Porth is a good beach for families. There’s good access, plenty of soft sand – and shops for that all important ice-cream or bag of chips…. and for a slightly more refined experience you can pop into the Mermaid Inn for lunch, which can be enjoyed al fresco overlooking Porth Beach.
Porth Beach is one of the most accessible of Newquay’s beaches, with all the essential facilities you’ll need for a day at the beach. You can park your car over the road in the car park, or you can even park right on the beach when the tide is out – however, when it’s a high tide the car park on the beach is covered, so be aware of this. Porth Beach is on the flat, with no cliff to clamber down and no steps to negotiate, making it a good choice if you’ve limited mobility.
Porth Beach is a very sandy beach and the tide goes out quite a long way. There’s a stream that runs through the beach, which is a great place for kids to play. Porth Beach is a great kid friendly and family friendly beach. There are no dogs allowed during the summer months though, from Easter onwards.
At high tide there’s always quite a lot of the beach remaining, but one stormy night recently, when the sea swell rose, there was a storm surge that not only reached the end of the beach, but swept right through the Mermaid Inn and across the road too – this is a rare event on an exceedingly stormy night, so not something you need to worry about.
Across the road from Porth Beach are a couple of good beach shops, selling the all important ice-creams, newspapers and snacks, or a beachball, bucket and spade.
Above Porth Beach, on Porth Island, there’s a crazy golf course and football golf course, both are 9-holes. The kiosk also sells fresh hot and cold food and drinks. This is a seasonal/weather-dependent activity due to its exposed location on the headland.
There’s a good family friendly pub virtually on Porth Beach too – The Mermaid Inn. I’ve always found it has an extensive, affordable menu, with plenty for vegetarians and carnivores alike – with the welcome addition of an outside seating and dining area; they also don’t skimp with the portions. The staff at The Mermaid Inn are always welcoming too. You can eat inside or outside, outside you’re sitting on the beach. The low side wall puts you just a few feet above the sand.
The Mermaid Inn has limited parking in its own car park.
Porth used to be a harbour, with large ships sailing right up what’s now the beach, to the harbour’s edge. Over the years the sand has silted up the area, so this would no longer be possible
If you like a stroll, you can follow the coastal path to and from Newquay from Porth Beach – and if the tide is out and you don’t mind getting your feet wet a little, you can even walk round the headland … but be careful – make sure you know what times the tides are. If you walk round the headland to the left (looking out to sea) you’ll be in Lusty Glaze Beach.
Above Porth Beach to the north, there’s a football golf/crazy golf range in the field overlooking Porth Beach:
At low tide, you can walk on the right hand side of the beach, clambering over the rocks and under the footbridge bridge that joins the land to the old iron fort headland – once you’re the other side you are where there used to be the Cathedral Cave – years ago they would lower a piano into Cathedral Cave and have sing song nights. Unfortunately, the cave became unstable and had to be blown up years ago. Once you’re through the gap, you can clamber your way round to Whipsiderry Beach. Be careful, I did this once on my own and as I leapt from one big slate slab to another I slipped and came down hard on my bum. It made me realise that if I’d landed badly or differently I could have been knocked out or incapacitated and maybe nobody else would take that route that day.
Services on Porth Beach
- Car Parking: Yes
- Public Lavatories: Yes
- Easy Access for Wheelchairs and Prams: Yes
- Food Available: Yes
- Dogs Allowed: No, except out of season
Where to Stay Near Porth Beach
There’s Porth Beach Caravan Park across the road from Porth Beach, or the Porth Veor Hotel. But if you look up to the left as you’re looking out to see you’ll see the Glendorgal Hotel. The Glendorgal Hotel is set in a private headland, with private steps down to Porth Beach and you can see the Glendorgal holiday cottages to rent perched on the clifftop, these cottages enjoy sea views over Porth Beach, as well as good accessibility into Newquay and private steps down to Porth Beach.
Alternatively, if you want to stay right alongside Porth Beach, with full, panoramic beach views, then you can stay at Quay House, a 3-storey house with full beach views from every level.
Old Postcards of Porth Beach, Newquay
I love looking through old postcards to see how things have changed over the years, I had an extensive collection some years back that I fully intend to replenish as I stupidly chucked them out when I moved …. one of my big regrets in life.
Below are some old postcards and views of Porth Beach:
remwbay porth newquay postcard -chapel
Photography by: flickr.com/photos/bispham2/3779777863/, Porth Beach