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
Rob StephensJun 20th 2021
The greed of the owner is sad to see… why buy the land to let it go to ruin…Spend some of your rip off parking charges (more like parking scam). And make it a place people would be happy to pay to park…Either that or bugger off back to Liverpool and let the locals look after it….
Car Park a scam and rip off!
They issued my registration with a ticket during November (I am a local and had been asked to go there and say a remembrance prayer for a lost one who loved it there). All car parks in Penzance and local area were free at this time - this car park only had cash payment so I wrongly assumed as it was so run down there (despite living locally I had not been there before) that it came under the same rules. I did however try to use the cash machine to no avail - but most folk did not carry cash over lock down as no one wanted to take it (guidelines!) so assumed it wouldn’t take it because it had been turned ‘off’ as the money kept being ejected. I cannot believe the stories I have read on here - awful. I would say that it costs them to take you to court, most of the stories here would have the cases thrown out anyway! It is not like a council issued fine. This is considered a ‘debt’ so you can disagree with the debt and refuse to pay. They use an outside agency to use bully tactics. I think the car park owners obviously don’t want visitors as it seems a game to them to issue pcn’s and upset folk without cause.
Paid for ticket but received a fine
We paid for 60 mins, stayed 55 min and received a fine for £100. Apparently for not paying for the full period, even though the letter says we only stayed 55min. Either pay the fine or go to court were the options. Surely this is illegal!
Cafe was pretty dire too, expensive and awful coffee. Avoid the place.
Car Parking Fines
Mary CannonMay 28th 2021
I would suggest that you give this area a miss on your Cornish travels. The car parking is a scam, we received a £100 parking fine even though we had proof of purchasing a ticket. Interestingly the ticket only prints part of your reg. plate and this is the car park owners reason for issuing the fine,as you cannot prove the ticket relates to your car. I note that in the numerous complaints I have now read about the parking fine scams this was mentioned by others. In addition, the car park machine only takes cash which most people no longer carry. We were therefore forced to ask in the cafe for change, for which we were given £2 coins and needless to say, received no change from the parking machine! The local Council should look into this scam as someone is dishonestly making a lot of money, which isn’t a good advert for Cornwalls tourism.
Camilla JohnsonMay 17th 2021
As others have commented, a car parking ticket was issued for £100, discounted to £60 if paid within 14 days. This was for 16 minutes and 37 seconds. Please do not go here, or if you do, go on foot or be prepared to pay for it.
HowardMay 11th 2021
I stopped at Lamorna cove , decided not to park and got a ticket through the post for £100 , paid it but wont be going there again, its a crap road to get there and not worth the effort, Im a Cornishman born & bred and dont expected to get ripped off like this, or anyone else for that matter.
Dont go there !!!!!
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