Vault Beach


Latitude:50° 14.34′ North
Longitude: 4° 47.61′ West
OS Grid:SX:009 407


20 minutes walk from nearest car park at Gorran Haven

From St Austell take the B3273 signed to Mevagissey. After Pentewan turn right at the top of the hill indicating Gorran Haven(6 Miles). Proceed through Gorran Highlanes and Gorran Churchtown to Gorran Haven. You can then park in a car park on your left, walk down towards the harbour turning right up Foxhole Lane and onto the Coast Path which goes round Maenease Point before descending onto Vault Beach. The near end of the beach is textile but from the middle towards the far end is naturist.

Alternatively if you take a right turn just before the car park up a very narrow and steep hill called Lamledra Hill you’ll come to a National Trust car park which is directly above the beach.


Vault Beach is a sheltered beach to the eastern side of Dodman Point which reaches up 110 metres. It is a curved sweep of sand and shingle that gently slopes into the sea. Textile and naturist co-exist very happily.

The sea here is usually pretty calm and bathing is generally safe, although there is no lifeguard patrol.

The far end of the beach is unofficially recognised as a nudist beach and can be quite popular during the summer

Dogs may be taken on this beach.

No Lifeguard or facilities on the beach.


  1. Went to Vault Beach on my own when staying in Cornwall last August.

    Textile at the Gorran Haven end, naturist at the other, with a good deal of mixing in between. Mixture of families, solo men and small groups though I was the only lone female, but felt quite comfortable there and met some friendly people.

    Did not see any inappropriate behaviour. Sea a bit cold but went for a swim anyway! Plenty of large rocks at back of beach provide sheltered and relatively private sunbathing spots.

    Excellent and will definitely return!

  2. I’m writing in praise of Vault Beach which is just what a beach should be. Textiles one end, naturists at the other and a happy co-existence in the middle.

    On several occasions this year the conditions (mainly the wind) have been suitable for me to sail into this little bay and anchor up, go ashore in the dinghy with my lunch to enjoy a nice rest and soak up the sun along with a few dips in the sea.

    Just around the Dodman Point it is well sheltered from North to South-West with good holding in firm sand (although watch out for small rock clusters) Except on rare days the swell would not make for a comfortable overnight anchorage.

  3. This was our first visit to Vault. There were several nudists and it wasn’t long before myself, my wife and both our children were stripped off having family fun on the beach. We felt safe and relaxed and in no way intimidated by anyone. We will definitely be going back.

  4. Having visited Vault beach several times but never having gone naked, my husband and I decided to ‘do it’ for the first time in July this year. We both found this the most exhilarating of experiences and cannot understand why we had never done it before. Subsequently we have been to Vault on 3 further occasions and feel so free being naked there.

    However as we are new to this experience we are not entirely sure of any code of conduct. We are by nature a very loving and playful couple and behave in exactly the same way as we have done on ordinary beaches (non-naturist), i.e. cuddling and putting sun protection cream on each other. This seems to have had a very stimulating effect on one or two lone men. We were not at all offended, however we do not wish to be considered to be behaving in a manner not suitable for the naturists’ code. Perhaps someone can steer us in the direction of some guidelines.

  5. Vault beach is truly a great place. In June of 2005 I visited it twice, and after the short 20 minutes walk from the car park, a special naturist place is found.

    Although the sand is mixed with a fine grit, its still a lovely spot for sunning and swimming. One can walk right up to the rocks at the far end, with the second half of the beach being accepted as naturist. Definitely worth repeat visits!!

  6. Like many other naturist women going to the beach on their own, it’s good to find places to sunbathe and swim without feeling intimidated. Both Vault beach and ‘Treen’ have been great for this in the past, Treen being very small and friendly and Vault usually having more of a sense of being able to maintain your distance if required. However, I went down to Vault recently for some peace and quiet, and laid down in a nice space with my back to the sea. WIthin 5 minutes I was approached by a guy who sat down uninvited and didn’t go away although I didn’t exactly encourage conversation. When he finally left, it was literally 2 minutes before another one came along, called out to me from behind and proceeded to sit down, again uninvited, and did not leave until I finally decided to quit the beach, put off by this lack of tact in the beach etiquette department. I hope this isn’t going to happen regularly. I don’t want to be rude to the average friendly naturist but how do you tell these people their continued attentions are not welcome?

