Porthallow beach

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path SSSI Dog friendly Good water quality for swimming

Season: spring

The sea was dead calm at Porthallow village, which looks out across Falmouth Bay, here at the top of the Lizard peninsula.  The same peaceful silence that I’d noticed on my previous visit still pervaded this ex-pilchard fishing village.  The contrast between the international maritime industry in front of me as I looked across the bay and the tranquility behind me was palpable.

One side of the coin, looking out to sea.

The view towards the land.


With David, pondering the perennial Cornish conundrum.


Standing on this beach felt like being at the nerve centre of a culture, somewhere oddly profound, held in suspended animation.

Season: winter

There was a quiet feel to Porthallow for this winter re-visit.  The high tide lapped against the shore and the village had a sleepy ambience, often the case on my visits here.  Interviewee Stephanie reflected on the appeal of all beaches and the inspiration for her work provided by the beach and the wildlife here.

Winter visit photo gallery


Nature provides for Stephanie and her work.


Peace and quiet at Porthallow on a winter day.

Season: winter

It was a bright day for this winter re-visit to Porthallow.  The South West Coast Path had collapsed onto the beach, a victim of the wet winter.  Looking across Falmouth Bay was a fine vista, towards St Anthony Head and St Mawes, with the Nare Head and the Dodman Point further along the coast.  Porthallow feels tucked away, peeping out from its corner of the Lizard Peninsula, as the world rushes by.

Winter visit photo gallery


Dorothy observes nature’s work.


Looking out from the beach at Porthallow.

Season: autumn

Reputedly where the spirits of old Cornwall are laid to rest, this village and beach ooze history and whimsy.  The beach feels very empty, despite being part of the village.  Porthallow was once a thriving pilchard fishing village, as witnessed by the 5 Pilchards pub.  I had a long chat with 96 year old Muriel Webb, who waxed lyrical about the old days, when fishing and farming were king and when families and the village knew everyone and stuck together.  When I asked her what she thought the future held, she said she hoped for “an improvement in the state of the Age”, which I took as a positive call to arms, to make the best of whatever the present throws at you, rather like Voltaire’s “Il faut cultiver notre jardin” at the end of “Candide”.

A two part interview with the wonderful 96 year old, Muriel Webb – a Cornish philosopher:






Porthallow on a winter’s morning.

3 thoughts on “Porthallow beach

  1. Mr. Richard HICKS

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    What a way to start a week even though it’s Monday.
    Just watched the 2 clips with MURIEL WEBB, made me cry I’m glad to say.As a boy I stayed a lot with my aunt & uncle, (Willy & Ida PETERS) who lived in ROSE COTTAGE, it’s on the right as you come down the hill into Porthallow, I’m 88 so I suppose I must have met Muriel at some time or other,I often think of those days playing with the Tripps and many many others, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten a lot of names but they were great times. When I come down “HOME” to Falmouth I always go down to Porthallow and go to the chuchyard in St. Keverne where a lot of my relations are buried, good days and bad days.
    Yours very sincerely,
    R. Hicks, (Mr.)

  2. Donna Nicholls

    Auntie Ppearl lives at Rose Cottage. I knew Willy and had may times there. My dad was France’s I chills, Dorothys son x


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