Porthpean beach

Beach facilities

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

Season: summer

A visit just after dawn showed Porthpean beach’s tranquil side. The beach is close to St Austell, yet the tall cliffs behind this stretch of coastline are more than a physical barrier to the town, ensuring an away-from-it-all feel to a trip here.  There is a café, a sailing club with a slipway and a boom with buoys, to protect swimmers from motor boats and jet skis at this time of year.  This is one of the best, most sheltered swimming beaches in Cornwall.

Summer visit photo gallery


Bill brings his family to Cornwall for a spot of sea kayaking.

Bosinver cottages


Early morning on Porthpean beach.

Season: spring

A blue, grey morning greeted me at Porthpean beach in St Austell, for this re-visit.  The tide was in and the sea was calm, looking across the bay.  Porthpean sits half way between Trenarren and Charlestown, on the South West Coast Path.  This is part of a fine section of walking on Cornwall’s south coast and Porthpean is a great spot for a break, during any walk.


Belinda explains what the beach means to her.


Porthpean beach at high tide, as seen from above.

Season: autumn

This is a real locals’ beach, on the south side of St Austell, with a sailing club just above the beach.  I was there in a wild easterly wind, blowing straight onto the beach and bringing the sea to life.  I had two enjoyable chats with people who were happy to be alive, including a charming young family.  St Austell is handy for any requirements and facilities, as this is really a town beach.


My chat with a family, who were rockpooling at Porthpean beach.


Another chat, this time with Tony, at Porthpean beach.


The beach at Porthpean, viewed from the slipway by the Sailing Club.


Here’s another view, this time from the waterline.

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