Mevagissey harbour  Visiting Cornwall Logo - background is part of Bodmin Moor as seen from Jamaica Inn at Altarnun. The road in the picture is the main A30 through Cornwall. Eden Project near St Austell 
 

PORTREATH BEACH

 
 


A beach of sand with a little shingle set in a steep valley. To the western end of the beach are high cliffs and another smaller cove which is seperated by the high tide. On the left hand side, the beach has a stream running down to the sea. It is a popular family beach which, like many beaches on the north Cornish coast, is popular with surfers and in particular bodyboarders. Behind the beach is the village of Portreath with several shops and cafés.

Access
Located on the B3300 which is signposted from the main A30 at Redruth. Also accessible from Hayle by taking the B3301 northwards along the coast.

Swimming & Surfing
This is a reasonably exposed beach break that has quite consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. The best wind direction is from the south-east. Tends to receive a mix of groundswells and windswells and the ideal swell direction is from the north-west. The beach break provides left and right handers and there is a right hand reef break as well. When the surf is up, crowds are likely. Take care of rocks in the line up. Can be a shoredump at high tide.
Portreath is home to The Vortex, a right hand reef break which peels off the harbour wall. This is not a wave for the light-hearted and definitely not suitable for beginners. The wave comes in from deeper water and hits the reef going from a lump to past vertical making air drops the norm. Combined with its propensity to barrel and form a wedgey inside this goes some way to explaining where it gets the name.
For obvious reasons (i.e. heavy and hollow) the Vortex is popular with bodyboarders, however there are usually a couple of stand up surfers giving it a go. If all this hasn't put you off then maybe the 'Locals Only' scrawled on the wall might! The beach itself can produce a half decent wave and packs a fair punch itself on a good day. Being north facing and with high cliffs to the west the beach is fairly sheltered and needs a medium sized west or north-west swell to get it going. In terms of wind this is an advantage as a south-westerly is cross offshore. The Vortex can handle waves of up to 8ft.

Facilities
Toilets, including disabled facilities, first aid post, lost child centre, café, restaurant, shops and surf life-saving club.

Parking
Large car park overlooks the beach

Dog Friendly
No dogs permitted between Easter and October.

Back to Beach Map