, situated in south east Cornwall
, United Kingdom
(not to be confused with Whitesand Bay
in West Cornwall) runs from Rame Head
in the east to Portwrinkle
in the west. It is characterised by sheer, high cliffs, dramatic scenery and long stretches of sandy beaches. The South West Coast Path
runs the length of the bay.
The bay is overlooked by Rame Head
, a conical hill with the ruins of a 14th-century chapel dedicated to St Michael on top. Polhawn Cove
is a rough beach, consisting of sharp rocks, shingle and an area of open sand. West of Captain Blake's Point, long stretches of sand are interspersed with rocky headlands and small bays, many inaccessible at high tide. The holiday settlements of Freathy
are built on terraces
on the cliff faces.
A National Trust property at Sharrow Point preserves a small cave excavated by hand in 1874 by a hermit called Lugger, who inscribed verses on the ceiling to relieve his boredom. Lugger's Cave is fenced off to the public.
A UK Ministry of Defence firing range exists between Fort Tregantle at the western end of the bay and Trethill Cliffs near Portwrinkle, and this area is closed during Fort Tregantle firing range operations.
Whitsand Bay is popular with divers, and in 2004 the former Royal Navy frigate, HMS Scylla (F71), was scuppered to provide a new underwater reef.
The Scylla was sunk nearby an existing WWII wreck, the Liberty Ship James Eagan Layne
The beach does not have any toilets and access to the beach is steep, narrow and slippery. Whitsand Bay is a popular surfing spot. A lifeguard service operates between May and September.
Caradon District Council
operates pay and display car parks at Sharrow and Tregantle while at Withnoe (or Main Beach), car parking is operated by a farm owner.
There are dangerous rip currents
. The western part of the beach is closed during firing range operation at Tregantle Fort, firing times are indicated by a red flag. The paths to the beaches at Sharrow Point
, Tregonhawke and Freathy are steep, narrow and slippery and are not suitable for wheelchairs. There is a risk of being cut off at high tide, so keep close to beach access points.