Perranporth Beach Guide holiday cottages

Perranporth Beach Guide

Deborah Caine 15 May 2024

With an abundance of stunning, sandy beaches to choose from in Cornwall, deciding where to spend your day out with the family, or head to for a run-about with your pup, can be a tough choice!

Perranporth Beach on Cornwall’s north coast is one of Cornwall’s very best beaches and was a Seaside Award winner in 2022. So, if you’re thinking about a visit, our guide will give you the lowdown on the beach’s facilities, parking, accessibility and dog friendliness, as well as answer any other questions you may have.

All you’ll have to do is turn up and enjoy all that beautiful Perranporth Beach has to offer!

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Several reasons! The legendary St Piran, Patron Saint of Cornwall washed up on Perranporth Beach after the Irish king of the time had him thrown off a cliff with a millstone tied around his neck. Much to everyone’s surprise, the rock floated rather than sunk and he drifted over to Cornish shores. On arrival, St Piran set up an oratory to preach Christianity (the ruins of which are preserved in the sand dunes), and after accidentally discovering tin metal, he was dubbed the Patron Saint of Tinners. 

St Piran’s Day is celebrated on 5 March each year, whereby people flock to the town for the festivities, which include a play performed on Perran Sands. Perranporth Beach is the location for the ever-popular ‘Tunes in the Dunes’ music festival which is held each year. The area was also showcased during the filming of the Poldark television series.

Yes! As one of Cornwall’s most kid-friendly beaches, Perranporth Beach is ideal for a family day out. It’s also great for a seaside stroll or a walk with your dog. With public WCs to hand, a bar on the beach and the town but a stone’s throw away – you’ll find everything you need. 

Perranporth town offers a sunny, holiday vibe with surf shops, gift shops and cafés dotted along the high street. As well as the beach, Perranporth Gardens Charities have a boating lake and putting green open to the public during the summer months. And if you’re a golfing fan, the well-positioned Perranporth Golf Club, up high in the grassy dunes, offers panoramic vistas of the beach and Atlantic Ocean beneath.

Dogs are allowed on Perranporth Beach all year round. During July and August, however, they should be kept on a lead on the main part of the beach between the hours of 10am and 5pm. Pups are permitted off lead up on the sand dunes and on the stretch of beach after ‘flat rocks’.

Yes. Perranporth Beach has clean waters and is patrolled by lifeguards during high season. It does have large breaking waves and undercurrents, so do take care when swimming and boogie boarding and be sure to stay within the red and yellow flags. There is also a stream which runs down the beach to the sea which is fantastic for little ones to paddle in, as well as a small tidal pool for swimmers keen to get some short lengths in.

This is perhaps debatable! Carbis Bay often tops the list, as does Kynance Cove. We think, however, that the expansiveness, facilities and wild beauty of Perranporth Beach make it fully worthy of its own accolades.

Yes, there are shops and restaurants in the town including a couple of Co-op mini markets for your staples and bigger supermarkets a short drive away in Truro and Newquay. There is also a Boots chemist, a Post Office and lovely, independent shops to peruse at your leisure!

The beach can get very busy during the summer months and this is obviously more apparent when the tide comes in. Fortunately, the beach is long and wide and roomy enough for everyone to find a space to relax.

The postcode for the car park on the Promenade, Perranporth, Cornwall is TR6 0JN.

About Perranporth Beach

Aerial view across Perranporth Beach

The town of Perranporth lies 10 miles from Truro on Cornwall’s north coast and 8 miles from Newquay. This wide, golden-sand beach beside the town stretches for 3 miles at low tide when it connects with Perran Sands and Ligger Bay. The beach is backed by cliffs and sand dunes and there are scattered rock pools, caves and even a stream which flows down to the sea, making Perranporth Beach in Cornwall fantastic for a family outing.  

The Atlantic swell here ensures the location is a celebrated hit with surfers and naturally, there are several locally-based surf schools if you’re keen to book a lesson or two. Older children wanting to test out their boogie boards in the waves will no doubt have a blast, and for sun-seekers looking for an elegant dip, the historic Chapel Rock tidal pool is the perfect oasis.

Lifeguards at the Beach

Lifeguard truck on Perranporth Beach

The RNLI website states that Perranporth Beach lifeguard patrol times for 2024 run from 29 March to 3 November, from 10am to 6pm. When in the water, stay in the patrolled zone as indicated by the red and yellow flags.

Are dogs allowed on the beach

Dog running along the beach

Dogs are permitted on the beach all year round, though during the peak holiday months of July and August, they should be kept on a lead between 10am and 5pm. There are no lead restrictions over by the sand dunes, or further north along the beach which joins Perran Sands at low tide. 

Things to do on Perranporth Beach

Photo taken from the cliffs above Perranporth Beach

Sea swimming and boogie boarding the waves, or taking a surf lesson! The beach is a hot spot for surfers due to the swell but if you’re looking for a more leisurely swim, you can enjoy the tidal pool during low tide. 

There are rock pools and caves for little ones to explore and a stream running down the beach which is just perfect for little paddlers!

You’ll find The Watering Hole pub on the beach for relaxed dining and drinks. Afterwards, if the tide’s out, you may want to take a long stroll up the beach or head out into the dunes in search of St Piran’s Oratory.

Car parking

Photo of cars in a car park

There’s a pay and display car park on the Promenade, at the south end of the beach. You can access the beach via a short slope, which is suitable for wheelchair users. If you need to cross the river, there are a couple of short footbridges leading over onto the path. 

From 1 November to 31 March, you can park for free at Wheal Leisure Car Park, which you’ll find on Wheal Leisure, beside the main street. If you get stuck, there are also car parks located on Station Road, at the top of Cliff Road and an overflow car park near the Co-op during the summer.

Facilities at Perranporth Beach

Aerial view across Perranporth Beach at low tide

There is pay-and-display parking at the car park on the Promenade right by the beach, where there is also a free public WC. 

Feeling hungry? The Watering Hole bar is literally right on the sand and offers casual meals and drinks all year round, with an epic sea view and a kick-back, surfer vibe.

Perranporth town offers plenty of additional eateries, pubs, cafés and shops, so you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere for lunch, or to purchase tasty treats to top up your picnic. 

Accessibility at Perranporth Beach

Wheelchair logo drawn into the sand on a beach

Access to the beach is good. The Promenade car park is located right by the beach, with a wheelchair-friendly slope heading downwards. If you’re over on the river side, the small footbridges across are suitable for wheelchairs. 

Sand chairs for the beach and shallow water are available to hire free of charge from Perranporth Gardens Charities, although a £5 donation towards the upkeep of the chairs would be much appreciated. A £30 cash deposit and photo ID is required.

Stay with us

We hope we’ve given you all the information you need prior to your visit to Perranporth Beach in Cornwall. If you’re looking for accommodation for your Perranporth holiday, then let us take care of you! We have a wonderful range of local cottages and holiday lets available to ensure that you have a comfortable stay and an amazing Cornish break.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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