Porthcothan Bay

  • Porthcothan Beach
  • Porthcothan Beach Cliff
  • Porthcothan Beach
    © Cornwall Beaches
  • Last updated:

    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


    Lifeguard service

    RNLI lifeguard Summer cover daily from 19 May to 30 September

    Dogs friendly beach?

    Dogs allowed all year

    dog friendly beaches »

    Disabled access

    Level access from main car park. Does involve crossing the road which can be quite busy


    PL28 8LW

    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


    Aug 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


    Jun 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.

    Show all 2 reviews