Exploring Perranporth ~ The Beach

If you're coming to Perranporth it's most likely to visit the beach.

How well do you know Perranporth beach and what there is to see? What follows is our aerial guide to exploring Perranporth beach.

high tide perranporth panorama

Perranporth Beach & Droskyn by Simon Smith

When you get to Perranporth beach you may discover a beach that is just over two miles long or you might discover a beach that is just a third of one mile long! This is because the beach is covered by the sea approximately twice a day, as the tide comes in and goes out. For this reason it's a good idea to check the tide times before you arrive.

At high tide, as in the above picture, Perranporth becomes two seperate beaches, known as Perranporth and Perran Sands (or Penhale Sands). At low tide the beach extends from below Droskyn Point to Penhale Point, and you can walk from one end to the other of what is known as Perran, or Ligger, Bay.
sunny corner perranporth

Sunny Corner by Jamie Turnbull

At low tide there is much to explore, such as the southern end of the beach below Droskyn, or to your left if you're walking from Perranporth, which is locally known as 'Sunny Corner'.

This part of the beach is usually much quieter than the main part due to the fact that it is reached by wading through the river on the beach, or by walking down the steps (which can be seen on the right hand side of the above picture) and across the rocks below Droskyn Castle.

This part of the beach has lots of rockpools to explore, as well as caves and tunnels. Some of these caves lead to old mine works, and so it is advisable to explore with extreme caution.

chapel rock swimming pool perranporth

Perranporth Swimming Pool by George Cryer

Over the river to the North of Sunny Corner lies Chapel Rock (which, allegedly, used to have a Chapel on top of it). This rock is home to both a flag pole flying the Cornish flag and to a sea pool.

Chapel Rock has gained in popularity recently, as it is now frequently used for wild swimming and is also a popular subject matter for aerial photographs (indeed, it might have to have its own blog-post soon).

Climbing Chapel Rock to stand next to the flag pole is very popular. The pool has both a shallow and a deep end (although not entirely consitent), and also has rocks to jump off (although, again, always check the depth of the water before jumping).

wateringhole bar perranporth

Watering Hole Dawn by Jamie Turnbull

At the top of the beach, on its own sandy island to protect it from extreme high tides, is The Watering Hole: the only bar on a beach in the UK. The Watering Hole is a great place to enjoy a drink while watching the sunset, and also hosts the Bands in the Sands and Tunes in the Dunes festivals.

winston graham memorial perranporth

Winston Graham Memorial by Jamie Turnbull

At high tide Perranporth Bay is defined by what is locally known as 'Flat Rocks' to the North. On this site once stood a hut in which the author Winston Graham penned his famous Poldark novels. The hut is no longer there, but what can be found is a memorial bench to the author.

surfing in perranporth

Surfing Perranporth by Jamie Turnbull

Perranporth is a popular beach for learning to surf. There are lots of surf schools providing lessons, and the beach is patrolled by the RNLI lifeguards for much of the year. If you are learning to surf then please stay between the black and white checkered flags.

perranporth sand banks

Perranporth Sand Bars by Jamie Turnbull

The currents along Perranporth beach can, from time to time, form sand bars and lagoons. (Deep channels on the beach can expose long lost shipwrecks, as in the case of the La Seine). These sand banks are the reason why the sea at Perranporth can be so very dangerous. As the tide comes in around a sand bar it rushes along the deep channels, and as the sea covers them this forms rip currents along the beach.

deadmans pool penhale corner

Deadman's Pool by Jamie Turnbull

At the far end of Perranporth Beach, at the base of Penhale Point, lies a fresh-water pool known as Deadman's Pool. It's difficult to believe that this pool is fresh, as opposed to sea, water - but if you look carefully then you might be able to spot some of the newts and goldfish living in it.

This pool is formed by water draining from the Gravel Hill mine workings just behind it. Mine workings exploring this mineral lode extend all the way from here to Rejerrah (half way between Perranporth and Newquay). For this reason the water in this pool is notoriously cold, even in the height of summer. While you might be tempted, this is not a very safe place to swim - you're better off between the flags or in Chapel Rock pool.

 perranporth sunset

Perranporth Sunset Walk by Charlie Newlands

Perranporth beach is well known as a great place for a family holiday or a day out, but also a great place to watch the sunset into the Atlantic Ocean

This is the third article in our series on exploring Perranporth from above. The first was on exploring Perranporth beach at extreme tides, and the second was on what to see in and around Perranporth.

By Jamie Turnbull

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