Whipsiderry Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
Whipsiderry beach between Porth and Watergate bay is a hidden gem of a beach voted in the top 20 of Europe’s best beaches in the Sunday Times.
Whipsiderry Beach is a ten minute drive from Newquay but there is no car park, limited parking on the road, there are no lifeguards, no toilets and dogs are allowed all year round.
Despite being situated very close to Newquay, Whipsiderry has a very different, wilder feel than the town beaches and there are no facilities.
Whipsiderry Beach can be reached along the north coast road (less than a mile from Porth) or you can head northwards along the coastal path from Newquay.
Quiet and sheltered, it is a beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs, but there are a long flight of very steep steps to negotiate down this beach with uneven concrete and variable height steps.
At low tide if you are happy to wade through rock pools, you can get to the beach through the cleft in the rocks from Porth Beach, passing Norwegian Rock, or around the headland from Watergate Bay, passing Zacry’s Islands.
The name of the beach is derived from two mining terms ‘Whips’ and ‘Derrick’, which means a digger, miner or sexton.
Visit at Low Tide
It is worth visiting at low tide as there is lots to explore; caves, rock pools for hours of fun and dry sand for sheltered sun bathing if the wind is blowing off shore.
Whipsiderry, like Watergate is essentially a beach to visit at low tide when there is firm sand to walk on and caves to explore with an enormous island in the middle of the cove.
Care should be taken and be very aware of the tide, because when it comes in you can get stranded in areas on the beach with no steps up the cliffs. At low tide the beach is a half mile long (600 metres). At high water there is little in the way of sand and the Whipsidery beach more or less disappears.
When you walk along Whipsiderry beach towards Watergate Bay you come to Fruitful Cove which lies in the lee of Zarcy’s Island.
Whipsiderry Beach Caves
The finest cave is this area is Cathedral Cavern which has a large pillar, a pool of water and several tunnels leading off from it. White marble is supposed to have been quarried here in times past. The Internal Regions consists of intersecting tunnels. The finest cave of all is the great Banqueting Hall with other caves in the vicinity of Whipsiderry named the Boulder Cavern and the Fern Cavern.
A large island known as Black Humphrey Rock or Flory Island stands in the middle of the beach. It has its own small cave, probably the result of it being mined for its ore in the past. It is believed to be named after the notorious smuggler, who is thought to have lived here in the old mine workings until his death in the early 19th century.