Read and look with caution. This is a virtual section of our coastal trip, with images and blurb taken from Tourist Board and town websites.
Just two miles from St Austell, Porthpean Beach is safe and sandy, ideal for families and popular with windsurfers, swimmers and sailors. The parish church is dedicated to St Levan and was built by the Sawle family as part of the Penrice Estate. It was given to the parish on the death of Mrs Cobbold Sawle in 1981.
Over half a mile of east-facing sandy beach, mostly in front of Pentewan Sands Holiday Park, suitable for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, sea canoeing and with a slipway for sailing (canoes and dinghies available for hire). Free car parking, cafes and toilets are provided in Pentewan village 500 metres from the beach along the old harbour lane with disability access.
Narrow streets and steep valley sides lead down to the centre of the old Mevagissey where the distinctive twin harbour provides a safe haven for the many fishing boats that land their daily catch of skate, lobster, plaice and sole. In typical picture postcard style, pubs, cafes, galleries and shops cluster around the harbour walls and line the pretty streets. Named after two Irish saints, St Meva and St Issey, the village dates back to at least 1313 and during the 1800s, Mevagissey prospered on the back of the abundant source of pilchards out to sea. Around the maze of streets, you’ll find plenty of seafood restaurants that the village is renowned for and there is nothing more sublimely Cornish than tucking into some local scallops and mackerel and ending the evening with a walk along the harbour wall with lights of the village twinkling on the water.
In a valley, just over the hill from Mevagissey, is the little village of Portmellon. The beach here is flanked by rocks to either side but is itself sandy. At low tide there is a good expanse of flat sand, however, this all but disappears as the tide comes in. It does seem there is always a good covering of seaweed which detracts from the overall appeal of the beach. The east facing cove is quite sheltered and when the tide is in is considered fairly safe to swim in, although with no lifeguard service, care should be taken. The beach runs right up to road. At high tide the water laps only a few feet away from the passing cars. A quick glance at the wooden shutters on the houses that line the seafront across the road are testament to the occasional storm that sends waves washing across the road here.
Gorran Haven visitcornwall.co.uk
This is an east-facing sandy beach, popular with families for swimming and surfing. There is a beach shop, pub, car parking for 500 vehicles and toilets. Kayaking is very popular at this sheltered bay with reasonable hire rates. At the heart of the village is a cluster of fishermen’s cottages which remain much the same as in years gone by.
Two small, secluded beaches of grey stones and rocky outcrops backed by a granite sea wall serve the tiny hamlets of East and West Portholland inhabited by just forty local residents. Clinging to the coves in which they are situated, they bask in glorious sunshine during Spring through until Autumn. Look out for the locals offering tea and cakes from the house.
Portloe is considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of the Roseland peninsula and one of the prettiest villages in Cornwall. Its steep sided valleys have meant that it has managed to escape development over the years and many buildings differ little from when they were built. Sir John Betjamin said of Portloe “One of the least spoiled and most impressive of Cornish fishing villages“.
Its name develops from the Cornish Porth Logh meaning “cove pool”. The naturally sheltered position meant that the village grew in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a busy pilchard fishing port. At the beginning of the twentieth century there were more than fifty boats fishing here – now only three boats work from the cove mainly for crab and lobster. Smuggling, as elsewhere in Cornwall, has played a part in Portloe’s history, with many a documented tale of cat and mouse games between locals and the excisemen! French brandy was the main contraband, brought ashore by fishermen and hidden in cellars and local farms. In fact, in 1824 the problem was thought so bad that the Customs ordered the erection of a watch, boathouse and slip in a vain attempt to deter the illicit trade.
This scenic village beach facing east on the beautiful Roseland peninsula overlooking Gerrans Bay is mainly rocky, with sandy patches. Beyond the village the beach stretches all the way up the bay at low tide. There are lovely walks around the small village harbour and along the South West Coast Path.