Best coastal locations to watch the sunrise and sunset in Cornwall

Penned on the 25th August 2023

Best coastal locations to watch the sunrise and sunset in Cornwall
Image by Seigmar Weck Photography

Boasting two stunning coastlines, Cornwall is home to some of the most mesmerising sunrise and sunset spots in the UK. At dawn, sunlight majestically seeps into the sky, waking the natural world with ease. The ocean glimmers as ethereal light dances across the waves and morning dew looks like honey over rolling country fields. As the day draws to a close and the sun disappears into the endless ocean, a kaleidoscope of deep crimson and pearlescent pink hues fill the sky. So, whether you prefer to watch in solitude, with friends or hand in hand with that special someone, these are some of our favourite spots, not to be missed… 


Whitsand Bay

Pastel hues fill the sky as the sunrises over Rame Head at Whitsand Bay

The magic of sunrises lies within their peaceful nature and calming ways - where time moves slowly and gently. Whitsand Bay is just the spot for spending a few moments in solitude before the day begins. Running from Rame Head to Portwrinkle, take a walk along its dramatic cliff top or stroll across a stretch of golden sand, the perfect setting for a radiant sunrise. Uncover coastal bliss at one of our luxurious cliffside cabins; Captain Blake’s Retreat, Rockwater Cabin or Rame Head Lookout, where the sunrise is sure to tempt you out of bed, all bleary eyed, to enjoy your morning brew as the day begins. 


Gyllyngvase Beach 

Sunrising over Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth with still waters and an azure sky

Grab your paddleboard, pack your swimmers and head to Falmouth for a sunrise SUP or morning dip. Picture fine golden sand and tropical waters. Gylly Beach is a popular spot due to its undeniable beauty. We suggest rising early to enjoy the morning bliss and quietude. The beach is sheltered and the water is often completely still, creating a glassy effect which reflects the pearlescent sky, only to be complimented by the daisies that line the beach. Afterwards, head to the beach café for a soul-soothing cuppa or why not stroll into town and try out one of Falmouth’s many independent coffee shops



A golden sunrise over Coverack with fishing boats sat in the harbour

As one of the most southerly points in Cornwall, Coverack is a heavenly spot to watch the sun’s first light greet the land. Situated on the Lizard Peninsula, this quaint village hosts a few little shops, lovely harbour and a small pebbly beach that's idyllic for swimming. The sun rises to the east of the horseshoe bay, appearing over the Manacles. Here, you can swim directly into the sun's first rays, which is pretty special. The calm sea, pink horizon and azure sky flow into each other like an oil painting. Tapping into the ‘Blue Mind’ theory, you are sure to feel utterly at peace in this moment. This hidden corner of Cornwall is an enchanting location to watch the sunrise, reminding us of a time gone by.


St Michael’s Mount 

Crimson sunrise behind the silhouette of St Michaels Mount in Cornwall

We couldn’t leave out one of the most iconic landmarks in Cornwall. St Michael's Mount is a magical place to visit, no matter the season or time of day. This island castle is even more majestic at sunrise. The luminous sun awakens just behind the mount, creating a mystical silhouette above the ocean. A truly awe-inspiring location to begin your day with a sense of calmness, whilst sparking creativity through its history and beauty. Enjoy watching on the sandy shores of Marazion or above the bay in a family-friendly safari tent - Mount View Sunrise couldn’t be more fitting…



Purple and orange sunrise over Fowey Estuary with a silhouette of boats

First light seeps through the Fowey Estuary trickling up the river before reaching the serene harbour. The sun's rays kiss this seaside town, illuminating the quaint cottages in a golden hue, while dancing across the trees and bouncing off the masts and sails of pretty boats. It is truly angelic. Wander the harbour wall and quiet streets as if they belong to you alone, before the lively chatter of the day begins. Then grab your morning brew from Organicafe and welcome the day with a smile. And what could be better than retreating back to a serene shepherd’s hut or family-friendly cabin after a blissful morning stroll? 




Sennen Cove 

Sunset over Sennen coastal path in Cornwall

Our first sunset spot has to be Sennen Cove. As Cornwall’s most westerly beach, you get to see every last drop of sunlight before the orange glow disappears below the horizon. Soak up the beauty of this picturesque coastline with a walk from Cape Cornwall to Land’s End, which passes through Sennen. As the sunset casts hues of amber against the scenic cliffs and sand dunes, you are sure to be mesmerised by what lies before you. Sennen Cove is exposed to the Atlantic, so it’s also a great spot for a sunset surf - taking in the scenery whilst riding the ocean waves is a truly special experience!



