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 tourists each year.
Many love to come in the winter too, for the spectacular seas and storm-watching.
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 Flambards Adventure Park.
Much of the coastline around the town is designated a Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or is in the stewardship of the National Trust. This character port of Porthleven itself is a vibrant fishing village and arranged around its impressive harbour front are restaurants, cafes, pubs, galleries and shops.
Things to do in and around the area
Beach is shingle and sand with lots of rock pools to explore. The coastal walk from Porthleven to Sithney’s Engine House is spectacular, as is the walk from Porthleven to Loe Bar. Part of the Porthleven beach is dog friendly all year round and part is not, please look for the signs, Loe Bar beach is dog friendly all year round.
Praa Sands (four miles west)
Long sandy beach, safe for children, best beach within easy reach. Gets very busy in the summer, please ensure you have change for the car park.
Marazion (near Penzance)
An amazing sandy beach with Causeway access to St Michaels Mount (at low tide) and dogs are allowed on this beach all year around.
Porthcurno (Lands End)
The best beach in Cornwall – Silver Sands, turquoise Sea, white shells – more Caribbean than Atlantic Coast. The open air Minack Theatre overlooks the beach. This was built into the cliff by a lady and her gardener in the early 20th Century and there is also a museum about its history.
Throughout the summer there are matinee and evening open air performances. Magical on a warm summer evening overlooking the sea – not so good when it is blowing a gale and the rain is lashing down. Be warned performances are rarely cancelled due to the weather so be prepared with blankets, cushions rain gear etc.
On a warm summer evening, with the fishing boat lights twinkling in the distance, as the theatre backdrop, this is an experience not to be missed.
St Ives (north coast)
Long stretches of sandy beaches and some of the best surfing, pretty cottages, lots of quirky shops, arts & crafts galleries. Parking is tricky during holiday time but you can always get the park and ride train from Camborne and enjoy the coastal ride in.
Attractive Cathedral city with lovely shops and restaurants.
We should not forget our local town, it is a traditional market town and on 8th May each year it holds its famous "Flora Day" celebrations. The whole town is decorated with bluebells and locals dress up and dance to through the streets to the tune of the Floral Dance.
Some recommendations for places to go:
There are many varied coastal, river and country walks in this part of Cornwall all with stunning views and scenery.
Flambards Theme Park, Helston
Great day out for all the family and especially the children, even on a rainy day they have an indoor "1-11" Children’s club with slides, ball parks and much more.
The most southerly place in England, the coastal walks are spectacular especially in May when the wild flowers are in bloom. It is relatively unspoilt and has not been commercial-ised. Choughs have returned and are nesting in Cornwall and you may be lucky enough to see them here and also at Kynance Cove.
Kynance Cove is one of our favourite places, the sea is turquoise and the cafe makes the steep descent worthwhile – there are two routes down an easy steep walk and a more adventurous rocky path.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell
For anyone who loves gardens, this is the most interesting due to its history. Spring is the best time to visit all the Cornish gardens, due to the acidity of the soil and warm sub tropical climate the azaleas, magnolias are spectacular in Spring. The gardens are always worth a visit no matter the season.
There are many gardens to choose from in the area, however Tebah and Glendurgan are two of the closest and the most spectacular.
The Eden Project, St Austell
This is a must see, however please be aware that it can be quite expensive for the entire family, however it is well worth it. This is probably Cornwall’s most exciting and spectacular project. It has been built in a disused clay quarry and contains the biggest greenhouses in the world housing plants from around the globe.
It does get very crowded during the holidays and the road's around it tend to get congested. If you are planning a visit it is worth buying your tickets from the Helston Tourist Information Centre, in advance and getting there very early or in the afternoon. Please note the Eden project is about one hour drive away.