  7. The far end of Vault Beach is an unofficial nudists’ beach and is safer and much more secluded than Polgaver.

  8. The beach that I tend to use the most – when I pay my annual visit ‘home’ is Vault. I have noticed that over the past couple of years that the sand is shifting along the beach, away from the naturist area, exposing all the rocks. Hopefully this year there will be a change in the opposite direction.

  9. Not the easiest place to reach – more narrow and some steep roads – but certainly worth the trip. Make sure that once you are on the footpath down toward the beach, that you head down to the left side of the beach first – this is the only way down (as I discovered after a long walk!). The beach itself curves in a very similar manner to the (longer) stretch between Durdle Dor and the Bat in Dorset, and the gently-lapping sea looks just as inviting. The naturist area is amongst the rocks at the far end. I visited on a surprisingly warm day in February, and the only complaint was that the sea was, of course, too cold to enjoy. Certainly a beach to visit when summer comes.

  10. I’m not a naturist but I am a lover of vault beach. however, when I walk along the beach as I have been doing freely for over 40 years, I am strongly aware of the disapproval of the naturists at this ‘intrusion’ by a fully clad person. I personally do not mind the naturists (except for their incessant need to play frisbee and make their genitalia flap around) and I would hope that they could be equally accepting of me. after all, we all have an equal right to be on the beach.

    1. I thank you for your email and interest in naturism. I can only agree wholeheartedly with your comments. The only reason I can imagine that naturists may cast suspicious looks at a dressed person walking along the area used by naturists is if they are suspected of voyeurism but someone merely walking along the beach is of course, entitled to do so and should be shown the same respect that naturists ask from others. It is unfortunate in the extreme that when that respect is given that it is not reciprocated.

  11. I have been a naturist all my life and used to visit Polgaver frequently, especially during summer holidays when there was a lively and friendly atmosphere.

    My complaint was that when it was too quiet, one felt isolated, intimidated, outnumbered and almost threatened by the constant attention of clothed (and semi-clothed) males ‘on constant patrol’, sometimes sitting very close by and staring…

    I regret that it has closed, but I much prefer Vault Beach anyway and hope it remains free of the unwanted attentions of these voyeurs.

  12. I have a mobile (holiday) home near St Austell and for the last 2 years I have occasionally used Polgaver as it is the nearest. Being a fairly recent convert to naturism, and single, I never felt particularly comfortable there due to the number of “suspicious” semi-clad males there seemed to be wandering about – not wishing to be categorised as one of them!

    This year, with the uncertainty of “is it/isn’t it” allowed there, I decided to try Vault beach which is still only 10 miles from me. AM I GLAD I DID! It’s a fantastic beach and I ended up there every possible day I could! Being an NT member I used the NT car-park at Lamledra which is directly above the beach. Being such a large beach and the fact that you have a fairly lengthy walk to it, it never gets crowded. Also, for the first time, I found I could strike up conversations with fellow naturists – couples and families – and feel accepted as a single person, which was lovely.

    This week, my brother and his partner were staying with me and joined me on the beach one day. Although neither are naturists it wasn’t too long before my brother had also stripped off to join me for a cooling dip! From now on Vault will definitely be my “local”

  13. We live locally & treasure vault beach as I’m sure many of you do. We’re a pretty liberal group of ‘nude tolerant’ women however over recent years we have become increasingly concerned by a minority of the naturists using Vault beach (all men, I’m afraid) who exhibit a range of intimidating behaviour – we are asking for your support,all we would ask is for you to be vigilant & if you were to witness any such incidents to take note of the individuals concerned & report it to the police.

  14. We visited Vault Beach for the first time in August this year with our two young children and found it clean, relaxed, very friendly, and great for naturism — and swimming! There was a mix of clothed and nude, families, couples and some singles, and the complete lack of evidence of dodgy behaviour compared very favourably to other beaches we have visited (esp Holkham Bay). Thanks NatCorn for directions to this lovely beach.

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