Nanjizal Beach

Nanjizal © Cornwall Beaches

About Nanjizal Beach

Due to its remote location and relative inaccessibility, Nanjizal (or Nanjizel) has remained more or less untouched and never really gets busy. Most of the people you will see here are walkers doing the coast path. That said, over recent years the beach has become more popular owing to numerous Instagram appearances.

Situated at the end of a short, shallow valley, the beach changes from year to year. Sometimes the beach is a pretty boulder strewn cove, whilst at others there is plenty of golden sand stretching right across the bay.

One thing is constant though - the unusually clear blue water. 

Nanjizal beach - high tide sand

For those not content with taking in the view there are an abundance of caves and interesting rock formations to be explored.

The Song of the Sea

One of the most striking features of Nanjizal is the sea cave known as the "Song of the Sea". Something of an Instagram sensation, the original name of this tall rock archway is a little less pretty - Zawn Pyg, meaning pointed chasm.

Nanjizal sea cave - the Song of the Sea

What makes the Song of the Sea so enchanting is the lagoon of emerald water which runs through the cave and the magical light which floods through the arch in the afternoon.

The two natural pools within the cave are known as Big and Little Muzzan. When the tide is right these can be a beautiful spot for taking a dip. On calm days it is usually safe to swim in the pools whatever the tide, but bear in mind that the far end of the cave is open to the Atlantic swells which can be very powerful here.

Nanjizal beach - Song of the Sea sunset

Nanjizal is a great place for wildlife. Sitting within a Site of Special Scientific Interest it is well known among the birdwatching community. The bay is also a good spot for seal watching, particularly towards the north-western end of the beach at Zawn Reeth.

This end of the bay is home to a distinctive rock formation known as the "Diamond Horse". The granite outcrop is roughly diamond-shaped, although I have read somewhere that the name comes from the quartz in the rock which sparkles in the sunlight.

Nanjizal Beach - Low tide

Just around the corner from Nanjizal is the dramatic chasm of Zawn Peggy directly opposite on the cliffs at Higher Bosistow.

The beach had a brief moment of fame in 1966 when Doctor Who's "The Smugglers" episodes were filmed here with the TARDIS making an appearance on the beach.

What does the name "Nanjizal Beach" mean?

Nanjizal comes from the Cornish "Porth Nansusel" which means "Cove of the Howling Valley"

Visiting Nanjizal Beach

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 Nanjizal Beach tide times.

When is the best time to visit Nanjizal Beach

Where is Nanjizal Beach

Nanjizal sits just to the south of Land's End in Cornwall's far west. It is quite a remote, rural spot with the nearest villages of any significance being Sennen or Porthcurno, which are around a mile and a half away.

Nearest town: Porthcurno

Find accommodation near Nanjizal Beach

/public/photos/Nanjizel Coast


There are several ways to reach Nanjizal but all of them involve a bit of a hike.
The recommended way is walking the coast path from Land's End. It's about a mile south of here.

You can also walk the path from the south, parking up at Porthgwarra. There is a car park here and it's roughly about the same distance.

The alternatives involve parking near Polgigga and walking (drive on pain of death!) up private roads and farm tracks.


There is no parking as such at Nanjizal as the beach itself is over a mile from the nearest public road. The nearest official parking is at Land's End, Porthgwarra or Sennen Cove. Whilst Land's End is the closest the other two options will be cheaper.

Access - How to get down to the beach

Nanjizal is located at the end of an unpathed farm track around 15 to 20 minutes walk from the nearest parking. Beach access is via a set of quite steep wooden stairs and once on the beach itself there are often large rocks to negotiate.

For these reasons we would not recommend Nanjizal for those with mobility issues or families with very young children.

/public/photos/Nanjizal - Steps down to the beach

Is Nanjizal Beach dog friendly?

Dogs allowed on Nanjizal beach all year round

Does Nanjizal Beach have lifeguards

This is a remote beach and there is no lifeguard cover

Is Nanjizal Beach suitable for swimming?

The pools within the sea cave at the southern end of the beach are the only reliably safe place to swim at Nanjizal, and this is still dependent on tides and conditions.

There are times when the main beach is safe to swim, but considering this stretch of coast is legendarily treacherous caution is advised. Along with the often powerful Atlantic swells, strong currents and possibility of being cut off by the tide, there is also the consideration that there are no lifeguards and the remote location.

