Porthkidney Sands stretch from the mouth of the River Hayle in Lelant to Hawk’s Point in Carbis Bay. The beach is around a mile long and at low tide the sea goes out a long way leaving a vast expanse of usually almost deserted sand. The fact that one can barely discern the river mouth from beach level gives the impression the beach goes on practically to infinity! The beach is many visitor’s first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean as they round the corner on the St Ives branch train. The track runs along the length of the beach as it climbs up to Carbis Bay. The beach is overlooked by one of the areas top golf clubs too; the West Cornwall Golf Club.
At the Lelant end the beach is backed by gentle dunes and there are several access points from the coast path. As the beaches approaches Carbis Bay the dunes rise sharply to form a steep cliff from which the view along the coast is impressive. There is a path down from this end but it is a little more precarious and far from accessible to all. On the lowest of tides it is possible to walk around the point to Carbis Bay beach, or visa versa, to make an interesting detour from the coast path. A word of warning though, the tide moves fast here, so don’t get caught out.
The northern end of Porthkidney beach is a popular, but incredibly fickle, surf spot – Hawk’s Point. It needs a very big swell before it breaks here but can get good. Swimming is less advisable, particularly closer to the river mouth and on turning tides. Strong, unpredictable currents and a lack of any lifeguard cover make it potentially dangerous.
Porthkidney Sands are one of West Cornwall’s all year dog friendly beaches with no restrictions. Given the huge amount of space at low tide even the most energetic dogs should be satisfied.