Top 4 Beaches for Seaglass Hunting in Cornwall

For anyone who hasn’t yet gone to a beach specifically to search for seaglass, is currently unaware of how addictive this activity can be! You will soon find yourself planning your next trip, researching beaches close to harbours and ports and checking tide times before you set off!

My names Robyn and I’m a seaglass hunting addict! I’m also a bad influence, as I have managed to get my entire family addicted too!

Ive been searching for seaglass and other shoreline treasures since I was a little girl, and have found everything from silver spoons, fossils, seaglass and even a plaice (fish) which my grandad ended up eating for tea that same evening!

Im going to share with you my top 4 beaches for seaglass hunting in Cornwall. Hey, maybe one day I will see you down there!

Gyllyngvase (Gylly) Beach – Falmouth

gyllynvase beach near Falmouth over looking St Anthonys lighthouse AKA Fraggle Rock

Gyllyngvase Beach, also known as Gylly beach is a lovely town beach just outside of Falmouth, the world’s third deepest natural harbour. The harbour has been active for hundreds of years, dating back to the smuggling era, so you can only imagine the treasures that wash up on these shores! This beach is a great place to keep an eye out for pirate glass!

Pirate glass is so dark and deep in pigment that it looks black, and if the sun isn’t out (which can quite often be the case here in Cornwall) it could be mistaken for a piece of rock. However, if the sun is shining, it can be a nice surprise to discover the true colour of the glass!

Gylly beach is overlooked by the famous St Anthonys Lighthouse, known for the location of the kid’s TV program ‘Fraggle Rock.’ This beach is mainly sheltered and calm unless there’s an easterly blowing!

Portreath Beach

a smooth piece of white seaglass in my hand at portreath beach in cornwall

Portreath is my childhood beach, so it has sentimental value also. I grew up just up the road and learnt to surf here at the age of 14!

Not only is the beach right next door to a busy little fishing harbour, but it’s also very popular with wild swimmers. Along the harbour wall amongst the rocks is a fairly deep tidal pool, a great way to get your cold water therapy if the sea is a little rough!

The shale that is the best area to search for seaglass sits quite high up the beach, meaning you don’t have to wait until low tide to start searching.

Back in the day, Portreath harbour was one of the most industrial and important harbours in Cornwall. It provided coal to the mines which arrived by ship from Wales in return for copper and has been an active post since the 1700s. Just imagine all the treasures waiting to be found!

Port Isaac Harbour

port Isaac beach north Cornwalll

Port Isaac is a filming location for ‘Doc Martin’ and ‘Saving Grace’, not to mention the Fishermen’s Friends choir. It’s a picturesque sleepy little fishing village located in North Cornwall, but not many people know it has a place in the Guinness book of World records (1978) for having the worlds narrowest thoroughfare. ‘Squeeze-ee-belly Alley’ is only 18 inches wide at its narrowest point!

This busy little fishing harbour is still active today and at low tide, the harbour has top picking for seaglass. I found my first piece of bright pink here!

Maenporth Beach

maenporth beach near Falmouth

Maenporth beach, just outside of Falmouth is a popular destination for distance swimmers and divers. It has a long slopping bank, so even when the tides in, it’s relatively shallow and warm.

Being just around the headland from Falmouth, it’s another great place for seaglass hunting. At low tide, the beach is filled with patches of pebbles and treasures. One of my favourite walks is from Gyllyngvase beach to Maenporth beach, via Swanpool beach using the South West Coast Path. There’s a cafe at all three beaches too!

What’s your favourite beach to beach comb on? I would love to know! Share your answers in the comments below and I will be sure to add them to my list of places to visit!

Thanks, and happy hunting!

Robyn xx


  1. We are obsessed with sea glass hunting
    How do you bring back its sheen?

    • Hey Jackie, I actually love the rustic surface of seaglass, but I do clean it in an ultra sonic jewellery cleaner before using in jewellery to remove the salty ‘frosting’. I know some jewellery like to use a bit of baby oil to give it a glossy look. Thanks for commenting ❤️

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