What facilities are there at Nanjizal Beach?

There are no facilities at Nanjizal. Travel light, bring only what you need and leave nothing behind.

Things to do at Nanjizal Beach

Nanjizal Beach Reviews (12)

A remote gem

7 foot Studio

Jun 18th 2020

Don’t go, you’ll hate it and it’s my beach anyway :D

Stunning natural wonder

Oct 02nd 2021

I’m not sure what the negative reviews are about as this “secret” beach was never intended for the public many years ago. Since its discovery, it’s become more known. If you’re not into cliffs, rocks, gaves and coves, this place isn’t for you. Its not a sandy tropical beach kind of place but its beautiful in its own natural right. Although it is quite rocky on 1 side there is plenty of sand on the other, especially when the tide is out, and you can walk into the caves too. It’s best to go when the tide is out to get the best views and use of the beach, cave and coves. We parked at Land’s End and walked for 20 minutes past the farm. The views on the walk are breathtaking. We stopped off a few times to take photos along the way. There was a short walk that was quite scary as it was along the edge of the cliff, so if you are scared about heights, this walk probably isn’t for you and you may want to try walking over from the other side (Penzance). Along the cliff egde, you can see other caves in the distance along the cliff edge. It’s pretty fascinating to see. When we finally got to Nanjizal cove and beach, there are a few big rocks you have to get over, which may be a struggle for very young children and elders but there were toddlers there and older people who managed to clamber onto the calmer part of the beach. i wore my swimsuit under my clothes as Ibwas adamant to have a cold wild water dip in the crystal clear cove section. It was stunning!! therr must have been no more than 4 or 5 small groups of people on the beach, so it wasn’t over populated at all. We really enjoyed exploring the natural wonders of this part of Cornwall

Lovely spot


Jun 03rd 2021

Whenever I go I’m not sure if I should go down to it or just look at it from the top, beautiful spot, can get busy due to the “secret beach” title, its not a secret, just a bit of a walk and it’s well worth it, no loo no cafe, no bins, so go prepared and take your rubbish back, it’s crystal clear water is something else, big boulders, rock pools caves, holes to swim through, high or low tide it’s beautiful, though high tide does take the sand away so bare that in mind, we’ll worth a visit to the loo less, bin less, cafeless, sometimes sandless beach with stunning views no matter which way you walk in.

a jewel


Apr 27th 2021

beautiful sandy beautiful h with an amazing cave to swim through .
The water was so blue and clear

Beware of the Rip Tides


Jul 07th 2022

This is a lovely picturesque place to visit.  It is not suitable for those with accessibility issues or people with buggies as the beach is accessed by a wooden staircase.  I unfortunately got caught in a rip current and thankfully got out.  There are no warning signs or emergency phone (mobiles do not work there).  There is a life preserver.  So beware if you are going, supervise children or dogs.  If you do that you should have a lovely time!



May 01st 2021

Lots of memories asa child at this beach , many a time been there love the caves


Caz 1

Jul 05th 2019

Absolutely beautiful, seals came right in shore
One of those spots on our planet that is so special

Loved it

Phoebe Taylor

Oct 20th 2022

Went to visit the beach as I’m a big doctor who fan and also wanted to see the beautiful cove and its stunning views it’s safe to say it did not disappoint and Evan got to see a seal pup down in a rock pool amazing.



Sep 16th 2022

Amazing was not optional.

Superb remote beach with no facilities


Sep 01st 2022

Stunning spot, my new favourite beach.

Don’t go if you need toilets, cafes, crowds, buggy access, can’t manage a mile walk from the various parking locations.

DO go if you love crystal clear water, soft sand, rocks and rock pools, caves, places to jump into the sea from, fantastic snorkelling, seals.

Best if the wind is in the east, and at low tide. At high tide there’s little sand at all, so don’t blame the beach for having no sand if you go there at high tide. Tide tables are online and very predictable.


Aug 03rd 2022

Parked at Porthgwarra and walked the coastal path. I read somewhere that it was a 30 minute walk, with kids, inappropriate footwear and beach gear it was 1 hour and 20 minutes. The beach was no kynance cove, Cornwall has loads of nice beaches but for me this wasn’t one of them. We did take a more direct route back to the car which took 45 minutes.

Tricky to get to


Sep 10th 2020

Very little sand . Not good for families.

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