Porthcurno beach holidays are all about the Cornish coastline at its best. Listed among the top 10 most beautiful bays in the world, Porthcurno beach is flanked by the Logan Rock headland which creates a magnificent backdrop for its fine golden sandy crescent and luminous turquoise waters. Swim, sunbathe, bodyboard or surf, Porthcurno and its fantastic local beaches are the ultimate coastal destination for family holidays!
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The name Porthcurno is Cornish for “pinnacle cove” and it is the main village of four which include St Levan, Trethewey and Treen. It is situated just over 6 and a half miles from the market resort town of Penzance so besides having a couple of the best beaches in Cornwall on its doorstep, it’s also wonderfully positioned to enjoy all that the other coastal towns of the area have to offer.
You’d never have expected a small valley in a tranquil corner of Cornwall to become the beating heart of the world’s present and future communications – but it is! PK Porthcurno is an experience like no other and it’s as fascinating for grown-ups as it is for children, where all get to explore the science that made global communications possible, from the first undersea telegraph cables brought ashore at Porthcurno 150 years ago to the fascinating world of fibre optics.
Discover how today’s digital communications are changing the world forever. Explore the museum’s exhibits where you’ll be able to delve into a communications history that began in 1870 or try your hand at cracking Morse code! Meet Morgy, the mythical sea monster of communication and try speaking into and listening down the end of tentacles, which work much the same way as a tin can phones.
There’s a secret underground WWII bunker to descend into and a one-of-a-kind cable hut to explore where undersea telegraph cables came ashore from all corners of the world. The PK Café offers yummy light refreshments including Cornish pasties and cakes so you’ll be able to enjoy a ful and adventurous day out with all the family!
Quite possibly one of Cornwall’s most referenced and recognisable man made historic landmarks, this (nearly) one century old open-air theatre’s location is fittingly dramatic as it perches on its rocky granite outcrop that juts into the sea. Imagined and then commissioned by Rowena Cade in 1930, it has been welcoming thousands of visitors from May to September of every year to witness theatrical concerts, historical plays and musical shows ranging from classical to avant garde.
Visitors looking to experience the site without taking in a show are welcomed on a tour through the theatre and gardens where 1.5 acres of tropical paradise await. Planted to showcase blooms all year round, guests will be treated to such delights as winter aloes and daisy blooms in the cooler months, and aeoniums, pink lampranthus and blue agapanthus in late summer. There’s also an on-site café at The Shack for a light bite with incredible views, as well as a gift shop for that all-important souvenir for you to take back home.
Otherworldly and stunning, Porthcurno beach lies at the foot of the Logan Rock headland and is accessed down a steep path. It’s well worth the walk down though as its sun-bleached crescent of white sand edging gloriously clear water offers beachgoers an isolated paradise. Perfect for families there’s a seasonal beach café nearby so you’ll be able to pack light for your day out. The fine sand is also great for sandcastle building or sunbathing while the water which is clean and clear is relatively calm, so on still days parents and their children can paddle in the shallows or hop over shoreline waves together. (There is a seasonal dog ban from 1st July to 31st August between 10am-6pm)
Further to the east between Porthcurno and the Logan Rock headland lies the tidal cove and beach of Pedn Vounder. Smaller than its neighbouring Porthcurno it’s set below the stunning cliffs of Treryn Dinas and has the same crystal clear turquoise water and beautiful white sand. Access down to the beach is also steep so care should be taken especially if there are children in tow although Tripadvisor has also reported it to unofficially nudist or naturist.
One of the Poldark film crew’s secret locations, this tidal cove which only has sand at low tide, is a true gem, with its sea cave arch gracing many a travel bloggers’ Instagram page. Both the cove and its slipway are privately owned but the public have been given permission to enjoy them both quietly and respectfully. Swimming in the cove is quite safe, provided swimmers do not go beyond the headland where there are dangerous, strong sea currents.
The cliffs and coastline around Porthcurno are officially designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty so as you’d expect there are some great walks in the vicinity sporting spectacular sea views! Four popular circular walks include two moderately difficult and two strenuous, so we’d suggest stocking up on plenty of water and of course kitting yourself out with sturdy walking shoes.
Porthcurno to Penberth Cove is about 3 miles (just short of 5km) and is the first of the two slightly easier routes. Both scenic and fascinating, it passes the landmark Logan Rock and returns via a wartime tunnel which is housed within the site of the historic telegraph station. Other walks in the area include Porthcurno from Porthgwarra (also moderate but slightly shorter which takes in views of the Minack Theatre and bay), and the two more challenging routes of Porthcurno, Porthgwarra and Gwennap Head as well as St Buryan to Penbeth Cove (the longest at 7.6 miles or just over 12 km).
There are two Car Parks near Porthcurno including The Minack Theatre Car Park and Porthcurno Car Park which is a large pay and display, long stay car park. It is located approximately 250m behind Porthcurno beach. Seasonal permits can be purchased for this car park through the Cornwall.gov site where the daily and weekly tariffs can also be viewed.
About 5 miles from Porthcurno lies the beautiful sandy beach at Sennen Cove. It’s mile long stretch is the perfect place to hang out for the day whether sitting on the beach and taking in the views or enjoying a paddle in its blue waters.
The beach has lifeguard cover during the summer months as well as toilets, a beach cafe/restaurant, shop and surf hire. The village is less than 2 minutes’ walk. Please note that there is a seasonal dog ban in place from 15th May to 30th September between 10am and 6pm.
While there is no high street in the village, there are great local organic food producers, farm shops and markets in the area. Beach gear can be purchased during the summer season from the beach cafe right next to the beach and carpark, however the closest food shops and post offices are in the villages of Sennen and St Buryan, (both about 3 miles / 5km away).
If it’s a bit of a shopping spree you’re after however, just 20ish minutes drive away in Penzance, you’ll find a bustling high street and a plethora of shops ranging from homeware to clothing and supermarkets.
Yes there are! Our favourite is the 16th Century thatched village pub called The Logan Rock Inn near Treen. It serves real ales and excellent home cooked food and has an authentic British public house atmosphere inside and a lovely outside area for alfresco eating.
We’re also very fond of Porthgwarra Cove Café that sits right on the South West Coast Path, so if you’d like to take a break from your walk and indulge in a delicious freshly baked pasty or sweet, this is the place for it!
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