Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove © Cornwall Beaches

Situated near the tip of the rugged Lizard Peninsula, Kynance Cove is a masterpiece of nature that has captured the hearts of visitors for centuries. With turquoise waters, white sandy beach, and towering, otherworldy serpentine rock formations, this Cornish gem is as iconic as it is stunning.

About Kynance Cove

Popular since Victorian times, the brilliant turquoise water and white sand, with islands, caves and unexpected views are still a powerful draw today. It is difficult to overstate quite how stunning this unique cove is.

Kynance Cove rock formations

The beach's defining features are the serpentine rock formations, including the  distinctive pinnacle to the north of the beach. This red and green stone, which is found throughout the Lizard Peninsula, has been formed into otherworldly shapes over the milenia to form caves, sea stacks and islands. These all have their own quirky names such as the Asparagus Island, The Drawing Room and The Parlour.

Names of the Rock formations at Kynance Cove

At low tide you can explore the caves and islands close-up, however you need to keep an eye on the tides as it is possible to get cut off. In addition there are no lifeguards at Kynance, so some caution should be exercised if you fancy a dip in that crystal-clear turquoise water. The sea here is generally pretty calm in the summer, but this is quite an exposed stretch of coast so the sea can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Kynance Cove - crystal clear water and beach cafe

Situated just above the beach is the Kynance Cove Beach Cafe which has operated here for nearly 100 years. This off-grid cafe is the perfect spot for a crab sandwich Cornish pasty,  or cream tea.

All in all Kynance is one of the prettiest coves in Cornwall and as a result one of the most painted and photographed. It is also becoming one of the most visited, especially after it featured in an episode of Poldark. This means it can become quite crowded here during the summer, and you may even have difficulties finding a spot in the large car park. To avoid this you can take the lovely scenic coastal walk around from The Lizard Point which is located less than 2 miles away.

Panoramic view of Kynance Cove in Cornwall

Poldark isn't the only big name TV series to be filmed at Kynance. In 2022 the cove's fantastical features became Westeros' Stepstones in the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. A generous amount of CGI was added to the cove to make up the scene, but it's unmistakably Kynance.

Kynance Cove is now owned and cared for by the National Trust.

Visiting Kynance Cove

As with all of Cornwall's beaches it is important to check the tides when planning a vist. We would recommend aiming for low to mid tide as the beach size is much reduced at higher tides. See Kynance Cove tide times.

When is the best time to visit Kynance Cove

The best time to visit Kynance Cove is during low tide when the lovely sandy beach and caves are more accessible. At high tide the beach almost completely disappears and there is a chance you will end up cut off if you go exploring too far.

As a rule the cove is less crowded during the shoulder months (April-May and September-October) compared to the peak summer months when it can get exceptionally busy.

It is also well worth visiting Kynance Cove in the winter months when the stormy seas can be spectacular, and you may even get the beach to yourself.

Where is Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove is situated just a stone's throw from the most southerly point in Britain on the Lizard in West Cornwall. This remote peninsula is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, turquoise waters, and almost surreal serpentine rock formations.

Nearest town: Lizard

Find accommodation near Kynance Cove

/public/photos/Kynance Cove - drone view


The closest town to Kynance is Helston and directions are based from here.

By car: Drive southwards on the A3083 towards Lizard Point, past the Culdrose air base. When you pass 'Kynance garage' on the right, the turning to the cove is about 600 yards on the right, it's sign posted about one mile before the Lizard point and half a mile from the village. Drive down the lane, over the speed ramps and when there's a sign for the car park, turn left down the dirt track for 100 yards and park by the wooden posts. Walk 300 yards towards the ocean and you're over looking the beach.

The postcode for your Sat Nav is TR12 7PJ

By bus: Catch the number 34 bus from Helston which runs every hour. The bus will drop you off at the Kynance Cove turning or alternatively Lizard Village green from where you can walk a couple of miles along the coast to the cove.

