The Best Beach in Cornwall: Porthcurno Beach

Last Updated on July 14, 2023

This site contains affiliate links for products and services we recommend. Read my disclaimer for more information. If you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission (for which I am very grateful).

In the English summer, I went on an amazing road trip down to the south coast of England and visited the village of Porthcurno.

On this trip, I was lucky enough to visit Porthcurno Beach, which is the most beautiful beach in Cornwall and even the United Kingdom as a whole that I have EVER seen.

With a theatre hanging on the side of the cliff, bright turquoise coloured water and a white sand beach, it’s so picturesque you will feel like you’re in Greece!

Everything to Know About Porthcurno Beach!

Porthcurno Beach is a 20-minute drive from Penzance and a 5 and a half hour drive from London but it’s totally worth the trip to experience the most beautiful beach in England!

When you get there, there are two carparks and I suggest (if you’re driving) to going all the way to the top of the hill instead of the one at the bottom because then you don’t have to pay for parking!

We parked by the beach at the bottom because it was further away from the theatre and we thought it would be cheaper, but turns out we were wrong!

The beach is something so special and it doesn’t feel like you’re at a UK beach because it’s not pebbled and over-crowded!

The village of Porthcurno is itself surprisingly famous for its size due to its history as a major international submarine communications cable station during the 1800s.

During this time, it was used as the British termination site for early incoming submarine telegraph cables.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing!

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall

  • It’s the most beautiful beach in Cornwall with powdery white sand and clear blue waters
  • Due to being in a cove, it is protected from large swells, making it the best beach to visit in Cornwall for families
  • Stunning views! For those able to take a short hike up the nearby cliffside, you will be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views of your life.
Explore the most beautiful beach in cornwall at Porthcurno, hillside view of white sandy beach with sunbathers and beach umbrellas dotted around next to the white surf and blue water of the sea all tucked between rolling rocky hills covered in rich green grass and foliage under a bright blue sky

How to get to Porthcurno Beach?

If you are travelling to the UK, you have to come to Porthcurno and visit Porthcurno Beach.

This beautiful village and beach is definitely my new favourite place in the beautiful county of Cornwall.

But how can you get here? Here are the best ways to get to Porthcurno:

How to get to Porthcurno Beach from London

If you’re coming from London to Porthcurno, catch a train to Penzance which will take about 5 hours. From Penzance, you can then easily find a bus from there to Porthcurno.

Penzance to Porthcurno Bus

Whether you are coming from London, further afield, or within Cornwall, Penzance is the easiest and best city to get to Porthcurno from.

The Penzance to Porthcurno Bus is called 1A, which leaves every 2 hours and starts at £2 one way.

I also personally recommend staying in Penzance, so to return via bus Porthcurno to Penzance runs regularly throughout the day.

The last Porthcurno to Penzance bus time depends on the time of year and day you are visiting. If you want to know more about the timetable in either direction, then click here.

Rent a car

If you want to explore more of the area, the best option is to rent your own car rather than rely on public transportation.

This allows you full control over your itinerary and to travel from areas that don’t have direct public transport.

For example, you can come from further away and do Newquay to Porthcurno, or drive along the coast over to Sennen Cove and onto St. Ives.

From Penzance, you can access Porthcurno via the B3283. Follow this until it becomes the B3315, then look for signs to Porthcurno.

🚗 Travelling Europe by car? For the best prices on car hire in Europe, opt for Europcar.

Head to the best beach to visit in cornwall at Porthcurno, view of the coast with people standing on a white sandy beach next to a wide expanse of deep blue sea with the white surf of small waves and rolling rocky hills behind on a bright sunny day

Best Things to do in Porthcurno

You can easily spend the whole day lounging on the beautiful Porthcurno Beach. But if you want to explore the village and surrounding area, there are several fun Things to do in Porthcurno.

1. Beaches

Being a coastal village, there are more beaches in Porthcurno worth exploring. The village and surrounding area has several of the best beaches in Cornwall.

Some of the other prettiest beaches in Cornwall worth visiting are Pedn Vounder Beach and Porthchapel Beach.

2. The Minack Theatre

After you have sunbathed on the most beautiful beach in UK until your heart’s content, then you have to make sure you climb the steep and narrow steps up to the top of the hill.

Just a 5-minute walk away up the surrounding cliffside is the beautiful open-air Minack theatre.

Opened in 1930 under the direction of Rowena Cade, the theatre is a must-see for anyone visiting Porthcurno – especially those who love the arts.

From here, you can get some fantastic pictures of Porthcurno Beach, and surrounding coastal area. If you come at sunrise or sunset, the views are truly phenomenal.

The theatre grounds also offer a dazzling subtropical garden, a cafe, tours and workshops. You can even catch a show if you plan accordingly.

There is a small cost to get in (except for local residents for whom it is free), but it’s totally worth it because the views from Minack Theatre are amazing.

Book your slot in advance, however, otherwise, you might not be able to get in! If going for a show, bring a cushion and a shawl or jacket.

They even have live shows still running at the theatre which you should totally check out if you’re in this area for a few days.

3. Walk the South West Coast Path

As the name suggests, this 630-mile path stretches along the entire south coast of England.

Of course you won’t be trekking the whole thing on a day trip, but you can use the path to stretch your legs and explore more of the surrounding area and nearby beaches.

There are so many remarkable coastal walks in the South of England, so you must do at least one of them when you’re down that way visiting Porthcurno Beach.

You could easily spend a couple of weeks exploring Cornwall and all the gems it has to offer.

4. Logan Rock

This incredible granite rock headland is a must if you’re in the area. You can walk here from Porthcurno via the S.W. Coast Path.

