Porthpean Beach

Porthpean is probably the best of St Austell's beaches, although a little on the small side. Backed by steep tree-topped cliffs and with clear, azure water this sandy beach can have a feel of the Mediterranean on the right day.

Being relatively sheltered and easy to get to Porthpean beach is popular with families. During the summer there is a cafe and shop on the beach and also toilets. Despite its popularity there are no lifeguards on duty here, although swimming is generally considered safe.

Porthpean beach is well-suited for various water-based activities with its calm, clear waters and easy access. Kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing and snorkeling are all popular here. The beach is also home to Porthpean Sailing Club and a slipway allows easy access to the water. Jet skiing, however, is not allowed on the beach.

The cliffs to the east are used by nesting birds, and there are lots of rock pools to the west. The coastal footpath runs right past Porthpean and it is an easy walk to the Georgian port of Charlestown, just to the east.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service

Not attended by lifeguards.

Dogs friendly beach?

Seasonal dog ban. No dogs on beach from 1st July to 31st August / 10am to 6pm

dog friendly beaches »

Disabled access

Access down to the beach is via the gently sloping slipway. Other facilities are located along the level, concrete promenade backing the beach


PL26 6AX

OS grid ref.

SX 0328 5071


Toilets and snack bar on the promenade.The beach is home to Porthpean Sailing Club


There is a large, privately owned car park.

Porthpean Beach Reviews

Great Local Beach

May 15th 2021

Spent an enjoyable time at this family friendly beach.  Arrived early and saw lots of ‘wild swimmers’ enjoying the early morning sunshine. Children had plenty of fun exploring the rock pools.
Car park at the bottom of the hill and easy walk to the beach down the slipway. Car park reasonable rates and a variety of time zones to select from- making this ideal and good value. 

Awful car park

May 03rd 2021

Ok beach, bit grotty. Be aware of parking fines. The operator will slap a ticket on consistently if you are even slightly over the time, so take no chances. The car park is rutted and full of holes, most vehicles were scraping the bottom of the car on the ruts as they drove out. So, better still, visit a nicer beach in the area with a better car park!


Tony Morris
Aug 13th 2020

Really nice beach. Well off the beaten track though and accessible by a very narrow country lane. Small car park, so get there early. With the right weather you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Greece or somewhere similar

Aug 11th 2020

Amazing. We enjoyed taking photos with the kids. The beach is perfectly flat so I can get a tan!