Porthcurno - at the origin of the internet


Porthcurno beach is a large family beach an easy 200m walk from a bus stop, cafe, toilets, pub, telecoms museum, and car park.

You can simply walk onto the sandy beach here without climbing, although there are some concrete steps. From here the Minack Theatre is also directly accessible via a very steep but scenic footpath up the cliff. As the beach faces southeast it is not often a surfing beach, and under some weather conditions the RNLI lifeguards put up flags limiting access to the sea. The tourist season is from May to September approximately and during the summer season Porthcurno beach has lifeguards, but dogs are not allowed from 8am to 7pm from 1 May to 30 September. Full info on lifeguards on this beach is available on the RNLI website. The beach is owned by the National Trust, having been donated to them by the previous owner, the Cable and Wireless company. A small stream runs down one side of the beach, providing great amusement to children, and two concrete fortifications from the Second World War still exist above the beach, as well as a closed up min house built into the cliffside.

Please note that you now have to pay 20p for each use of the public toilet above Porthcurno beach in the public carpark, so you will need to bring a supply of 20p coins for a family day out on the beach. There is also virtually no mobile phone signal on the beach or in the steep-sided Porthcurno valley.

Nearby to the west is smaller Porthchapel beach, accessible by a steep climb, which can be reached from the coast path or from the footpath from St Levan church. This beach has no lifeguards. Porthchapel beach has a seasonal dog ban from 8am to 7pm daily, but only below the high water mark on the beach, as stated in the official Cornwall Visitor Guide for Dog Owners.

For more info on dogs on beaches please see Visit Cornwall, who previously offered a downloadable leaflet with map and chart.

To the east is the spacious naturist beach at Pedn Vounder

reached by a steep climb down from the coastal footpath near Treen. Pedn Vounder nude beach is sheltered and barely visible from the coast path, but can be cut off by the high tide and may require wading through waves to enter or leave. Check out a local view across the bay by webcam - in years with plentiful sand you can even walk all around the bay on the sand, but you need to be careful to come back in time so as not to get stuck in a cove waiting for the tide to go out.