The picturesque little Lamorna Cove sits at the foot of a wooded valley between Mousehole and Porthcurno. To one side of the cove is a stout quay and slipway, while behind the beach are a peppering of granite cottages. Lamorna is the sort of place which wouldn't look out of place in an episode of Poldark, something not lost on the producers of the original 1970s TV series, who did in fact film here.
There is a small sand and pebble beach at the foot of the slipway when the tide is low, but nothing to speak of as the tide comes in. This is a popular beach for swimming and there is also good scuba diving to be had off the coast here. However, there is no lifeguard service here so caution is advised.
Up until 1911 there was an active quarry here, and this is still apparent from the precarious looking piles of granite on the eastern slopes of the valley. Not only was this used to build the quay, but was shipped out from the quay. Granite quarried in Lamorna has been used in a number of illustrious buildings including Bishop and Wolf Rock lighthouses, Dover harbour and several buildings in London.
Lamorna Cove has been privately owned for over a hundred years. Back then it was owned by a Colonel Paynter who actively encouraged the establishment of an artists colony here. The Lamorna School, as it became known, included artists such as Laura Knight, Dod Proctor and Lamorna Birch - who took his name from the cove.
In the 1990s the Lamorna Cove was bought by Roy Stevenson, a factory owner from Liverpool. Over recent years criticism has been levelled about the state of the quay which was damaged by storms in 2014. At the time of writing the cove was up for sale, but its future remains unclear.
Type of beach
No lifeguard cover
Dogs friendly beach?
Seasonal dog ban. Easter day to 1st October
OS grid ref.
SW 4518 2405
There is a car park on the quay and a small café. A short walk up the hill there is a pub, the Lamorna Wink.
Paying car park on the quay.
Lamorna Cove Reviews
SteveMar 20th 2021
We stayed at the flat above the cafe.
The flat was tired & uncleaned (spiders webs, mould & broken handles).
To add to this we got a parking ticked a week later, despite staying at the flat & supposedly being exempt! It took a while to get the fine cancelled via the flat owner. The parking charges will kill the place - I advise not visiting in a car at all - or simply cover up your number plates! It seems the owner treats the parking as a cash cow & will do nothing other than collect money.
Lamorna cove. Last visit
Rod MillsJan 17th 2021
I have visited Lamorna on a few occasions. And end up spending a fortune in the cafe. Which is getting worse year by year.
My last visit in August was ok. But here I am in January with a £260 for parking.
I know I purchased a ticket as it was a sunny day and I left the wife and kids to buy another.
As usual I have cleaned the car but have no proof of payment.
They can go and do one. I’m not paying these rip off merchants.
They will kill this place. Put a person in a hut and let the locals control the money, and profits could be reinvested in this tired looking area.
Car park scammers
Visited Lamorna last week, put £2 in the parking machine due to a change in the weather only stayed 50 minutes.
Today over a week later a PCN arrived in the post showing a picture of my car supposedly incorrectly parked and requesting me to pay £100 by way of a fine.
Being over a week ago, my car and all the parking tickets have been cleaned and removed.
They can take a running jump, I’ll see them in court.
MikeNov 05th 2020
Bought a ticket for the car park and still got a parking ticket! As others have said, Grotty cafe, no reason to visit here when there are such lovely other spots along this coast Don’t visit!
Vivien TurnerOct 14th 2020
Got a ticket after parking for about 20 minutes. Didn’t realise there was no opportunity to pay by card, had no cash, Covid-19 means we hardly ever use cash now. Miserable looking place, very disappointed, won’t be back. As someone has already pointed out there are plenty of other much nicer and friendlier place in Cornwall.
Drove down in July 2020. It was raining so stayed in the car for a few minutes and left. Received a ticket in the post. The greed of the owners of this car park is an example of the worse side of humanity. I think they should be required to warn of charges at the top of the lane.
Dodgy parking tickets
We visited the cove, bought a ticket for the time we were there and have received a fine. We still have the ticket and so appealed. They’ve reduced it but have said we still have to pay £20 to cover costs. It’s appalling but what can you do? I will pay it reluctantly to make them go away but will never go there again. The ticket only shows part of the license plate so we can’t prove whether we entered the whole details correctly. Annoying!
Avoid this place at all costs!!!!!! (unless simply walking through along the coast path)....so sad that beautiful Cornwall should be blighted with the rip off merchant who owns/manages this cove.
Visited in December, place looks quite run down, tried to get change for car park meter but nowhere open so left after a few minutes and then subsequently hit for a £100 parking fine through the post…...BEWARE!!!!! they have ANPR camera surveillance positioned at the bottom of the narrow access road (you won’t have a chance to turn round beforehand) have tried to appeal but a waste of time. Have now read so many disgraceful stories of similar instances involving innocent motorists since….it seems to have been an issue for some time ......plenty of much nicer, prettier, friendlier and welcoming places in Cornwall to visit. Best to stay away from this one!!!
johnOct 22nd 2019
we drove in and turned around because there was nothing worth seeing, the café looked a mess, in fact I don’t think it was even used? as we were driving away a guy slapped a ticket fine on the car window then ran off, the one star rating should be a 0 star rating, Stay away.
RIP OFF DUMP
MichaelOct 14th 2019
Keep away from this disgrace of a location. Cost you a fortune just to enter. If you just turn round and leave you will get a ticket. Café run down and poor. KEEP AWAY