Porthtowan sits between Newquay and Gwithian on the North Coast of Cornwall. This little seaside village has something for everyone – surfers, sun-seekers, foodies and hikers, with its golden beach, great waves and handful of quality establishments. It’s also a decent distance from plenty of Cornish sights and activities, so if you do fancy a change from the beach you won’t be short of places to go.
Porthtowan is only a small village, however there are a couple of eateries that are absolute treasures. For a sun-soaked pint, grab one of the benches outside The Blue Bar and watch the sun set over the waves. Every Saturday night they play host to live music, serving great cocktails, beers and wines with an electric atmosphere, whilst during the week you can enjoy fresh, light meals for both brunch, lunch and dinner – including some amazing vegan options. If you’re after a hearty breakfast, make sure you call into the Porthtowan Beach Cafe. Their morning meals have gained a local reputation for being some of the best around, and they offer takeaway, so you can sit on the beach with your bacon sandwich! They are open each day until 6pm and on Friday till 8pm, when they do a burger night and on Saturday till 8pm serving an evening menu. They have started to offer themed nights with a set menu and live music – so take a look at their board for the latest updates.
Porthtowan beach now has a Blue Flag status and has a lifeguard service from 10am to 6pm everyday in the summer. As with any trip to the beach, please adhere to the rules of the flags and only swim in designated areas. The currents on this coast can be very strong, but with that comes some great surfing! If you fancy trying your hand at surfing, Tris Surf Shop offers group or one on one lessons, you can call to book on 01209 890 990. They also stock all sorts of surfing gear, from boards to rash vests and beyond. Perranporth is a couple of villages along the coast and is home to one of the biggest beaches in Cornwall. Miles of golden sands, and the world famous Watering Hole Bar on the beach can be found in this village. It can get very crowded during the day, but it’s a great evening location for a walk, dinner and a pint.
Head south and in just 8 miles you will come to Gwithian and Godrevy near Hayle. Run by the National Trust, here you can access miles of coastal paths, enjoy watching the kite surfers and find the large colonies of grey seals that gather on this part of the coast. There are about 3 miles of beach that runs along this coastline when the tide is out, so even in the height of summer you can get a spot to yourself!
This area of Cornwall is, of course, famous for its cracking surf. It is home to great waves, lifeguarded beaches and surf schools galore, and for anyone that hasn’t given it a go, we would thoroughly recommend it. From Porthtowan, you’re just a few minutes drive from the first-class Mount Hawke indoor skate park – this is a great place to tire kids out. There are plenty of watchful staff, reasonable prices and a bucket-load of tea and coffee for parents to sit and relax while young ones hit the ramps.
If wheels aren’t your thing, give Goonbell Riding Centre a call – they’re based in St Agnes, just a 10 minute drive from Porthtowan. With trekking around the area and ponies suitable for all ages and abilities, it’s a really great way to see the Cornish countryside and try out something new!
There’s plenty of other activities to get involved in of course. Give Koru Kayaking a call to explore the coastline from the water, hike the coastal footpath or hire a bike and enjoy the coast to coast trail running from Portreath to Devoran – whatever the weather and whatever you fancy, there’s plenty to enjoy around Porthtowan.