Holywell Bay


Holywell Bay
© Geograph

Water Quality

Annual classification

2017 Excellent

Today's forecast

Forecasts are not available for this location.

Data provided by the Environment Agency

The beach is set within a bay and is formed by a large expanse of sand which is backed by a tall and extensive sand dune system.


Swimming, surfing, bodyboarding. Walking. Beach angling. Geocaching. 2 NT endorsed surf schools and a catering concession selling beach goods and refreshments, with other facilities in Holywell village

Wildlife and Walks

Fascinating grotto-like caves at northern end AT LOW TIDE with unusual calcareous mineral formations. The South West Coast Path passes through the site and links to Kelseys headland and Cubert Common - vast tracts of unspoilt grazed grasslands rich in wildlife (dogs under control, please!). Interesting flora and fauna on Holywell dunes and adjoining Penhale Dune System, which is a Special Area of Conservation. Grey seal and dolphin often seen off the headlands.

What's tested here?

Water samples are taken at this designated bathing water by the Environment Agency, during the bathing season, 15th May to 30th September.
Find out more about designated bathing waters.

High levels of bacteria in the water can indicate pollution from sewage treatment works or polluted rain water draining from the land.
Where does pollution comes from and how can you help?

Water quality can be reduced for up to 72 hours after heavy rain. Look out for temporary signs at the beach and on our website.

Annual classification

2017 Excellent

What does this mean?

At the end of every bathing season the water quality is classified as either:

Excellent — the highest classification meaning the water is cleanest

Good — generally good water quality

Sufficient — meets minimum standards

Poor — You are advised not to swim. The beach will stay open and an action plan should be in place to improve the water quality.

Today's forecast

Forecasts are not available for this location.

Data provided by the Environment Agency
More information about potential pollution sources and improvement plans.


This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office

Tide times

Potential hazards at this beach

Strong currents Strong currents
Large breaking waves Large breaking waves
Tidal cut-off Tidal cut-off
Deep shelving beach Deep shelving beach
Strong winds Strong winds

Lifeguarded locations - top five safety tips

Non-lifeguarded locations For those who can’t make it to a lifeguarded beach

For more information visit rnli.org.uk.

Facilities at Holywell Bay

Toilets Toilets Shops Shops Bins Bins



Large NT car park behind beach in Holywell village. Charges apply except for NT members. 5-10 mins level walk to beach.

Dog restrictions


Dogs are allowed

Beach cleaning

Beach cleaned regularly



Dates and times

Service provided by RLNI

Daily: 20th May - 1st October 2017

Please ensure you read beach notice boards for any changes to lifeguard service. Please see safety tab for more information on beach safety.