A striking long crescent shaped sandy beach that is part of Whitesand Bay. It stretches from Escalls Cliff in the north where it joins up with Gwenver Beach at low water to the Harbour and breakwater below the headland of Pedn-Men-Du in the west. The beach next to the harbour is often referred to as Sennen Cove although this is somewhat of a misnomer even though it is tucked into the south-west corner of the bay and sheltered to a degree by the headland and the Tribbens, a group of rocks immediately beyond the harbour. Sennen is the most westerly beach along the North Cornwall Coast and is less than 1.5kms from Land’s End. In times gone by the harbour had a pilchard fishing fleet with the breakwater being built in 1908. Nowadays it is the home to a small number of commercial and pleasure fishing boats.
TR19 7DG - On the A30 from Penzance to Land’s End there is a turning on the right to Sennen Cove 2kms before reaching Land’s End. After 800m at the bottom of the hill is the Cove and on the right is a car park above the main access point to the beach (capacity over 190 cars). After a further 400m there is a smaller car park next to the Harbour (capacity 110 cars). In summer when the beach is busy there is a large seasonal car park at Mayon Green (capacity over 600 cars) which is located on the right after turning off the A30.
There are numerous access points on to the beach. From the main beach car park there is a direct slipway access point which is suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and the disabled. There is also a pedestrian ramp at the far end of the car park and steps on to the beach. From the harbour car park there is slipway access to the small section of sandy beach but to get to the main beach involves walking back along the road for 400m to the main slipway. Access from the Mayon Green car park involves taking a choice of paths which all lead down through the sand dunes to the beach; they are of varying lengths with the most direct being about 300m. This car park however is useful if access to the northerly, more remote, part of the beach is required.
The beach at low water is over 1.4kms long from the Lifeboat slipway to Escalls Cliff and for the most part is wonderful coarse white sand especially in summer when sand levels tend to build. However, in winter when sand levels drop rocky granite outcrops appear together with smooth granite boulders. There is a strip of sand above high water mark in the middle section of the beach which is backed by sand dunes; much of the rest of the beach above high water mark tends to be stones and boulders but can on occasions be sandy. The sloping sandy beach within the Harbour is detached from the rest by a rocky area to the east of the Lifeboat slipway. The degree of shelter very much depends on the wind direction; generally the beach near the Harbour tends to be the most sheltered. The length of beach close to the road and facilities is the most popular and can be very crowded at peak times but the northerly section is quiet and less busy.
There is safety/rescue equipment at the Harbour, the car park next to the main section of beach and at the Lifeguard buildings in the sand dunes in the centre of the beach. RNLI Lifeguards are on duty from Easter until the end of September and operate a designated bathing area.
The usual Atlantic swell and surf are not conducive to swimming and it is advisable to only enter the water in the designated lifeguard patrolled areas. When calmer conditions prevail it is possible to swim in the harbour area on a rising high tide reasonably safely but be aware of boat movements.
It is a well known and popular surfing beach.
The Cove end of the beach tends to be best for beginners whilst the northerly end picks up a bigger swell and better waves towards high water due to the offshore sand banks. It tends to pick up any swell that is coming in from the Atlantic although the more experienced surfers favour the conditions at Gwenver. There is a surf school that operates during the summer months and there are equipment hire outlets in the Cove. Kite surfing is popular out of season.
It is not a snorkelling beach and there are only a few rock pools. There are restrictions on dogs from the beginning of May until the end of September between 8.00hrs and 19.00hrs. Toilets are located next to the Harbour car park and also the car park next to the beach.
There is a cafe/restaurant immediately above the beach at the end of the beach car park. There are pubs, beach shops and other cafes in the Cove close to the beach.
The slipway next to the beach car park can be used to launch small craft but not jetskis. The Harbour slipway can be used to launch craft but after contact has been made with the Sennen Harbour Commissioners. The beach is cleaned privately. Sea water quality is very good. It is a fine family beach that displays many of the special West Cornwall characteristics.
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