Portreath Beach

In Brief

Suitable for: Experienced surfers and families
Location: Off the end of Tregea Hill, Portreath, near Redruth
Parking: One spacious beachfront car park
Dog friendly?: Yes, apart from over the summer

A north Cornish coast wave called ‘the vortex’ that gets surfers salivating. A fine beach that’s great for families. A quaint fishing village with top shops close by. That’s the headlines done for Portreath Beach, a tranquil haven that’s popular with both visitors and locals.

Portreath is a beautiful little north coast fishing village with a narrow harbour that’s only a few miles north of Redruth. Once upon a time, this was a thriving port that brought in coal to fire the nearby mines and exported metals like copper but these days it’s pretty much just reserved for fishing. And relaxing. It makes for a beautiful walk around its quaint streets, especially if you want to check out the handful of local pubs, shops and cafés.

The beach in Portreath is a beautiful spot with fine sands, some shingle below the shoreline and a lovely little stream. The sands themselves are popular with families as it’s such a great place to relax and play near the village’s facilities. But the waters out there have become a surfing hotspot over the years, particularly for bodyboarders, thanks to the wonderfully named ‘vortex’. This is a reef break which peels off the long, narrow harbour wall, with the wave coming in from the deep and hitting the reef hard, forming a vortex-like wave. It’s strictly reserved for surfers with experience.

There are some fab walks around the coast from Portreath, particularly the three-mile trip to Basset’s Cove. See some sheer cliffs along the way, as well as plenty of flora and fauna. And then head back to the beach, which is cleaned daily. Dogs are banned on the sands over the summer, though. There is lifeguard cover from May to September, which is needed as that ‘vortex’ can be dangerous for novices. If you’re no pro, watch the daredevils out on the waves as you relax on the sand before hitting up one of those local pubs. Now that’s our kind of day out.