By foot: If you are looking for some of the finest hiking in Cornwall (or anywhere for that matter) then you can make the 2.5 mile walk from Lizard Point. The cliff top path is fairly level but requires some degree of fitness.


The National Trust car park is quite large but Kynance does get extremely busy during the summer, so it is advisable to arrive early.

s with other NT car parks, parking is free for members and can be quite pricey for non-members. It is also worth noting that the pay & display machines only take coins and although you can use the PayByPhone app the signal on site isn't great if you need to download it.

It takes around 10 minutes to walk down to the beach from the car park.

Access - How to get down to the beach

Access to the beach involves a fairly steep and uneven path, which may be challenging for visitors with mobility issues. The most direct route down will take around 10 minutes to make your way from the car park to the beach ending in 1 fairly steep set of steps.

There is a flatter, but longer, route down to the beach. This takes around 15-20 minutes and takes you to the cafe, just above the beach. This way is suitable for those with pushchairs and is the only option at high tide.

On the other hand, the views from the top car park and nearby level cliff tops are spectacular for those who may not be able to make it down to the cove

/public/photos/Path down to Kynance Cove

Is Kynance Cove dog friendly?

The good news is that for ten months of the year dogs are very welcome at Kynance Cove. However, there is a seasonal dog ban at the cove. Dogs are not allowed on the beach between 1st July to 31st August from 10am to 6pm.

Does Kynance Cove have lifeguards

There is no lifeguard cover at any time.

Is Kynance Cove suitable for swimming?

Swimming at Kynance Cove is possible but should be approached with caution due to strong currents with the changing tides.

Whilst the sea is generally fairly calm here during the summer months the beach is quite exposed to westerly swells and can get quite rough. Therefore some caution is advised, particularly as there are no lifeguards on duty.

Always check the tide times and weather conditions before deciding to swim.

What facilities are there at Kynance Cove?

There are toilets at Kynance Cove both in the car park and down on the beach at the a café. The toilets in the car park operate on a seasonal basis while those in the cove are open year round.

Set in a former fisherman's cottage, the Kynance Cove Café is open for much of the year and offers a range of refreshments, from Cornish pasties to homemade cakes. Ideal for a quick snack or a leisurely meal with a view.

/public/photos/View over Kynance Cove beach cafe

Things to do at Kynance Cove

With plenty of sand (at low tide) and crystal clear water Kynance Cove offers all the usual beach activities with the bonus of a picturesque backdrop. In addition it is a fantastic place to explore with caves, towering rocks and any number of hidden nooks and crannies. If you are looking for something a little more adventurous than a day relaxing by the sea there are plenty of further options.

Photography: Kynance Cove is somewhat special when it comes to Cornish beaches. Whilst it is a great beach in the conventional way I would say the majority of visitors come here for the spectacular scenery. For the reason I have put photogrpahy top of the list of things to do - this beach was made for Instagram! Some of the most iconic shots to be had of the cove are from the cliff tops right next to the car park. However, there are plenty more fantastic vistas of the serpentine rocks and turquoise waters to be found with a little exploring.

Walking the Coast Path: Kynance lies between Mullion Cove and the Lizard Point on what is some of the most stunning coastal scenery in Cornwall. The going can be somewhat challenging in places but the couple of miles to the Lizard is fairly level. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals, and the rare orange-billed Chough among the clifftops. The area's unique flora is also noteworthy in the spring and early summer.

Take in a sunset: Being west facing, Kynance Cove gets a front row view of the sun as it dips below the horizon. Combine this with one of the most scenic backdrops anywhere in Cornwall and you can imagine we this is such a great place to watch the sun setting.

Kynance Cove Reviews (2)


Tim Pilling

Nov 13th 2022

One of Cornwall’s most beautiful coves!

Amazing, but busy

Jun 25th 2019

I think on the right day I would give this beach 5 stars, maybe more! However, the day I visited it was really busy, which kind of detracts a little from the magic of the place.

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