I recommend visiting at sunrise or sunset if you can.

5. Song of the Sea Cave in Nanjizal

Visiting this extraordinary hidden gem feels a bit like entering a magical world. The sea cave boasts two natural pools and a reef where you can swim and bask in its ethereal beauty.

While this one is walkable (about a 90-minute walk each way), I would only recommend going if you have a car.

💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

Discover how to get to porthcurno beach this summer, view of stone amphitheater with tiers of grass-covered seating and a performance platform with people walking around all in front of the wide expanse of the deep blue sea with a backdrop of rocky green coastline behind under a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds

Where to Stay in Porthcurno

Unfortunately, there aren’t really any options for accommodation in Porthcurno outside of private vacation rentals.

Instead, if you are looking for the best Porthcurno Beach accommodation options, I recommend staying in Penzance.

Here are some of the best places to stay in Penzance:

  • The Beach Club – This beautiful beachfront property has a charming decor and incredibly comfortable beds to make you feel right at home.After a day at the beach, you can relax with room service and fast WiFi. The buffet breakfast is also a tasty bonus.
  • The Summer House – Located next to some of the best beaches in Penzance, this B&B will let you extend your visit to Porthcurno Beach in spirit with its range of nearby beaches and available water sports. Guests can enjoy lounging in the garden, shared lounge or bar.

🛌🏼 Book accommodation in Porthcurno

Have you been to Porthcurno and Porthcurno Beach? Did you fall in love? Do you have another beautiful spot in Cornwall or the South of England you would like to share? Please let me know in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is Porthcurno Beach famous for?

During the 1800s, the village of Porthcurno was used as an international submarine communications cable station. Today it is well known for having some of the best beaches in Cornwall.

✅ Where is Porthcurno Beach?

Porthcurno Beach is located in the coastal village of Porthcurno, which in the South England county of Cornwall.

✅ How do you access Porthcurno Beach?

You can either get the bus from Penzance or drive there via the B3283. Follow signs for Porthcurno. Once there, you can park in the car park and walk on foot to the beach.

Other articles you will love:

Love this article? Pin it for later!

Pin with image of white sandy beach next to the rolling surf of waves coming from the deep blue sea in front of coastline with rocky hills covered in green grass stretching off into the distance, caption reads: The Most Beautiful Beach in England You Need to Visit

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Rob Taylor
    January 12, 2016

    Sold. That is truly beautiful. And I’d love to see a play at that theater… but the sea may be a bit distracting.

  • TravellerHannah
    January 13, 2016

    wow that beach looks gorgeous I can’t believe it’s in England!

  • tiana
    January 13, 2016

    Wow I never expected the UK to look like this! Now THIS place I would go to! Looks like a fairy tale!

  • Cynthia
    January 13, 2016

    Wow! I didn’t know England beaches could have such blue water! Looks incredible!

  • Gabby Beckford
    January 13, 2016

    Short, sweet, and sold. I never knew England even HAD sunbathing weather lol!

  • Victoria Welton
    January 13, 2016

    We are not too far from Cornwall as we live in Somerset and I think we need to make an effort to visit this beach this summer! How beautiful. And I love that amphitheatre 🙂

  • Melody Pittman
    January 13, 2016

    Girl you are not lying! Porthcurno is gorgeous! Who would have thought that would be in England!

  • Molly
    January 13, 2016

    Love this, I’m planning a trip to the British Isles this summer for a student group and am looking for great activities like this! Any other fabulous recommendations? 🙂

  • Kara
    January 13, 2016

    I have not been to this stretch of coastline but it looks stunning – you should visit Dorset Jurassic coast – Durdle Door, Man O War Bay and Lulworth are spectacular!

  • madamding (@madamding)
    January 13, 2016

    Isn’t that a beaut? I am in Cornwall this summer so I will make sure I visit!

  • laurasidestreet
    January 15, 2016

    I absolutely love this part of the world – I studied in Falmouth and Cornwall will always have a soft spot in my heart.

    Laura x

  • Alli Blair
    January 19, 2016

    This looks so beautiful! Wow! Thanks for bringing this to my attention as I will be in the area this coming October 🙂

  • katefrankiebrennan
    January 20, 2016

    That is a very beautiful beach but you need to come to the North East! We have amazing, empty beaches that go on for miles. The UK is so great during summer. It can hit temperatures of the Caribbean!

  • Shobha
    January 22, 2016

    That is a beautiful beach! I’ve never been to Cornwall but have been to a similar one near South Devon. very pretty but especially when the sun is shining.

  • Nina
    February 1, 2016

    I’m planning on heading to southern England the next time I’m in the UK and now I have another must-see destination! Gorgeous photos!

  • Adele
    February 5, 2016

    Wow beautiful! It’s a bit of a trek from us in Shrewsbury but could be a nice holiday!

  • R0xana S.
    February 5, 2016

    wow :)) I cannot believe this is in the UK. Thanks for sharing

  • Renata
    February 6, 2016

    Many years ago I was on the south of England in Hastings. Also there are beaches but not so beautiful lik in Penzance. But I guess the sea is cold even in summer. Right? How many degrees approx. can have the water in summer?

  • Iain Mallory
    July 12, 2016

    Love the amphitheatre and it’s a lovely beach, no question, wouldn’t even disagree it the best in England. However, head up to the north of the border, places like Clachtoll, Sandwood Bay and Talisker Bay to name a few are just some reasons I’m glad Scotland remained in the UK 🙂

  • Roy Miller
    August 10, 2016

    We are going to the UK next year. This looks like a must for our trip. Thank you for posting this.