Cornish beaches: Perranporth

According to legend, St Piran, the Patron Saint of Cornwall was washed up on the sandy shores of Cornwall at Perranporth beach. Piran decided to build an oratory here in Perranporth to promote Christianity and it is now preserved in the sand dunes at Perran Sands. On St Piran’s Day (5 March) hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to Perranporth and the site of the oratory every year. The Cornish flag represents the black granite that rolled from his fire one night with the white tin oozing from it. (You can see it flying from the top of Chapel Rock).

Perranporth is a spectacular beach on the north Cornish coast situated between St Agnes and Newquay. The 3 mile sandy beach attracts many families in the summer as there are no awkward cliffs to scramble down. Parking can be an issue though.

The busy village has plenty of family eateries serving up traditional food along with many cafes and bars that cater for the beach crowd. For the more active, there are surf and kite buggy schools on the beach and from the village the coastal footpath provides some great walking.

Chapel Rock

There is a natural open air pool filled with sea water at low tide, hidden behind Chapel rock. As you can see, in August this is a very popular beach.

To the left (the south end of the beach) as you approach the sea are sea stacks and rocks and rock pools,

although there are plenty of signs warning you of mines and falling rocks so maybe not the best place to be exploring.

To the right the beach seems to stretch endlessly to Ligger’s Point two miles away: you can walk along the sand when the tide’s out and enjoy a gentle stroll back along the dunes which are home to birds and butterflies and tiny sunbathing lizards.

On the right-hand side you will find  the ‘Watering Hole’ Bar… the perfect place to watch the sun go down at the end of the day! Though it can get very busy and it does allow dogs so for those of you who are not keen on eating with the four-legged variety it is perhaps to be avoided.

As you can see there are a lot of caves on this side of the beach and also many tidal pools at low tide. Perranporth beach is full of tempting smugglers caves and tin mine tunnels but it is best to keep away from old mineshafts and always keep an eye on the tide so you don’t get cut off.

As usual I have to scramble over the rocks to get a closer look. My balance is not what it used to be!

Rock or Tidal Pools

but I find nothing more exciting than a couple of sea anemones and some seaweed. In the distance bleached algae catches my eye so I climb up some natural slate steps that look as though someone has chiseled them.

Chiseled Slate

It would look lovely as a kitchen or bathroom floor. In fact I once had a slate floored bathroom in rusty-reds and blue-grey tones not dissimilar to that last image.

Weird Green and White Algae (?)

The cliffs here look very unstable so I don’t hang around for long. Just enough time to snap a few of the interesting looking rocks and cliff face.

Rock Colours and Patterns

and I’ll leave you with a slightly less crowded shot to the south…

The Atlantic surf attracts surfers all year around looking for beautiful waves and clear waters.

Dogs are currently allowed on Perranporth beach all year around. During July and August, they are however required to be on a lead between 10am and 5pm at the south end of the beach.

You won’t find many photos of beaches this crowded on my blog as I tend to avoid them in the summer months, the only reason I was here on this particular day was because my daughter and family were down for a week and they dragged me out.  Perhaps on a decent winter’s day I should return and record the difference.


  1. Fantastic photos Jude. Some of those rocks are spectacular. You have given me a reason to return to Cornwall. Have a happy Christmas.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You too Irene. Thanks for popping in to Cornwall 🙂

      1. I could have stayed there all week if time had allowed. You have superb photos.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Thank you [blush]

Comments are closed.