N estled neatly between Land’s End and Lizard Point, the Harbour Inn is perfectly placed for exploring Cornwall’s wild west, the south coast, and the stunning Lizard Peninsula. Porthleven itself is a picture postcard fishing town with golden beaches on its doorstep and a wealth of art galleries, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Here’s a collection of the best things to see and do during your visit.
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You can’t help but relax and unwind in this pretty, traditional fishing village. Many an hour can be spent on a walk around Porthleven and the harbour and perusing the shops and galleries. You’ll find some of the best local art and crafts here alongside plenty of gifts and trinkets.
Porthleven is a foodie haven that is no stranger to celebrity chefs. Fine restaurants championing quality local produce sit side by side with quaint and cosy cafes. You can sample it all while looking out across the harbour and the passing boats.
This tiny cove is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and luckily it's one of the beaches near Porthleven. The summer brings crystal clear, emerald waters that wash gently against a striking outcrop of serpentine rock stacks.
Kynance Cove is incredibly popular, so it’s best visited at low tide and out of season, or in the evening if you can. The path down is steep and takes around 10-15 minutes to descend, but the rewards are well worth it once the islands and hidden caves become yours to explore. There’s even a chance to refuel before the journey back up to our sea view rooms in Porthleven with a pit stop at the lovely eco-cafe.
Porthleven is home to some of the most famed waves in the country, with huge Atlantic swells rolling in to create some impressive surfing conditions. The waves here are definitely not for beginners, but the harbour serves as a perfect spectator spot from which to watch the pros do their thing while tucking into a nice warm pasty.
Less experienced surfers and athletes alike get their kicks some five miles west along the coast at Praa Sands. This lengthy beach is blessed with golden sands and plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the sea, whether carving the waves, or a coastal bike ride. There's even a dog friendly beach section.
You can catch an authentic glimpse of Cornwall’s mining and social heritage at Poldark Mine and gardens. Cornwall’s only complete underground tin mine provides a fascinating insight into the workings of the county’s former way of life, and how Cornish mining permeated overseas industries and cultures.
The mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and occupies a beautiful rural setting. Its six-acre grounds feature picturesque waterside gardens set within a peaceful wooden glen.
There is often a festival or event taking place in and around Porthleven. If you can time your visit to coincide with one, you’re in for a real treat. We often have live music at the Harbour Inn, showcasing some of the best bands and artists from Cornwall’s celebrated music scene.
Lifeboat Day and the Porthleven Food Festival are particularly popular annual events. The food festival attracts around 40,000 people each year to its national and international chef’s theatre, stalls, street food, and live entertainment.
Loe Pool is one of the most remarkable places in Cornwall. Luckily for us, it’s within walking distance so you won't need to worry about Porthleven beach parking. This freshwater lake, separated from the sea by a sandbar, is the perfect location to while away the hours wandering and exploring the scenery.
There’s an interesting outdoor gym along the six-mile circular walk if you’re feeling energetic. It’s a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers too, with the route passing through woodland, marshes, and open fields.