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  • Writer's pictureNatashia Larkin

5 best places to find sea glass in Cornwall 

sea glass in Cornwall

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been on a mission. 

We’ve been researching the best beaches to find sea glass in Cornwall and venturing around the county, visiting some new places and some we’ve been to many times, collecting treasure. 

It’s been a pretty successful couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get started using the glass for something arty. I haven't quite decided what I’m going to do with it all yet, but I’ll let you know when I have. 

But arty things aside for a moment, there is something really therapeutic about combing the beaches and looking for sea glass, even if you don’t intend to make anything with it right away! So I highly recommend it. 

And if you are hoping to find sea glass in Cornwall in the near future, here are some of the best places to do it. 

1. Holywell Bay 

Holywell Bay is a beautiful beach that is ordinarily great for surfing and dog walking, and it is one that we visit quite regularly during the quieter months. And if you believe the rumours, it also has its own sacred well which can be found in one of the caves on the far side of the beach. 

The well (which is only accessible at low tide) is said to have healing properties if you touch the water. We have been and seen it, and whether it has healing powers or not, it’s a fascinating find. 

Of course, Holywell Bay is also excellent for sea glass, especially when the tide is going out or it has been a rough, stormy couple of days. The beach is strewn with large patches of shingle and gritty sand and these are the best places to look. 

You’ll be able to spot these large patches of more silty, gritty sand quite easily, making this one of the easiest and most popular places to find sea glass. 

Holywell Bay sea glass in Cornwall

2. Pentewan Beach 

Pentewan is a private beach located near St Austell and there is a dog ban there for large amounts of the year, so not ideal if you want to take your furry friends with you. 

However, we went out of season with Lunar and it’s great for finding small bits of sea glass, mostly clear glass, as well as bits of clay and pottery. 

If you park in the village, you can comb the small left-hand side of the beach first, which is where we found most of the goods. You will then have to pass through a small stream to reach the larger beach if you want to carry on. 

Either that, or you can get onto the beach through the holiday park there, but only when it’s open obviously. 

3. Portreath Beach 

Portreath also has lots of very silty, gritty sand which makes it perfect for sea glass. There are also lots of smaller rockpools and caves you can explore while you’re there, especially at low tide. 

These aren't the best places for glass, but they are fun to look at. Most of the glass can be found up the top of the beach and near the stream that runs through. 

There is also a little cafe and pub near the seafront and the parking is right on the beach, so it’s really easy to access. The little village there is very cute and just round the corner from Porthtowan and St Agnes. 

Portreath beach sea glass in Cornwall

4. Maenporth Beach 

Maenporth has loads of rocks, small caves and rock pools that capture and hold sea glass and it was where we found some of our favourite pieces. Plus, the variety of colours and sizes there was perhaps the most impressive of all the beaches we’ve been to. 

Again, there is parking on the beach and a cute little cafe right there on the sand. There is a seasonal dog ban in July and August on this beach, so it’s worth keeping that in mind if you plan to walk your dog at the same time. 

Maenporth Beach sea glass in Cornwall

5. Gyllyngvase Beach

Overlooked by Pendennis Castle, Gyllyngvase Beach (also known as Gylly Beach) is Falmouth’s main beach, right near the town centre. It’s a mixture of white stretches of sand, rockpools and on the borders, beautiful green gardens. 

There is also a lovely cafe and takeaway on the beach, and of course, sea glass! We found lots of small bits there in a variety of colours, but we were just slightly too late and the tide was already coming in. 

But sea glass aside, the beach and the town are so beautiful and the whole place has a lovely vibe so it’s definitely worth a visit. We LOVE Falmouth. 

Tips for finding sea glass in Cornwall 

If you are going to go out searching for sea glass in Cornwall, there are a couple of ways you can increase your chances of sea glass success:

  • Choose a sunny day (when possible) as it’s easier to see the glass when it’s glinting in the sunshine

  • Go down at low tide when the beach is at its biggest. Look on the edge of the water as wet glass is easier to spot 

  • Go after a storm if you can, as more glass is likely to have been churned up and left on the beach 

  • Walk slowly as you look and get low. If you spot some glass, stop and comb that area in more detail as you usually find a few bits next to one another 

  • Train your eye to spot the unique glint of sea glass by doing it often

Hopefully these tips, along with insights into the best beaches for sea glass in Cornwall, can help you find some hidden treasures. 

Happy hunting!

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