Porthpean beach - circular walks

Porthpean beach

The beach at Porthpean, Cornwall

Porthpean is a sheltered beach between two headlands, facing southeast away from the prevailing westerly winds. The upper part of the beach is coarse white sand against the sea wall. As the tide goes out, a rock platform with rockpools is revealed on the right-hand side of the beach. The left-hand side remains sandy at low tide. At high tide, the beach is narrow and gets crowded in holiday periods.

Porthpean means "small cove" in Cornish and is equivalent to Porthbean on the Roseland. In both cases the word for "small" (vean) has undergone a mutation of its initial consonant to "agree" with the word before which is a quirk that's quite common in Celtic languages.

Walks visiting Porthpean beach

  • 2.9 miles/4.7 km - Moderate

    Charlestown to Porthpean

    Charlestown to Porthpean

    2.9 miles/4.7 km - Moderate

    A circular walk between the sheltered cove at Porthpean and the historic port of Charlestown, originally built to export copper, then China Clay, and now used for filming by Hollywood and Poldark.

  • 7.6 miles/12.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

    Mevagissey to Charlestown (via bus)


    Mevagissey to Charlestown (via bus)

    7.6 miles/12.3 km - Moderate-strenuous

    A one-way coastal walk, made circular via an initial bus journey, from the fishing port of Mevagissey to Charlestown - one of the best-preserved Georgian ports in the world and an engineering masterpiece which included a seven-mile-long leat.

  • 5 miles/9 km - Strenuous

    Porthpean to Black Head

    Porthpean Beach

    Porthpean to Black Head

    5 miles/9 km - Strenuous

    A circular walk from the sandy beach at Porthpean, past the brilliant white shingle beaches at Silvermine to the Iron Age fort on Black Head, returning via the site of an Iron Age metal works with spectacular views over St Austell Bay.

Download the iWalk Cornwall app and use the QR scanner within the app to find out more about any of the walks above.