches of coast and beach in Cornwall.

Access is relatively easy; at least it is easy if you don't mind a lovely walk from the National Trust car park on the minor road skirting the clifftops west of Polperro. There is space for about 75 cars and a useful information panel with details of the geology, flora, and fauna of the area, with a useful map of the trail to the beach.

The National Trust path towards Pencarrow Head
The National Trust path towards Pencarrow Head

The parking area is just west of Triggabrowne Farm, and has the postcode PL23 1NP. The car park is free to National Trust members but there is a charge if you are not a member.

From the parking area you have to follow a trail beside the road west until you come to a signposted footpath leading south across National Trust land towards the cliffs. The path crosses farm fields before sloping down towards the Pencarrow Head headland. You cross the South West Coast Path atop the cliffs and go through a cattle fence and then take a signposted trail that winds steeply down, and down, and down to the beach far below.

If you enjoy a good walk in a stunning landscape then you will enjoy the descent, but there's no disguising the fact that it does take some serious exertion - and then, of course, you have to go back up the trail again when you're done.

It takes about 20 minutes from the car park to the beach, and probably 30 minutes going back up again when you're done. You will undoubtedly have to stop on the way up, but that just gives you a chance to enjoy the superb view.

Waves crashing on the rocks of Great Lantic beach
Waves crashing on the rocks of Great Lantic beach

There are really two beaches; Great Lantic and Little Lantic Beach. Great Lantic is a semi-circle, or crescent shape, facing south and backing onto high cliffs with a grassy area just above the high water line. Little Lantic Beach faces more to the west, with a sandy area above the high tide line. The smaller beach is isolated at high tide, so please take care not to get trapped, or you'll have a long wait for the tide to turn.

There are no facilities, which actually adds to the attraction of the site. Lantic Bay is popular for boaters, and good for swimming, but do take care as there are no lifeguards and there can be a strong riptide.

Though we visited on a gorgeous afternoon in April, we had the beach to ourselves. The roar of the surf pounding upon the rocks was our only company. The only person we saw on the entire trip was a lone dog-walker on the clifftops.

There are several holiday cottages nearby, and a very popular National Trust campsite. The location is perfect for walkers, with the coast path offering some of the best scenery in Britain. While you are in the area, do take the chance to visit the medieval church of St Wyllow at Lanteglos-by-Fowey. The church is just a few hundred yards up the minor road north-west of the National Trust car park.

Great Lantic Beach
Great Lantic Beach

About Lantic Bay
Address: Polruan, Cornwall, England, PL23 1NP
Attraction Type: Countryside - Beach
Location: National Trust parking area near Triggabrowne Farm (SX149513), followed by a 20-minute walk on a signed footpath. There is a steep descent to the beach.
Website: Lantic Bay
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Location map
OS: SX147508
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

Lanteglos-by-Fowey, St Wyllow - 0.5 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Fowey, St Fimbarrus Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

St Catherines Castle - 1.8 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating

St Winnow Church - 4.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Par, St Mary's Church - 5.8 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Porfell Wildlife Park - 5.8 miles (Family Attraction) Heritage Rating

Boconnoc - 6.1 miles (Historic House) Heritage Rating

Tregrehan Garden - 6.2 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

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