Penhale Dunes

The amazing Atlantic facing sand dunes at Penhale are classed as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Penhale is one of the largest dune systems in Cornwall, spanning 620 hectares.

With sand dunes listed as the habitat most at risk in Europe for biodiversity loss, it’s an incredibly important area to protect for nature.


Penhale Dunes access prior to Perran Sands Holiday Park
Budnic Hill
A static map of Penhale Dunes

Know before you go

621 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Free (Do not park in the Perran Sands holiday campsite)


Access is gated and the ground is rugged and uneven in places


Under effective control
Pease ensure you pick up after your dog and do not allow them to disturb the wildlife.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Beautiful beach sunsets at dusk

About the reserve

Penhale Dunes is not owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, but it’s a site where the Trust work in partnership with other landowners, including.

  • Perran Sands Holiday Park (management of Gear Sands)
  • Ministry of Defence.  The military training area is used for a variety of training activities and its boundaries are marked by red and white posts. There are no public footpaths through the site, but the South West Coast Path runs alongside the Western boundary.
  • Perranzabuloe Parish Council (land near Perranporth Beach)
  • Perranporth golf club
  • St Pirans Trust who own scheduled ancient monuments (St Pirans Oratory and Church).