Porthleven is a historic fishing port located to
the west of the The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Porthleven has the distinction
of being the most southerly working port in mainland Britain - located
on the edge of Mount's Bay, between the Lizard Peninsula and
Marazion (St Michael's Mount). The town and harbour, have maintained
much of their original charm and character, (through the use of strict
conservation and planning control) and attracts large numbers of tourist
Porthleven's picture book location and stunning coastal
scenery of the area makes this an ideal destination for family holidays
and vacations to the West Country - surrounded by spectacular beaches
and has easy access to a wealth of local holiday attractions, including
St Michael's Mount and The Flambards Adventure Park.
Much of the coastline around the town is designated as
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or is in the stewardship of
the National Trust. This character port is Porthleven itself is a vibrant
little town arranged around its impressive harbour.
The harbour is the heart of life in the town, with
fishing boats plying their trade from its sheltered waters, supplying
the harbour side cafes and restaurants with their daily catch.the harbour
is unusual in two aspects, it is the most southerly UK prot and in that
it is rare to find a southwest facing Cornish harbour - opening directly
into the prevailing winds. Porthleven's development as a port was always
hampered by the orientation of the harbour entrance and Porthleven would
have remained a small fishing inlet but there was an overriding need during
the early nineteenth century, for a refuge harbour along this Cornwall's
lee shore. A safe haven where ships could run in times of distress - the
impressive structures that form the current harbour complex date from
the Napoleonic war - with French prisoners of war being utilized as a
labour force to construct the harbour.
Today, Porthleven harbour is a more relaxing environment
catering for the needs of the Holiday maker. Boat and fishing trips available
from the harbour and cafes and restaurants line the harbourside, creating
an almost continental atmosphere - in the warm temperate climate that
Cornwall enjoys due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream current that
passes close to the Cornish coastline. The buildings around the harbour
and Porthleven beach are mainly a mix of traditional fishermen's cottages
and net lofts - dating back to the 1800s.
A comination of white painted houses and Palm trees adds
to the ambient quality of a stay in Porthleven. The harbourside offers
an interesting and diverse range of cafes, restaurants, bars, good shops
and galleries, whilst Porthleven's neighbouring town at Helston caters
for those who need larger stores, supermarkets and banks etc.
Parking is available by the Harbour.
Porthleven's Beach is located adjacent to the harbour,
just east of the large granite pier by the 'iconic' Porthleven Institute
and clock tower -which dominates the harbour entrance. As the tide
goes out, a large 3 mile long shingle and sand beach is exposed - running
along the coast towards Loe Bar and Penrose Estate.
- Car park a 5 min fairly steep walk from beach
- Parking available by the harbour in porthleven
- Lifeguard during summer months
- No dogs Easter to October
- Sat Nav Co-ordinates: N50º 04' 57.79" W5º 18' 42.93"
Porthleven Beach is a popular beach with holiday makers
in the area. The beach is never crowded and has many rock pools
to entertain children during the day. Small coves line the edge of the
beach providing shelter if the breeze picks up. Porthleven beach is
popular with swimmers, but a degree of caution is needed when
swimming at low tide or when the sea is rough.
This is a particularly challenging area or surfers, with
good waves, but with a ground swell that can produce waves of up to 4
to 5 meters, which often can be seen breaking across the pier. Porthleven
is well known for its right hand surfing break, which attracts many top
level surfers to the town.
The majority of the beach is dog friendly, apart from the
250m section of beach closet to the harbour, which has a dog ban during
the summer months.
Loe Bar is a large sand and shingle bar in the central
section of Porthleven Sands, lying approximately 1 mile East of the harbour
in Porthleven. Loe Bar is a large sand bank, that blocks the mouth of
the Cober Valley, creating Cornwall's largest fresh water lake.
The sand bank was created by the action of a storm in the 12th century,
forming a barrier that blocked the mouth of the valley. Prior to the formation
of the sand bar, the lake was a busy trade route which enabled ships and
merchants to navigate up the estuary as far as Helston.
The beach at Loe Bar is in a quiet remote location, with
no facilites. Limited Parking is available at the small Loe Bar Car park,
approximately 500m east of the sand bar. From the car park it is a short
walk down a sandy track to the sand bar and beach.