Based on the south coast of Cornwall, just outside of St. Austell, Carlyon Bay is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach with a resort-like vibe!
I’d never been before, but was invited down to experience the atmosphere of this beach, with lunch, drinks and a jet ski safari experience from Cornwall Waverunners, who are based on the shoreline.
It was a beautiful September morning, and Niki and I were super excited for a day out to somewhere we’d never been to chill out and kick off the weekend. There’s a large car park here, with a short slope down to the beach where you’ll find a fun foodie village built into the sand!
We headed straight down to see a mixture of food stands, and an awesome canvassed bar area run by Shoreside beach bar, with plenty of benches and deck chairs dotted around if you don’t fancy a picnic in the sand. Throughout the summer months you’ll find anything from light bites, seafood curries, and Asian infused slow cooked meats to pizzas, pasties and cakes.
The pizza from Jaspers Kitchen was calling to us, so we ordered a couple and sat down with my favourite combo – pizza with a view ☺️🍕- honestly you can’t beat it!
After filling our bellies, we laid out our towels on the sand and went for an explore along the beach. To her delight, Niki found lots of sea glass (she makes Cornish sea glass jewellery!) and we were also surprised to find lots of pieces of quartz along the beach too. Apparently this is due to old tin mines nearby as quartz is technically a waste mineral from those mining activities, but it makes for good sifting for treasure!
Carlyon Beach isn’t just about food, drink, and beautiful views – there are also a range of activities you can do from the beach as well – even including fitness boot camps and beach yoga during summer.
Being on the south coast and sheltered by surrounding cliffs, this 3 mile long beach benefits from (usually) calm waters, making it perfect for swimming, watersports (like paddleboarding and kayaking, which you can hire right from the beach), and jet skiing!
Cornwall Waverunner Safaris have a base here right on the beach, and we were invited to experience one of their Mini Jet Ski Safari experiences that afternoon. We were both so excited – if not a little nervous – as neither Niki or I had ever driven a jet ski before. We got changed into wetsuits at the hut at the top of the beach, and were then given a safety briefing and some training on the jet skis by our instructor, Jake.
I was admittedly rubbish at driving the jet ski (my hand-eye co-ordination is possibly some of the worst you’ve ever seen… it took me 4 attempts at my driving test until I passed, let’s just put it that way), but Niki took to it instantly! I was so glad we were on a double jet ski together, as it meant I could sit on the back and relax while she drove. Honestly she was so good at it, and loved zooming along as the driver, following Jake on his jet ski ahead of us.
We travelled south down the coastline past Charlestown harbour and a range of secret coves that are only accessible from the water, before stopping out to sea because Jake had spotted a porpoise! It’s apparently quite common to see sealife on these experiences, and he told us just that morning he’d seen a group of dolphins swimming along. They can sometimes come up close to the jet skis, but porpoises tend to be more nervous, so we only saw its fin a couple of times.
Carrying on down the coast, we went all the way down to Mevagissey and back again, zooming and zig-zagging across the waves and even catching some air on some waves out to sea! It was definitely an adrenaline experience and we were both squealing as we sped along.
It was so much fun and I’d definitely recommend giving this a go if you’re looking for something different and exciting to try on your next beach trip!
Back on the beach, we went for a quick swim and found we’d worked up some thirst so headed over to Shoreside beach bar for a tipple to relax. They serve all your favourite drinks here under a stylish stretched canvas (perfect for seeking shelter on breezier days), including Tarquins gin, some cocktails, Pimms and much more. I went for a passionfruit martini, while Niki opted for a G&T.
We sat on the beach with our drinks and bathed in the sun until we were dry. The best finish to a wonderful day at the beach! It definitely felt like we were on holiday, and we didn’t want to leave!
Check out the Carlyon Beach website to learn more about the beach and the vision for its ongoing development over the next few years too!
* We were invited for complimentary food, drinks & a jet ski safari in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own