Porthgwarra Beach is a picturesque inlet located right at the bottom of West Cornwall. Once a thriving fishing cove, Porthgwarra Beach now enjoys a peaceful existence surrounded by local wildlife.
Unwind at Porthgwarra
Porthgwarra is best described as a place to simply relax and enjoy the view. There’s not that much else to do, but sometimes that’s the idea! Take a lazy paddle in the water or stretch out in the sun with a good book. The sand can be seen at low tide only, but it's easy and safe to swim from the slipway when the tide is in. If you’re not in the mood for swimming, there are plenty of rock pools to explore and tunnels to discover.
Take a walk up the lane on the western side of the valley to reach Gwennap Head and its lookout station. The granite cliffs here are favourites of rock climbers who cling to minute holds while the sea crashes and lurches hundreds of feet below. Wander along the cliffs in any direction for some breathtaking views out across the Atlantic or search out the stunning Nanjizal Cove, a mile or so north on the South West Coast Path.
Contacts and Links
Address: Porthgwarra Beach, Porthcurno, Cornwall, TR19 6JW
If you’ve had your fill of Porthgwarra and are up for a short walk, the Minack Theatre is one of West Cornwall’s most iconic attractions and is located just a mile east. If you time it right, you might be able to catch one of their shows as well!
The History of Porthgwarra Beach
Though fishermen have been coming to Porthgwarra since at least the Elizabethan era, it is not until the mid 1800s that a real community was formed in the area. Towards the end of the 19th century, the granite slipway was constructed, and the tunnels were created to give farmers easy access to the sea, where they could collect seaweed for fertiliser.
Nowadays, Porthgwarra is best known as a set location in the BBC drama series Poldark. The famous scene in series one featuring Ross swimming in the water while Demelza secretly watches from the clifftops was filmed here, as well as the pilchard fishing scene and several others.
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know about getting to Porthgwarra Beach.
Porthgwarra Beach, Porthcurno, Cornwall, TR19 6JW
There is a reasonably spacious pay and display car park located just above the beach. There are also public toilets located here and a seasonal café
Everything else you might need to know about Porthgwarra Beach.View all
There is a seasonal dog ban in the months of July and August, lasting between 10am and 6pm. Dogs are welcome at all other times.
While the sand only comes out at low tide, it’s perfectly safe to swim at both high and low tide—either off the beach or the slipway, depending on the time. Caution is advised when swimming further out, as dangerous currents may be present.
Many scenes in the BBC drama series Poldark were filmed at Porthgwarra Beach, including the pilchard fishing scene and the infamous scene of Ross taking a dip with Demelza watching on in secret.
There are no lifeguards at Porthgwarra Beach at any point in the year, and therefore caution is advised when swimming or partaking in water activities.
There is surf rescue equipment present on the beach in the event of an emergency.
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