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Whitsands Bay, Cornwall

14:40 24th February 2012 by Letitia Hristodorescu
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Whitsands Bay is one of those beaches that rarely gets any windsurfing visitors. Why? Well, there is only one good access to the beach on a coastline dominated by cliffs. The only way down is via a long winding path that takes you through a military shooting range. The journey is worth it as you get to an amazing isolated beach that works on a good south swell.

Important note: You can only access this beach, via a steep path, if the firing range is closed.

Beach Faces:

South

Best Wind Direction:

West or South-east.

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

Southerly swell coming up the channel with a west wind.

Not Good:

Anything with north in it.

Tide:

The tidal range is not massive and the current is not too bad, although watch out when sailing wind with tide, it is easy to get taken past the rocks at the east end at high tide.

What’s On The Bottom:

Sand

Any Hazards:

Bombs, shells, snipers, that sort of thing. Maybe the odd nude person as well.

Other Water Users:

Kiters & Surfers.

Suitability / Levels:

Advanced only. It’s a trek with kit, and can be a daunting place to sail if you are inexperienced.

Wipeout Factor:

Lots of chunky bits dumping on the sand bar. It can be ferocious on a big south swell.

Instruction:

None

Kit Hire:

None

Friendly Factor:

Only if you bring someone with you!

No Wind Alternatives:

Only if you bring someone with you!

Facilities:

Toilets

Bush

Shower

None

Windsurfing Shop

None

Food

You have to stray into the local towns.

Parking

FREE parking at top of footpath, next to road.

Pub

None nearby.

Accommodation:

There is a campsite nearby, and some chalets and bed and breakfasts. Visit the Polperro website.

Local Hotshots:

We don’t know of any but if you are one – sorry!

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

Nearby sailing include St Austell. If the wind is too offshore at Gwithians, or not enough swell at Marazion, then this place will be a good bet.

How To Get There:

Head west on the A38 away from Plymouth. Get off at the junction signposted to Polbathic. Go through this small village then head to Crafthole. Just follow signs to the coast from here then you’ll see the military range on your right. Then park in the layby opposite and walk down to the beach.

Report By:

Clyde Waite

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