Beautifully positioned between Newquay and Padstow sits Porthcothan Beach, a north west facing cove which is backed by lush grassy dunes. Depite being lesser known than other beaches in the area Porthcothan was included in the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide for 2014.
It's a popular beach with families because of the expanse of open space and the sandy beach that opens out at low tide to connect up with small coves to the north and south. At high tide, Porthcothan Beach shrinks dranmatically but also turns into a very sheltered beach due to the cliffs.
This section of the South West Coast Path is particularly spectacular, offering panoramic views from north to south, it is relatively short walk around to Beruthan Steps, one of Cornwall's most impressive sights.
Porthcothan Bay itself is home to a number of interesting rock formations. Sadly the storms of winter 2014 saw the most iconic of these, a huge rock arch, destroyed
Type of beach
RNLI lifeguard Summer cover daily from 19 May to 30 September
Dogs friendly beach?
Dogs allowed all year
Level access from main car park. Does involve crossing the road which can be quite busy
OS grid ref.
SW 8565 7206
There is a beach shop and toilets are located in the car park. All facilities are easily accessible from the beach
There is a reasonable sized Council owned car park across the road from the beach.
Porthcothan Bay Reviews (2)
Great afternoon at the beach
LouiseAug 21st 2019
Had a brilliant time at this beach today. Great sand for the kids to build huge sandcastles with and they loved exploring the exposed rock pools and coves at low tide. Had fun jumping over the waves as the tide came back in. Not too busy compared with some beaches nearby. Toilets ok - there is a 20p charge and they are really not in great shape (no soap today) but better than not having any at all.
Spectacular at low tide
KeithJun 13th 2023
Explore multiple caves and rock formations with possibly the best sea caves in Cornwall on the southern end of the beach known locally as Goldenburn. Safe to explore a couple of hours either side of low tide.