Granted a Blue Flag Award for 2015, Porthtowan is a sandy beach situated roughly midway between Portreath and St. Agnes on the North Cornwall coast. The name of this cove in Cornish means 'Cove of dunes'.
Porthtowan is a fairly level, northwest facing beach. At low tide the water recedes offering the possibility of walking along the seashore from the rocks at Tobban Horse in the southwest, as far as Chapel Porth in the northeast, a length of about two miles. Care should be taken however not to get cut off by the incoming tide! There are rock pools to explore on the southwestern side of the beach and the cliffs may interest amateur geologists. Careful inspection may show signs of the adits (drainage channels) left by Victorian miners.
There is lifeguard cover at Easter and in season from May to the end of September. At Porthtowan there is a designated bathing area with a separate surfing area often in operation. Safety equipment lies at the back of the beach. On the western side of the cove lies the popular Porthtowan Surf Lifesaving Club.
The beach is well known locally for its rip currents, especially near the bathing pool and opposite the Surf Lifesaving Club. this makes swimming and bathing potentially dangerous so it is therefore advisable only to enter the water within the allocated area and when permitted by the lifeguards.
There are fine walks along the South West Coast Path, especially northeast towards Chapel Porth and Saint Agnes, but also southwest towards Portreath and the rest of the Godrevy - Portreath Heritage Coast. The whole area has numerous reminders of Cornwall's industrial past with minestacks and capped shafts often not all that far from the path. The Towanroath Pumping Engine House at Wheal Coates situated just northeast of Chapel Porth being the best known and most visited, due to its picturesque setting above the sea.
There is a good sized car park behind the beach and a number of shops, cafe's and inns for refreshments. For dog owners there is a seasonal dog ban from Easter Day to October 1st.
✔ Cafe, shop or pub
✔ Family friendly
✔ Lifeguard in summer
✘ Seasonal dog ban
✔ Rescue equipment
✔ Good Surfing
OS Explorer Map 104: Redruth & St Agnes
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: