Crantock Beach is yet another exceptional North Coast beach but with the added distinction of being part of the Gannel Estuary. Set between Pentire Point West and Pentire Point East, Crantock Beach sweeps around from Vugga Cove in the west to the mouth of the River Gannel in the east, a distance of nearly 1km at low water. It is very close to Newquay and the village of Crantock and is backed by an area of sand dunes known as Rushy Green. Because of its size and the nature of the Estuary there are a number of very different access points to the beaches which all link up at low water. The main beach faces north-west and isvery exposed whilst Vugga Cove in the lee of Pentire Point West is often quite sheltered. The Estuary beaches are also fairly sheltered. The main area of Beach is owned by the National Trust and Cornwall Council. Crantock is a popular family Beach.
TR8 5RN - To get to the main part of Crantock Beach from Newquay, take the A3075 signposted to Redruth. 300m after the Trevemper Roundabout at the entrance to Newquay is one of a number of roads signposted to Crantock along the A3075. From the centre of the village go down Beach Road and after 500m there are two car parks, the first on the right (capacity 200+ cars) some 250m from the Beach and the National Trust car park (capacity 200+) right next to the Beach. Access on to the main beach is a sandy walkway across a short length of dunes which is very difficult for pushchairs. However, in the corner of the National Trust car park there is a fairly flat path that leads to part of the Estuary Beach which is suitable for pushchairs.
Many people favour accessing the main area of Beach and Vugga Cove from West Pentire -TR8 5SE - which is signposted from Crantock village. There is a car park below the pub (capacity 100+cars). From the bottom of the car park is a path that leads down to the Coast Path (100m). By turning left and continuing for 300m there is a path on the right that leads down to Vugga Cove and involves scrambling down over rocks on to the beach but is not difficult. By turning right on the Coast Path for about 400m there is a path down to the westerly end of Crantock Beach. Both these access points are only possible when the tide is low.
To access the sandy areas on the upper reaches of the Estuary there is a small car park close to the boating lake in Newquay which is located by going up Gannel Road (A392) and after 500m turn left and the car park is next to the saltings -TR7 2AG. To get to the beaches means walking along the road and then a path next to the foreshore (for 1km) - this joins up with a public footpath bridge across the river with sandy beaches on either side at low water.
A further alternative access is to park at Pentire Point East in a small car park - TR7 1PF - and walk down Riverside Crescent and on the right is a path down toa summer only Ferry across the Gannel. It is also possible to walk from the centre of Crantock village along Green Lane and a public Footpath across Rushy Green to a more remote part of Crantock Beach.
Crantock Beach has a wide strip of fine golden sand above high water that is over 900m long backing on to the sand dunes with the River Gannel on its easterly side . Vugga Cove is covered quickly as the tide rises. The Gannel Beaches are mostly covered at high water except for a narrow strip on the southern side. When the tide goes out Crantock Beach is a wonderful expanse of flat sand that retreats over 500m. The Gannel Estuary has strips of sand either side of the meandering river stretching for over 1½kms until it turns to mud flats and saltings.
There is safety/rescue equipment at the back of Crantock Beach by the car park. RNLI Lifeguards operate from a hut in the middle of Crantock Beach from late May until the end of September and oversee designated bathing and surfing areas.
The surf, Atlantic swell and strong rip currents are not conducive to swimming. Whilst the River Gannel looks good for swimming it is very unsafe especially on an ebbing tide although playing in the shallows on a rising tide is commonplace. Bathing off Crantock Beach in the Lifeguard patrolled designated area can be undertaken when permitted.
Crantock is an excellent surfing beach but not as crowded as some of the nearby Newquay beaches. It has a classic beach break at all stages of the tide with the westerly end particularly good for beginners as it is more sheltered whilst the more experienced tend to favour the river side of the beach. There is surf tuition based in the National trust car park.
It is not a snorkelling beach at all. There are a few rock pools in the Estuary and at Vugga Cove.
There are no restrictions on dogs.
There are toilets in the National Trust Car Park, the Pentire East headland car park and Crantock village. There is a seasonal cafe and beach shop in the higher Crantock Beach car park and further facilities including a pub in the village. There is a pub/restaurant next to the West Pentire car park.
The quality of the water in the River Gannel can be very variable, at times even poor, especially after periods of heavy rainfall. This can affect the sea water quality. The beach is cleaned by the National Trust.
Crantock is an excellent family beach with very good access with the river a feature of great interest.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL OF CORNWALLS BEACHES PLEASE CLICK HERE