Polzeath is a pint-sized paradise with a personality as big as its waves.
Miles of sandy beaches and rolling surf, it’s a mecca for beach-goers and surfers alike.
But don’t be fooled, Polzeath in Cornwall is much more than just a pretty sandy face.
This town has a mischievous sense of humour, that is just as contagious as its stunning views.
Whether you’re grabbing a pint at a local pub or shopping at one of the quirky surf shops, you’re sure to be entertained by the quick wit of the locals.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear a good-natured ribbing between surfers, after a day in the waves. And let’s not forget about the infamous “Cornish sarcasm”.
So, if you’re looking for a beach holiday that’s equal parts relaxation and laughter, Polzeath will pack a good belly chuckle.
As soon as you step into the village, you’ll be greeted by the charming main street, a bustling thoroughfare lined with quirky shops, surf schools, and cafes. From here, it’s just a short stroll to the beach, where you can soak up the sun, catch some waves, or simply bask in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can head out to plenty of nearby destinations, such as the pretty little town of Rock or bustling Wadebridge.
And just a short drive away is the stunning Eden Project, a unique oversized walk-in vivarium that showcases the world’s largest indoor rainforest.
How to Get to Polzeath
Located in North Cornwall, it lies no more than 15 miles from Wadebridge making it relatively easy to access by any form of transport. So grab your sextant, heave the main, and set your sail.
Ok, so you don’t have your own actual ‘Pirate ship’. But there is really a way to get here by boat. Well, partially. But this one’s for the adventurous.
Once you get as far as Padstow, take the Padstow-Rock ferry. From there you can walk along the footpath next to the dunes to Daymar Bay and across the beach to Polzeath. It may be longer than any other form of transport but it’s by far more Picturesque.
Polzeath is easily accessible by car, just be sure to pack plenty of snacks. The scenic winding Cornish roads as well as summertime traffic can cause the trip to take twice long as planned.
Expect to spend about 2 hours on the road from Exeter and 4 hours from London. Whether coming from the South or the North simply follow the signs for Polzeath just off the A39.
And remember, the roads in Cornwall can be narrow, so watch out for those fluffy stray sheep!
Once you arrive in Polzeath, there tends to be plenty of parking with a large car park right on the beach sand. You literally can fall out of the car onto the beach!
The nearest station is about 30 minutes away in Par.
From London, Paddington you’ll take about 4 hours and it’ll cost around £20-£30 for a standard single.
From Birmingham New Street the journey’s gonna take you around 3 hours and cost about £30-£40 for a standard single.
Once you reach Par, you have two options: You can either hail a taxi, like a boss, and arrive in Polzeath in 30 minutes, or take a leisurely local bus ride and savour the scenery. The cost of a taxi will be around £10-£15.
There are several bus companies operating to nearby Cornish towns with different departure points, but most of the journeys will take you to Wadebridge, from there you can catch a connecting bus to Polzeath.
For example, if you’re coming from Plymouth, the bus ride takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes with a transfer in Wadebridge.
Another option is getting to Newquay and then taking the local bus from there which is approximately a 30-minute journey and costs around £5.
Put on your aviator shades and grab your carry-on. The nearest airport is Newquay Cornwall Airport, approximately a 30-minute drive from Polzeath. Regular flights run from major cities such as London and Bristol, with the flight taking approximately 1 hour. Once you arrive, you can either take a shuttle, taxi, or rental car to Polzeath.
What to See and Do in Polzeath
If you’re looking for a chunk of fun in the sun, you can’t go wrong with a surf lesson at one of the local surf schools. You’ll be hanging ten in no time! (and no, that has nothing to do with hanging the clothes out to dry).
For those who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of coastal walks to enjoy, including the South West Coast Path which boasts breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
When the sun sets and your sea legs need a rest, there are heaps of restaurants and pubs in the village to satisfy your hunger. You can tuck into some delicious fish and chips, or sample some of the local seafood, straight from the docks.
And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins.
St Enodoc Church
A curious little church located in the village of Trebetherick between Rock and Polzeath. In the 18th century, it had been completely engulfed by the sands it stands on. Now fully recovered, it overlooks Daymer Bay and backs onto the golf course of the same name.
The church was built on the site of the hermit Enodoc’s cave. But even stranger still, no one knows if Enodoc was male or female.
This unique site can only be reached by walking across the golf course.
Hiking and Biking
Get yer land legs and explore the rugged cliffs and rolling hills around Polzeath on foot or bike. You’ll find some truly breathtaking Cornsih views and plenty of pirate-worthy photo treasure ops.
The South West Coast Path takes you past sandy coves and wildflowers, and (if you’re lucky) seals basking in the sun and dolphins frolicking in the sea. Grab a local map or just follow the trails as you find spots like Pentire point.
If you get tired, just stop and have a sit in one of the many beach huts – they make great benches!
Hit the waves
You can’t visit Polzeath without trying your hand (or board) at surfing – it’s one of the top Cornish surf spots. If you’re a beginner, take a lesson with one of the local surf schools. If you’re more advanced, the best time to surf is at high tide.
