boy unpacking car at sunrise

The holidays are here and every day is a beach day, rain or shine. We love exploring Cornwall in all its glory, and think every season shows off the county in a new light. In the words of most dads, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!”, so we’ve pulled together an essential packing guide for your day out on the Cornish coast, ensuring you’ll not be caught short, whatever the day throws your way. Grab your backpack and get out there! 

dark haired girl with backpack at the beach


Most dad’s also say, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail,” and as much as we hate to admit our fathers are right, they are on this one. The weather in England is famous for its changeability, going from blazing sunshine to hammering rain in the space of a minute. The only way to combat the unpredictability is by seemingly packing your whole wardrobe. Shorts for sunshine, trackies for post-swim and both a sun hat and a beanie so you’re covered whatever the Great British summertime serves up. 

A coat and a jumper are also essentials when heading out for a day on the beach. The water may look inviting but it’s always pretty chilly, and the best way to warm up after a swim is with warm, comfy, loose layers. 

sun hat, magazine and beach towel on white sand

Activity kit 

The Cornish coastline is crammed with endless opportunities for fun. Swimming, coasteering, snorkelling, surfing and wave watching are all top of our list of things to do, and we always make sure we’ve got a few essential bits of kit. 

For one, we never head to the beach without our swimmers. Even grey and rainy days are fun for a splash, and the blue health benefits of a cold water dip are ten-fold. If you feel the cold, or fancy a bit of rock scrambling or jumping, we’d recommend a shorty or summer wetsuit to keep you warm and protect your skin from barnacles. On clear days we always remember our snorkel, allowing us to chase jellyfish and swim alongside the shoals of silvery baitfish that frequent our waters during the summer months. 

We may be biased, but we don’t leave home without our Robie robe. Summer calls for the Original-Series, perfect for changing and towelling off after a swim or surf. In the winter we wear our Dry-Series like a coat, protecting us from head to toe from the elements, and it also doubles as a picnic blanket on wet sand! 

girl wearing black changing robe looks out to sea

Bits and bobs 

Remember to pack sunscreen, even if it’s looking cloudy out there. There’s nothing worse than being hours from civilisation, trekking on the South West Coast Path, and realising that you’re getting burnt. Trust us. On the subject of sun safety, it’s also important to bring a bottle of water, as hydration is one of the key factors in preventing sunstroke and heat exhaustion. 

If you're more of a topping-up-your-tan type then you'll want to remember sunglasses, a towel, a good book and something for shade. We're big fans of the southwest France-style DIY shelters, but an umbrella works really well too. 

Whilst it may be nice to go off-grid, we also implore you to take your phone (and make sure it’s fully charged). Accidents can happen, and whilst they may be rare they can escalate quickly. In case of an emergency call 999 and ask for the coastguard, and always tell someone where you’re going and when you’re planning on returning. 

makeshift shelter on the beach with blue skies and white sand

Now, it’s time to hit the beach!