Carlyon Bay

Carlyon Bay

Set at the heart of St Austell Bay, Carlyon Bay is a stretch of almost 2 miles of coarse sand. Actually it isn't really sand but "stent", a mixture of waste from the tin and china clay industries - if you look closely you will see it is made up of large grains of grey quartz with the odd grain of tourmaline.

The section of beach here is actually divided into three sections - Crinnis, Shorthorn and Polgaver. Crinnis is the part most people refer to as Carlyon Bay.

Back in the day Carlyon Bay was St Austell's best known beach. Much of this was due to "Cornwall Coliseum", a huge entertainment venue that sat rather unsympathetically on the beach. Despite attracting many big name performers over the years the Coliseum closed its doors for the last time in 2003, after which time it became something of a decaying eyesore.

Over recent years there have been plans to redevelop the site including a £200 million complex. However, work has never really started as the project has be marred with objections.

Also known as:

Crinnis Beach

Type of beach


Lifeguard service

No lifeguard cover

Dogs friendly beach?

Dog ban in operation from Easter Sunday to September 30th

dog friendly beaches »

OS grid ref.

SX 0582 5208


If the proposed development goes ahead there will be a host of facilities. As it stands they are somewhat limited.


Large car parks close to beach

Carlyon Bay Reviews

Dog friendly update

Apr 01st 2021

Dog ban kicked in already, starting Thursday 1/4/2021 instead of Easter Sunday 4/4/2021.

Lovely beach

Aug 13th 2020

Great beach. Lovely and clean and great to have a beach bar (that serve amazing pizzas) and toilets too.

Car park is very close and only costs £3 for the whole day.

Highly recommend.

Carlyon Bay Beach

Mike Eagles
Jul 26th 2020

Lovely beach and safe swimming. Shame there are plans for developments as it is a beautiful beach and great asset to Cornwall. Just spoilt by rusty piling and rocks dumped presumably by developers who want to spoil a natural beauty spot

Sarah Rose
Aug 30th 2019

Had a lovely day at the beach and really enjoyed watching the dancing frog at the asylum . Fab food and drink too - worth s visit

long hike up to carpark

Aug 27th 2019

love this beach even if it isnt really sand, can be extremely quiet at times off peak out of school holidays.  there are toilets but not been in them and places to get food and drink. my only gripe is the long hike up to the car park up some very steep steps other than that its ok.

Nice beach

Jul 22nd 2019

The description is a bit inaccurate as there’s lots going on at the beach during summer, there’s a beach bar with inside seating and fire pit, a seafood shack with great food a pasty shop and jet skis! Also ive heard the theatre will be down this summer with a massive tent just Been erected. Also decent toilets for a beach!