Sunday 30 June 2019

The Meeting With Barrel Jellyfish at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

Carlyon Bay beach, Cornwall

There is a long beach at Carlyon Bay St.Austell, Cornwall. 

The photo above was snapped after I had walked to the far end of the sand - so not many people about! Well, none actually! It gets much busier though at the height of the summer season. 

This end of the beach was once a designated for naturists. I'm not sure if this still applies as the beach has confusing plans for redevelopment - mind you this has been promised / threatened for many years, but actual building work has never commenced.

The other end of the beach (photo below), nearest the car park, is quite popular. There are rocks to explore and so on. Some people are even brave enough to plunge into the water.

The rocks and beach with holiday makers at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

You have to be a little aware, if close to the cliffs, as there are rock falls occasionally.

Rockfalls at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

When we walked to the far end of the beach all was peaceful, other than a young seagull blowing in the wind.

A young seagull on the beach at Carlyon Bay

But then we spotted something in the sea - jellyfish - big ones!

Barrel Jellyfish seen at Carlyon Beach

They are Barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) and are said to be the largest in UK waters. I ,have read that they can grow as large as a dustbin lid - and are sometimes, therefore, known as dustbin-lid jellyfish. 

Barrel jellyfish in the water at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

The jellyfish can sting but this is not normally harmful to us humans.

Barrel Jellyfish at Cornwall Bay, St.Austell

The jellyfish aren't at Carlyon Bay all of the time! They are most likely to be seen in May or June when the waters start to warm. They can get washed ashore if they swim too near the beach.

Jellyfish in the sea at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

There always seems to be something interesting on a long beach. I have seen a very large fin whale washed ashore at Carlyon Bay, which was quite upsetting. More on that perhaps another time.

After walking the full length of the beach we retraced our footsteps to the most popular section - and the flags were flying!

Carlyon Bay welcome on the beach.

As we walked back to our car - up a hill unfortunately - I snapped a final photo looking out to sea.

Looking out to sea and coastline from Carlyon Bay, Cornwall


  1. Interesting area Mike, not sure I'd like Jellyfish on our beach at Cleethorpes.

    1. Thanks David. I'm no fan of jellyfish either!



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