Porthleven - Cornwall


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Porthleven Harbour

The Entrance to Porthleven Harbour

Porthleven Institute  and Clock tower

Porthleven Institute and clock tower

Guide to Beaches in Mousehole

Loe bar near porth leven

loe Bar and Loe Lake

Loe bar near porth leven


Porthleven is a historic fishing port located to the west of the The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Porthleven has the distinction of being the most southerly working port in mainland Britain - located on the edge of Mount's Bay, between the Lizard Peninsula and Marazion (St Michael's Mount). The town and harbour, have maintained much of their original charm and character, (through the use of strict conservation and planning control) and attracts large numbers of tourist each year.

Porthleven's picture book location and stunning coastal scenery of the area makes this an ideal destination for family holidays and vacations to the West Country - surrounded by spectacular beaches and has easy access to a wealth of local holiday attractions, including St Michael's Mount and The Flambards Adventure Park.

Much of the coastline around the town is designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or is in the stewardship of the National Trust. This character port is Porthleven itself is a vibrant little town arranged around its impressive harbour.


The harbour is the heart of life in the town, with fishing boats plying their trade from its sheltered waters, supplying the harbour side cafes and restaurants with their daily catch.the harbour is unusual in two aspects, it is the most southerly UK prot and in that it is rare to find a southwest facing Cornish harbour - opening directly into the prevailing winds. Porthleven's development as a port was always hampered by the orientation of the harbour entrance and Porthleven would have remained a small fishing inlet but there was an overriding need during the early nineteenth century, for a refuge harbour along this Cornwall's lee shore. A safe haven where ships could run in times of distress - the impressive structures that form the current harbour complex date from the Napoleonic war - with French prisoners of war being utilized as a labour force to construct the harbour.

Today, Porthleven harbour is a more relaxing environment catering for the needs of the Holiday maker. Boat and fishing trips available from the harbour and cafes and restaurants line the harbourside, creating an almost continental atmosphere - in the warm temperate climate that Cornwall enjoys due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream current that passes close to the Cornish coastline. The buildings around the harbour and Porthleven beach are mainly a mix of traditional fishermen's cottages and net lofts - dating back to the 1800s.

Porthleven Harbour entrance

A comination of white painted houses and Palm trees adds to the ambient quality of a stay in Porthleven. The harbourside offers an interesting and diverse range of cafes, restaurants, bars, good shops and galleries, whilst Porthleven's neighbouring town at Helston caters for those who need larger stores, supermarkets and banks etc.

Parking is available by the Harbour.

Porthleven Beach

Porthleven's Beach is located adjacent to the harbour, just east of the large granite pier by the 'iconic' Porthleven Institute and clock tower -which dominates the harbour entrance. As the tide goes out, a large 3 mile long shingle and sand beach is exposed - running along the coast towards Loe Bar and Penrose Estate.

  • Car park a 5 min fairly steep walk from beach
  • Parking available by the harbour in porthleven
  • Toilets
  • Refreshments
  • Lifeguard during summer months
  • No dogs Easter to October
  • Sat Nav Co-ordinates: N50º 04' 57.79" W5º 18' 42.93"

Porthleven Beach is a popular beach with holiday makers in the area. The beach is never crowded and has many rock pools to entertain children during the day. Small coves line the edge of the beach providing shelter if the breeze picks up. Porthleven beach is popular with swimmers, but a degree of caution is needed when swimming at low tide or when the sea is rough.

This is a particularly challenging area or surfers, with good waves, but with a ground swell that can produce waves of up to 4 to 5 meters, which often can be seen breaking across the pier. Porthleven is well known for its right hand surfing break, which attracts many top level surfers to the town.

The majority of the beach is dog friendly, apart from the 250m section of beach closet to the harbour, which has a dog ban during the summer months.

Loe Bar

Loe Bar is a large sand and shingle bar in the central section of Porthleven Sands, lying approximately 1 mile East of the harbour in Porthleven. Loe Bar is a large sand bank, that blocks the mouth of the Cober Valley, creating Cornwall's largest fresh water lake. The sand bank was created by the action of a storm in the 12th century, forming a barrier that blocked the mouth of the valley. Prior to the formation of the sand bar, the lake was a busy trade route which enabled ships and merchants to navigate up the estuary as far as Helston.

The beach at Loe Bar is in a quiet remote location, with no facilites. Limited Parking is available at the small Loe Bar Car park, approximately 500m east of the sand bar. From the car park it is a short walk down a sandy track to the sand bar and beach.


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Isles of Scilly| Sennen Cove | Land's End | Pendeen | St Just | Porthcurno | Lamorna | Mousehole | Newlyn | Penzance | Marazion - St Michael's Mount | Praa Sands | Porthleven | Gunwalloe - Church Cove | Mullion | Helston | The Lizard Peninsula

Marazion - St Michael's Mount | Praa Sands | Porthleven | Mullion | Gunwalloe | Helston | The Lizard Peninsula | Coverack | Helford Estuary | Mawnan Smith | Falmouth | Truro


Porthleven Harbour Cottages - Cornish Cornish Hideaways  Pets Allowed Parking Available Porthleven Harbour Cottages - Cornish Cornish Hideaways
Tel: 01326 563198. ETC 4 to 5 Star Self-catering Holiday Cottage Rental in Porthleven with Sea Views- sleeps 6. - suitable for Large Groups, Prices from £250 to £1500 Pets Welcome

Little Tolmennor Barn  Pets Allowed Parking Available Little Tolmennor Barn
  Self-catering Holiday Rental in Breage, nr. Helston sleeps 2. Fri Changeover, Pets Welcome

Franchis Holiday Park  Parking Available Franchis Holiday Park
Tel: 01326 240301.   Self-catering Holiday Rental Camping and Touring in Helston sleeps Over 10 people - suitable for Large Groups,

An Mordros Hotel  An Mordros Hotel
Tel: 01326 562236.   En-Suite B&B Stays in Porthleven with Sea Views- sleeps 8. - suitable for Large Groups, Prices from £38 to £42.5

Sea View Holiday Park  Pets Allowed Parking Available Sea View Holiday Park
Tel: 01326 290635.   Self-catering Holiday Caravan Rental in Kennack Sands, Lizard Peninsula with Sea Views- sleeps 4. - suitable for Large Groups, Sat Changeover, Prices from £250 to £680 - onsite swimming pool - Pets Welcome
Latest Special offers:
  • July special offers available

updated 26thJune 2024

Lyndale Cottage Guest House  Parking Available Lyndale Cottage Guest House
Tel: 01326 561082. CTB member,, Quality in Tourism / Visit England 4 Stars 2018 Bed and Breakfast Award En-Suite B&B Stays in Helston, Lizard sleeps Over 10 people - suitable for Large Groups, Prices from £52 to £76

Simply Sea Views  Pets Allowed Parking Available Simply Sea Views
Tel: 01326 741090.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in based in Porthleven with Sea Views- sleeps Over 10 people - suitable for Large Groups, Prices from £440 to £1000 Pets Welcome

Tregathenan House and Cottages  Pets Allowed Parking Available Tregathenan House and Cottages
Tel: 01326 569840. Quality in Cornwall  Self-catering Holiday Cottage Rental in Helston sleeps 6. Prices from £435 to £1485 Pets Welcome
Spring and Summer 2024 dates available - 4 people from £435 - 6 people from £680 per week.
updated 02 Feb 2024

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