Eight Cornish beaches designated as bathing waters, including Northcott Mouth

Northcott by Drone

Beachgoers in Cornwall can now benefit from eight more beaches which have been designated as bathing waters.

Eight Cornish beaches, including Northcott Mouth in Bude, received their designation, bringing the total number of designated bathing waters across England to 423. At designated bathing waters, the Environment Agency helps protect the health of swimmers, surfers and other visitors, by testing the water for levels of bacteria and publishing the results online. Across Englan, there are currently 270 bathing waters with “excellent” water quality.


Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

“This is great news for anyone who enjoys a trip to the seaside. Britain’s beaches are visited around 150 million times each year and the water at these nine beaches, along with more than 400 bathing waters around England, will be tested by the Environment Agency to help protect the health of visitors. I would encourage everyone to use the online ‘Bathing Water Data Explorer’ to check the water quality at designated bathing spots before heading out for a dip in the sea.”

The eight beaches to be designated in Cornwall will take the number of designated beaches in the county to 89. The newly designated bathing waters in Cornwall are:

  • South Fistral beach in Newquay
  • Booby’s Bay near Trevose Head
  • Mexico Towan, Upton Towan and Godrevy, all situated on a long stretch of dunes in St Ives Bay
  • Northcott Mouth beach to the north of Bude
  • Gwynver Beach which forms part Whitesand Bay
  • Tregonhawke in Whitsand Bay

Northcott Beach today

Northcott Beach

Welcoming the news, MP for North Cornwall Scott Mann said:

“I’m very pleased to see that more beaches in North Cornwall have been designated as bathing water sites. This will ensure that swimmers and surfers are better protected and provide more confidence to holidaymakers who want to visit our beautiful beaches such as Booby’s Bay.


“The Government is committed to protecting the environment and it25-Year Environment Plan aims to tackle the various challenges that our beaches and seas face, including pollution and plastic. This designation is a step closer to having a cleaner environment and a more enjoyable experience for beachgoers.”

A list of designated bathing waters around the UK and their water quality ratings can be found on the Bathing Water Data Explorer.

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