Chapel Porth Beach
Set in a mining valley between high cliffs, the first view of the cove is quite dramatic. The impression you will get of Chapel Porth depends on when and at what tide you go there. At high tide the beach can become a somewhat cramped, stone and shingle beach. However if you were to visit on a low tide it is quite different with the sands stretching all the way from St Agnes Head to Lushingtons at the far end of Porthtowan Beach.
The time of year you visit and the weather can also have a dramatic effect on the appearance of the beach. Chapel Porth is one of the most exposed beaches on the North Coast facing the full force of the Atlantic. In the winter it can be a bleak foreboding place with the famous Wheal Coates engine house overlooking the scene from its clifftop.
Summer is a different story with the beach coming to life and clear blue water meeting the stretch of fine sand framed by the green of the cliffs. However, even on calm days Chapel Porth is not without its hazards - getting cut off by the incoming tide is a real danger so be careful
Type of beach
RNLI lifeguards daily from 19 May - 30 September
Dogs friendly beach?
Seasonal dog ban. 1st July to 31st August / 10am to 6pm
OS grid ref.
SW 6954 4954
National Trust cafe and toilets
There is a fair sized National Trust owned car park right on the beach
Chapel Porth Beach Reviews (6)
Best beach in the sorkd
Jonothan WyvillAug 28th 2020
I’ve travelled the world visiting tropical beaches in Fiji and NZ and nowhere comes close to Chapel Porth for pure dramatic scenery and surf.
AlisSep 05th 2021
I know a thing or two about amazing beaches having been born and raised in Pembrokeshire. This incredible, beautiful beach - with its caves, tin mine on the cliff above, beautiful blue ocean with great surf and a fantastic NT cafe - could almost convince me that the Cornish coast is the equal of Pembrokeshire. But not quite! Essential to time your visit at a low tide to get the full, wonderful experience.
Great small beach but be careful
Julie forsythJul 29th 2019
Loved this tiny beach however I did get into difficulties in the water as its rough here but the lifeguards were amazing and there very quickly. The national trust staff are lovely too.
Best beach in Cornwall
J WalkerJul 21st 2022
Excellent in every respect. Small car park so limited numbers. No dogs after 10.00. Spectacular scenery. Discerning French beach cafe. Rock pools. Fantastic surf for the body boards. National trust so free car parking. Mega beach at low tide. Excitement in packing up as tide comes in. Lifeguards so safe. Walks if on the coast path for great views. Just doesn’t get better.
A superb beach experienced for the last 67 Yrs!
Jeremy PriorJul 17th 2022
Yes 67 years ago I first discovered Chapel Porth Beach and I think this was before it was taken over by the National Trust. I was 8 or 9 years old when my parents took me and my brother there on a holiday. There was a kiosk selling Cornish Pasties and Ice Cream but I believe it burned down and was rebuilt.
A hut at the car park entrance hired belly-boards for surfers for 6d a day (Six Old Pence). I remember the life guards advising never to surf when the red flag was flying as the tide was ebbing and very dangerous. Nobody was skilled enough to ride a stand-up surfboard then. I remember belly-boarding in on an incoming tide catching a wave and when I came to a stop in about a metre depth the under-tow was frightening, it dragged me sideways standing up with my feet firmly in the sand and I shifted about 3 metres to my left. So at the age of 9 I wasn’t really a strong swimmer but I can see how good strong skilled surfers love this beach. Climb up to Wheal Coates and the views are spectacular. Thanks to the NT who have kept it going it’s still a lovely spot. Hardly anyone knew about it back in the 1950s so it seems we were there for the best bit!
Low low tide required
MarkAug 28th 2020
Beach lovely. BUT to be able to walk to Porth Towan in sand you will need really low low tide. Less than 1 metre.