If you’re not a surfer, then you can explore the beach and rocks as the tide goes out – feel freedom along the hundreds of metres of sand. Or rock pools are waiting to be found teeming with miniature sea life
Eating and Drinking
When you’re done getting wet, why not warm up with a hearty pasty from one of the local bakeries, or indulge in some ice cream from the famous Moomaid of Zennor ice cream truck.
In the evenings, head down to the popular live music venue, The Shed, for some toe-tapping tunes, or if you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at the local pub quiz at The Stable Bar.
And if that wasn’t enough, here are a couple more recommendations.
Surfside is just as it sounds – Right on the beach! It’s a Rum bar and restaurant. My first trip for lunch here was an epic surprise. The Sunday lunch was insanely good with a plate full of roast beef, gravy, crispy potatoes and all the trimmings. It was made even better by the panoramic beach views watching the surf roll in. All topped off with a speciality rum to ease the digestion into the afternoon.
This restaurant serves up just the most delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner – it always satisfies your taste buds. I couldn’t get enough of the katsu monkfish and the goan curry on my couple of visits. Plus grab a table in the leafy garden during the warmer months for a fab long lunch spot just outside of the Polzeath.
TJ’s Kitchen & Bar
If you’re craving some hearty food, TJ’s Surf Shop, Kitchen & Bar is literally a few steps from the sand. The rooftop terrace is right above the unmissable yellow surf shop. You’ll love the international and Cornish mix on the menu – plus a top spot for a big breakfast before a day on the beach.
St Enodoc Hotel Brasserie
St Enodoc Hotel Brasserie is a must-visit for anyone who loves food with a view. You can take in epic views over the camel estuary which dapples in sunlight for tranquil blue and golden colours of sea and sand. Pick your way through the locally sourced menu which is naturally seafood inspired with crab, mussels, mackerel and more, alongside local meats and veggies.
The Cracking Crab
This is another epic location on the hillside overlooking the Polzeath beach. There’s no prizes for guessing this is a seafood inspired restaurant serving full platters and light bites. Plus is a neat cliffside spot for a glass of wine while the sky glows red at sunset over the Atlantic ocean!
Where to Stay
The Surf Lodge
This stylish surf-themed lodge offers comfortable rooms and stunning views of Polzeath Beach, whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just looking for a relaxing beach getaway. And if you’re feeling social, there’s a communal lounge and kitchen where you can mingle with other guests.
The Beach House
This spacious holiday home is just steps away from Polzeath Beach and offers plenty of room for families or groups of friends. With a large garden and plenty of outdoor seating, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. And if you’re feeling creative, there’s even a studio where you can paint or sculpt to your heart’s content.
The Surf Hostel
If you’re looking to save some cash, then this budget-friendly hostel offers a variety of dorm rooms and private rooms, all with stunning views of the beach and a communal kitchen. Perfect for backpackers and solo travellers.
This charming cottage is located in the heart of Polzeath and offers all the comforts of home. From a cosy living room to a fully equipped kitchen, this is the perfect place to unwind and relax. There’s also a bike shed where you can store your bicycle.
The Boutique Hotel
This luxury hotel offers spacious rooms and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a pampering spa break, The Boutique Hotel has everything you need. And if you’re looking for a special touch, there’s even a room service option, so you can enjoy breakfast in bed or a candlelit dinner in the comfort of your own room.
Shopping in Polzeath
Polzeath may be small, but it’s a little shopping hub where you can find everything from surf-chic surf shops to quirky and unusual gift shops. You can pick up all the beach essentially from surf shops a few yards from the beach or even indulge yourself in a new ‘surf-inspired wardrobe at Ann’s Cottage!
Also home to some talented artists and craftspeople. Take a stroll through the local galleries and shops to see their wares and maybe pick up a treasure or two to take home with you.
For daily needs, there’s a Tesco Express and a Co-op located in the centre as well as a Shell petrol station just outside of town. And for anything you can’t find, nearby Wadebridge has a range of big supermarkets.
Whether it’s the historic town of Port Isaac, made famous by the TV show “Doc Martin”. or a low-key round of golf at the nearby St Enodoc Golf Club.
The picturesque streets of Wadebridge with its weekly farmer’s market, or the world-renowned Eden Project, with its enormous walk-in jungle-filled biomes.
Tintagel Castle, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, or a stroll through the charming village of Boscastle.
You won’t have to go far to encounter a true buffet of activities and sights to have everyone from grandma to Tiny-Tim throwing their pasties in the air with excitement.
It’s Time to Visit Polzeath in Cornwall!
From surfing the waves and discovering hidden coves, to shopping at quirky boutiques and sipping on a local cider, every moment spent in this seaside gem will leave you with a smile on your face and a little extra salt in your hair.
Polzeath is like a tropical paradise, with a few less palm trees and a few more pasty-hungry seagulls It’s the perfect place for those who love the seaside and enjoy a good slice of banter.
Just remember to keep a tight grip on that pasty!
Meet Ben, a wanderlust-stricken wordsmith hailing from the surf paradise of Newquay. With a pen and a passion for storytelling in hand, from rugged coastal hikes to secret spots off the beaten tourist path, join Ben as he guides you through the very best of what Cornwall has to offer.