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


Feb 10th 2022

Camera car park that gives you very little time to park n pay before issuing fines - run by private company.

You can use the Just Park app, however thats if you’re lucky and can get a signal.

Parking company have been know to fine people who have driven in, not found spaces and left.

Nov 26th 2021

Beach is awesome, car park owners not content with making enough money out of tourists and locals alike have recently installed ANPR in the car park to fleece even more people. Car park potholed and not properly marked out surrounded by mud all around the edges which makes parking a nightmare when full!

Nov 02nd 2021

Amazing beach
Food really good at the shop
Lots of piranhas in early august so be careful
Surf pumps on a straight west wind

Lovely beach, beware of the parking!

Oct 05th 2021

We’re from the Midlands but have relatives in Cornwall and have been going to this beach for years. It’s a lovely little beach with a small shop and toilets. However, we were absolutely disgusted to receive a fine (£100 or £60 if you pay straight away) from the privately owned car park there which recorded the time of our vehicle going in and out rather than taking our ticket time into account so please be aware and don’t be late leaving the car park!!

Aug 30th 2021

narrow road down 2 car park,£5 all day.couple of minutes walk 2 beach.ideal beach with toilets and cafe.good prices.beach not got lifeguard but safe ,great 4 inflatable and stand up boarding.hire shop if wanted canoe or boards,reasonable price.clean beach

Favourite beach

Aug 30th 2021

Safe beach for families with great rock pools and friendly cafe.  But privately owned car park run by ruthless company who have issued massive amount of fines this summer.

Just ok...

Aug 29th 2021

Not the best or worst beach but just ok. Although, I would not say that this is easily accessible for anybody with mobility difficulties, as the slope is steep in parts and the car parking is at the top of the slope. As with anywhere in England, lovely in the sun, rubbish in the British weather…hardly comparable to the Mediterranean or other lovely beaches in the world - ok for a British beach but nothing special. I did not find this beach to be particularly well located and the parking was not easy.

Do not go there unless on foot.

Aug 26th 2021

Utterly corrupt car par owners will fleece you even if you pay.

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!