The Best Time to Visit Porthcurno

Porthcurno Beach is a picturesque little coast located in the western reaches of Cornwall. It is famed for its soft white sand and clear sea, not to mention its proximity to Minack Theatre. This article aims to give pointers on things to do while at the beach and when to visit, so you can come to an informed decision on whether or not to holiday there this summer.

Before relaxing at Porthcurno, you may want to consider stopping for a luncheon at the nearby beach cafe. The cafe primarily serves light pastries and coffee and boasts a vegetarian friendly menu. It also overlooks the coast, offering a view of the turquoise sea. To get the most out of your experience, I would recommend waiting at the cafe until low tide. One of the benefits of low tide is that Porthcurno becomes exceptionally larger, with its white sand stretching up and connecting with the neighbouring Pedn Vounder beach. Furthermore, low tide is when many shallow pools of water open up, allowing your children an opportunity to stretch their legs and go for a paddle. Should you be visiting independently, without kids, or simply desire going on a more invigorating walk, you can always take the cliff path of Pedn Vounder instead.

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall

Porthcurno’s main attraction is Minack Theatre. The attraction was built by Rowena Cade, who spent almost a lifetime working on this project. Minack is built into a cliffside meaning traversal can be steep and potentially dangerous, but the trade-off is an incredible view over Porthcurno beach. The site hosts an array of differing activities which could be anything between a Shakespeare play, a live musical performance or a puppet show. It’s important to check the website to know what days which acts are playing on, otherwise the high-minded Shakespeare fan may turn up on the wrong day and find himself scoffing at the threadbare characterisation of muppet Ruan the Salty Seagull. The open-air venue charges are reasonable and perform under almost any condition (including rain) and will only close during times of emergency. 

Before setting off to the beach, there are a few things you should know to make the most out of your experience. First, it is not recommended that you visit during high tide; the waves can become extremely powerful, and though Porthcurno have responsive lifeguards, surfing during this period can be dangerous. Only experienced surfers should consider going out onto the sea. Furthermore, there is a seasonal dog ban from July 1st to August 31st, from 10am-6pm, so dog owners should consider looking elsewhere for beaches. Finally, though measures have been taken to improve the experience, people with disabilities have complained about the experience. The steep slopes and sandy beaches does not make for easy travel for those in their wheelchairs. The physically disabled may want to consider other options when searching for a place to relax.

To conclude, Porthcurno’s beautiful vistas and plethora of activities make the site well worth the visit, however there are several asterisks attached to this statement. It is best not to visit if you have a dog or disability, and it is recommended you do not visit whilst the tide is high and powerful. However, should you remember these conditions, Porthcurno should prove to be nothing but a relaxing stay.

Article by
James Clifton