Woman walking into the sea with a surf board as the sunsets

We might be cheating here, but we couldn’t choose between Fistral Beach, Watergate Bay or Bedruthan Steps as our next sunset destination. Although close in proximity, these three locations offer something slightly different for your sunset vibe.

Fistral Beach is another great spot for a sunset surf - it even hosts the Boardmasters surfing competition - and is one of the most popular beaches in Cornwall. If you’d rather stay on the sand, why not snuggle up in a blanket and watch surfers catch the waves, looking as though they are gliding across the crimson horizon, or enjoy an evening sundowner at its buzzing beach bar.

If a cosy pub is more your vibe, be sure to check out The Fox's Revenge for a modern twist on pub classic's, they also have their smokehouse open during the summer months serving smoky barbecue delights in a rustic setting. 

Orange sunset over the sea and The Point stage at Boardmasters Festival

Drive the coastal route from Newquay to Watergate bay, where you will be greeted with two miles of golden sand which is just the spot for a sunset stroll, hand in hand with the one you love. And if you’re a music lover - be sure to visit Boardmasters festival and watch the sunset from The Point stage, then dance the night away!

Pink hues fill the sky over impressive rock formations in the sea at Bedruthan Steps

Continue north along the coast to reach Bedruthan Steps, a wildly exposed location boasting dramatic sunset scenery. There is currently no access to Bedruthan Beach, but you can watch the smouldering sunset over the impressive sea stacks from the coast path. After embracing a blustery coastal adventure, why not retreat to our countryside haven, Vista Paris for a starlit soak in the hot tub… bliss!


Wheal Coates 

Dusk settling over historic mine on the south west coast path

You just may think you have stepped into a painting as you walk the coast path towards Wheal Coates. This tin mine operated from 1809 to 1889, and it’s now a National Trust site and has UNESCO World Heritage Status, providing a glimpse into Cornwall’s historic past. There are many circular routes you can take along this west-facing coastline, where you’re promised dramatic cliffside scenery, vast ocean views and particularly beautiful sunsets. Skybar ‘après sea’ hosts live music events on the cliff at St Agnes Beacon, perfect for a sunset boogie. Check out their events here. There are a few sandy beaches along this stunning coastline that deserve an honourable mention; Gwithian, Godrevy, Portreath, Porthtowan and Perranporth all offer memorable sunsets! 


Porthmeor Beach

Sunsetting over beach café in St Ives Cornwall

Just the spot for a sunset tipple… how about a Peach Spritz or glass of sangria to transport you to the Mediterranean? At Porthmeor Beach, you really would think you were somewhere tropical. Situated just around the corner from St Ives bustling harbour, it provides a more chilled, yet just as lovely atmosphere. Its beach café offers a touch of luxury with heated booths, seasonal cocktails and light bites; and there’s even summer cinema screenings on the beach itself! We also love heading to St Ives Yoga at Porthmeor Studios, where the space looks directly out onto the beach. We often find our flow here with fellow yogis before heading out for a sunset swim


Minack Theatre

Sunsetting over the sea and clifftop theatre in Cornwall

This famous amphitheatre is carved into granite cliffs overlooking the aqua-blue waters of Porthcurno. Although the sun doesn’t technically set on the south coast, we couldn’t resist mentioning the Minack Theatre as a unique sunset spot -  the sky transforms into a pastel palette of soft summer hues… Idyllic! The Minack is open if you’d just like to wander the historic grounds and beautiful gardens, but be sure to check what’s on, as something is sure to catch your eye! These immersive theatre productions and live music gigs are not to be missed. As pastel hues fill the sky, you may even be lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins or a basking shark in the crystal clear water below - an evening like no other. 


Staying in Cornwall

Unique tiny house in Cornwall

While these are some of our favourite locations to watch the sun rise or set, you are guaranteed to find the most magical golden hour spots all across Cornwall. If you’d rather not venture out, plenty of our heavenly hideaways are positioned perfectly to witness these special daily moments. Whether from the comfort of a luxurious hot tub or snuggled on the sofa beside the warmth of a wood-burner, looking out to sea or countryside vistas, browse our full collection of hideaways in Cornwall and find your sunrise and sunset bliss.  


Contact Us

Our staff have first hand experience of all our glamping sites and are here to help you find your perfect glamping holiday.
Unique hideaways
Sapphire House
Hayle Business Park
TR27 5JR

Questions or comments - Get In Touch!