Kynance Cove in Cornwall

This sandy little cove is one of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches.

The surrounding coastline is spectacular with its polished serpentine rocks, crystal clear waters, white sands, caves, rocky islands and wealth of rare flora and fauna. It is the beaches enchanting setting and wildlife rather than watersport activities that have made Kynance Cove one of those Cornish beaches that visitors are repeatedly drawn back to.

At low tide an expanse of white sands stretches across the cove linking up with Asparagus Island. Visitors should be aware that at high tide the sandy beach is covered and the water reaches the foot of the cliffs preventing the lower footpath onto the beach from being used. See beach path information.

Walking, painting, photography, rockpooling, painting, birdwatching are all popular activities. And for some a visit to Kynance Cafe is the icing on the cake. Swimmers and bodyboarders should heed strong current warnings. See below on walks and watersports.

Kynance Cove beach can be enjoyed throughout the year, even during the quieter winter season. The beach is often sheltered from cold winds by the surrounding cliffs enabling visitors to enjoy this magnificent setting on a bright winter's day when low sun light can further enhance an already enchanting setting.

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Kynance Cove tombolo and Asparagus Island

Kynance Cove Travel Guide

By car it takes about twenty minutes to drive from Helston, a town 11 miles to the north, at the head of the Lizard Peninsular.

The main eastern link road between Helston and Truro is the A394/A39 which skirts past Falmouth.

There are no bus or coach services that run to Kynance Cove and the nearest train station is Helston which links with Truru and the main Western train lines linking with the rest of the country.

Grid reference: LR SW684133
Latitude/longitude: 49.974951N and 5.230235W
Post code: TR12 7PJ (for sat nav purposes)

Kynance Cove car park sign

Kynance Cove Car Parking

The nearest car park to Kynance Cove is the National Trust car park located at the end of the toll road sign posted Kynance Cove, a right hand turning off the A3083 just before entering Lizard Village.

Parking fees are collected between Easter and November and the toilets, which have mobility facilities, are closed in the winter.

Kynance Cove footpath sign

Kynance Cove Footpaths

From the car park it is about a fifteen minute walk, steep in places, down to Kynance Cove beach and café. The unmade path down is not recommended for those in wheelchairs and can prove difficult for young families. Despite this, though, it is a common sight to see parents walking to and from the cove with youngsters on their backs whilst simultaneously carrying an assortment of beach equipment. For most the experience is well worth the walk!

There is also an alternative high water path down to Kynance Cove beach and one better suited to push chairs. Information on tides and suitable paths can be obtained in season from the National Trust car park attendants. Out of season visitors should check tide tables before setting off from the car park.

Kynance Cove beach cafe

Kynance Cove Beach Cafe

The National Trust’s eco friendly Kynance café overlooks the beach and serves both indoor and outdoor hot and cold food between March and October.

Cornish delicacies include pasties and ice cream.

There is also a small shop that sells a range of beach goods. An eco friendly toilet block is behind the cafe.

dog on a beach

Kynance Cove Dog Restrictions

There is a seasonal ban of dogs on the beach at Kynance Cove between Easter and November.

Dogs are normally permitted off lead on cliff top walks but dog owners are reminded that the area around Kynance Cove is a site of special scientific interest and there should be no disturbance to wildlife and dog mess should be collected and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Dog owners should also be aware that on sections of the South West Coast Path there may be signs requesting that dogs be put on leads in order to prevent disturbance to grazing animals and Cornwall’s most treasured bird, the Chough.

Kynance Cove accommodation

Kynance Cove Accommodation

Holiday accommodation close to the cove and beach is limited to the self catering Kynance Cottage which is located overlooking the cove and next to Kynance café.

This National Trust owned self-catering cottage is sometimes referred to as ‘twitcher’s retreat’. This reference reflects its location at the seaward end of a valley well known for its migratory birds and its close proximity to seabirds.

There are no camp sites in Kynance Cove or close by and the erection of tents is prohibited. Other self-catering cottages, hotels, B&Bs and touring camp sites within a few miles of Kynance Cove can be seen on the Places to Stay on The Lizard page.

Kynance Cove coastal walks

Kynance Cove Coastal Walks

From Kynance Cove there are spectacular coastal walks along the South West Coast Path in both southerly and northerly directions.

Heading north from the National Trust car park following the path down onto the beach at Kynance Cove, past the café and up the roughly stepped steep path towards Asparagus Island is the start of the walk leading to Mullion Cove and its harbour.

Mullion Cove is about 4.5 miles from Kynance Cove. The walk is mainly along cliff tops but does include moderate ascents and descents into valleys. At the harbour there are toilets and a pay and display car park. Mullion village with its comprehensive range of shops is about a mile inland up the B3296.

A 2.5 mile walk along the South West Coast Path heading southwards from the National Trust car park above Kynance Cove is Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain.

This walk takes about an hour and is mainly along the cliff tops but does include moderate climbs and descents into valleys. At Lizard Point there are cafes and souvenir shops. Toilets at the nearby National Trust car park, grid ref: SW703116, are open throughout the year and include disabled facilities.

Lizard village is about a mile inland following the path beside Lighthouse Road from the car park.

Kynance Cove warning sign

Kynance Cove Watersports

The crystal clear waters may look idyllic but care is required. All watersport enthusiasts are warned of strong currents that at times can sweep around Kynance Cove, over the beach and between Asparagus Island and the mainland.

The long walk from the car park carrying a surf board puts most surfers off but some hardy locals are undeterred in favourable conditions.

The RNLI do not station coastguards on the beach and swimmers, body-boarders and snorklers should read warning signs at the top of the beach before venturing into the water. There are no water sport equipment hire shops in the cove.

Chough in flight at Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove Wildlife

Kynance Cove is part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve and contains a wealth of rare plants, birds and other wildlife. You don’t have to be a keen naturalist to appreciate or notice the wildlife all around you whilst enjoying the setting.

Bird life is abundant and it is not unusual to see and hear the Cornish Chough that have recently recolonised parts of the Lizard coastline and now breed in small numbers.

Seals, basking sharks and dolphins are commonly seen from the cliff path although their appearances are unpredictable. At low water there are deep crystal clear rock pools teeming with marine life.

Rare plants found only on the Lizard in the UK such as the Cornish Heath are all around you. In Spring and early Summer the cliff tops are studded with brightly flowering coastal plants such as Thrift, Kidney Vetch, Sea Campion and Birds-foot Trefoil.

For more information on the birds, dolphins, plants, butterflies, moths and the wildlife of Kynance Cove in Cornwall go to Wildlife Insight.