Porthleven lies on the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula near Helston and is popular with visitors as well as locals.
Porthleven to many is the quintessential Cornish fishing village. It has a picturesque harbour and clock tower and boasts a number of excellent inns, restaurants and cafés for those requiring refreshment. Our suggestions for refreshments would include the Kota and The Square Restaurants; Kota Kai and Amélies; Nauti but Ice (ice cream parlour) and the Harbour and Ship Inns.
The beach, known as Porthleven Sands lies just to the southeast, to the left of the harbour and pier. The beach, a mixture of coarse golden sand and some shingle alters its character dependent on the season and prevailing weather conditions. It is quite unusual in that the beach shelves a lot more than is usual in Cornwall.
There is lifeguard cover at the western (Porthleven) end of the beach from early July until early September, to cover the School holidays.
It is dangerous to swim here and should only take place where and when indicated as safe by the lifeguards.
Porthleven Beach is not a really a surfing beach and snorkelling is not at all advised. There is a reef however just to the north of the harbour which can create a powerful wave under certain sea and weather conditions. This 'break' is only for experienced surfers and then not at low water. It can become very busy but our advice is to watch from the safety of dry land.
There are toilets at the back of the pier, behind the clock tower and there is also a 'Seasonal Dog Ban' with dogs not permitted from the Harbour Wall to the Blue Buoy steps from Easter Day until October and from 7.00am to 7.00pm. There are no restrictions for dogs on the rest of the beach.
✔ Sandy beach
✔ Cafe, shop or pub
✔ Dogs on some parts of beach
✔ Easily accessible
✔ Rescue equipment
OS Explorer Map 103: The Lizard, Falmouth and Helston
This map is part of the Ordnance Survey's Explorer series designed to replace the old Pathfinder map series. At 1:25,000 scale this detailed map shows a host of attractions including gardens which are open to the public, nature reserves and country parks as well as all official footpaths, bridleways, roads and lanes. Other facilities covered include: camping and caravan sites, picnic areas and viewpoints, selected places of interest, rights of way information for England and Wales, National Trail and Recreational Path routes, and selected tourist information. The series is aimed mainly at the experienced map user but can be used by tourists and locals alike.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: