Chapel Porth beach

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available South West Coast Path SSSI National Trust Dog friendly RNLI lifeguard cover May 18 - September 29 Beach cleaned regularly Good water quality for swimming

Season: autumn

This autumn re-visit showcased a calm sea, lit by the easterly morning sun.  At low tide, the striking geology was on display, in the sea caves round the corner from the main part of the beach, below the abandoned engine house that stands on the stark cliffs.  The waves were modest but long, perfectly formed arcs before they broke.  I ran into Ralph, one of the first manonabeach interviewees from last year, enjoying his passion for sea fishing.

Autumn visit photo gallery


A re-acquaintance with Ralph, in his natural environment.

Callestock Courtyard


Chapel Porth beach, showing its gentle side.

Season: autumn

As the sun broke in the east, it lit a wild sea on Cornwall’s North Coast.  The breakers piled in relentlessly over the broken rocks at the head of the beach.  This was elemental nature in the raw.  The tide really races in here and you have to be watchful at the water’s edge.  When you leave Chapel Porth on a morning such as this, you feel exhilarated and alive, re-charged and ready to go.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Richard enjoys the sea, in awe at the elements.


The action of the sea on the land, at Chapel Porth in North Cornwall this morning.

Season: summer

This is an elemental beach, with a dramatic approach, down a winding road in a deep gorge.  The beach faces the Atlantic and the geology bears witness to the land’s abrasive relationship with the ocean, stark rocky outcrops chiselled apart by the weather and sea.  It’s a rejuvenating environment, always breezy and invigorating, a place to get a positive charge at the start of the day.

Summer visit photo gallery


Stephen’s affinity for this beach.


On the waterline, in the morning.

Season: spring

The approach by road to Chapel Porth beach, near St Agnes in North Cornwall, is dramatic.  You drop between two imposing hillsides, the road clinging to one side, its edge marked by posts between you and the drop.  It has the feel of Wrynose or Hardknott Passes in the Lake District.  In this case though, you’re greeted by the North Atlantic breakers beyond.  The tide was nearly out for my re-visit, the eroded rock proud against the beach and sea.  Chapel Porth is a wild beach, natural and untamed, in the teeth of the elements.

Spring visit photo


Bob explains the draw of Chapel Porth beach to his family.


The rocks and the beach, back from the dropping tide.


Inside a magical sea tunnel, beside the waves on Chapel Porth beach.

Season: winter

A windy morning at Chapel Porth near St Agnes.  Chapel Porth beach is at the bottom of a deep valley.  It has plenty of parking right on the beach and a toilet block which forms part of the National Trust investment that has been made in its infrastructure.  It does feel isolated from the retail world, and is all the better for it.  The beach is on an exhilarating stretch of the South West Coast Path, notable for its foreboding cliffs.


My chat with Ralph, who had a lifetime’s perspective on beach life here, specifically body boarding and fishing.  He explains the best way and time to catch bass off the rocks.


A brief view of the power and energy of the waves acting on the rocks on Cornwall’s North Coast.

4 thoughts on “Chapel Porth beach

  1. Alex Davies

    Hi Manonabeach…….I assume it was a bouy not a boy that was wedged in the cave ceiling at Chapel Porth this morning?? (Sorry I couldn’t resist.)

  2. Alex Davies

    On a more serious note, have you ever seen/heard about the blow hole near the engine house up from Chapel Porth? If not put the words ‘blow hole at Chapel Porth’ into the youtube search engine & there are several videos of it. I suspect it may be in a precarious position & we haven’t had a proper look for it ourselves.

  3. lisa pearn

    I love Ralph, what a true Cornish man, I have learnt more about fishing in that 5 minutes, than all my life, you rock Ralph !! He should have his own program, move over Robson Green

  4. Liz at Callestock Courtyard

    There is so much about the beach and this lovely poem by Rick Howarth sums up the beach for me:

    Remote Cornish Beach in Summer

    Who loves those days when the sun is hazed, and the seas unruffled with its mirrored glaze

    Showing every ripple and fish that moves in the currents stream swept surface ooze.

    And the tide on the beach treads soft and slow leaving hardly a footprint as it goes

    Where the dark sand that each sea fall makes is quickly absorbed to its flaxen state.

    When the sand is warmly soft and gold and the seagulls plaintiff call is bold

    As no other sound competes for space in air as soft a mothers embrace.

    And you lay by a bed of scented pinks as rustling reeds their music links

    To a skylarks distant worshipping praise to sunlit, happy, palliate days.

    And the amphitheatre of the cliffs reduces all the world to this,

    Sea, sand and skies sensuous ideal carresses, body and soul to heal.


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