Helford Passage

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path SSSI Dog friendly

Season: autumn

A flat calm Helford estuary greeted me for this autumn re-visit, in the morning on a falling tide.  The sun glowed silver over the water, from the entrance to Falmouth Bay.  There’s always a tranquility to this south-facing beach, generally populated by just the ferry that crosses to the southern bank of the river.

Autumn visit photo gallery


What these visitors take home with them from Cornwall.


The regenerative effect of the beach on two men of the world.


A tranquil start to the day on the beautiful Helford River.

Season: winter

A pale winter light fell on the beach in front of the Ferryboat Inn for this re-visit.  The tidal Helford Passage was calm and the atmosphere was quiet.  The recent storms and the time of year meant that tenders to the boats on swinging moorings were lined up on the road behind the beach, rather than on the hard standing, as in the summer.  The empty beach had a historical resonance, to times long ago.

Winter visit photo gallery


The relaxing effect of the beach.


A quiet scene by the Helford River in winter.

Season: summer

This is a haven for sailing, whether on the Helford River in a dinghy or as a route out to Falmouth Bay and beyond.  The swinging moorings were heavily populated and the ferry was plying its trade across the Helford River.

Summer visit photo gallery


With Jan, preparing to go sailing.


Steve’s time on the beach.

Season: spring

A wild, overnight storm preceded this visit and the residue was still evident, with boats tugging at their swinging moorings, against a strong westerly wind, combined with a strong tide run out to Falmouth Bay.  Sunshine mixed evocatively with dark, foreboding clouds.  The falling tide enabled beach artist Barry to work on the clean sand, making the simple, positive message he talks about in his chat, including the spiritual perfection of Om, the first breath of the world.  The blacks, greys and silvers that often follow a storm can feel overbearing, even though the main event has passed.





Barry explains his drawing.


The ebbing of the storm and the tide at the Helford Passage.

Season: winter

The Helford Passage, on the north bank of the Helford River, is an iconic location in Cornwall.  It has great natural beauty and is also very popular with visitors in the summer, largely due to the excellent moorings in the river and access out to Falmouth Bay for yachts.  There is also a fishing tradition here.  Boat hire and shops are available, within walking distance of the beach and the Ferryboat Inn.


With local man Arthur, looking back at a life on the Helford River.


Picking cockles, on the Helford River at low tide.


Peace and quiet, at Helford Passage.


The beach at Helford Passage, viewed from above.

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