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Porthgwarra Cove

Birdwatching at Porthgwarra
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Porthgwarra Beach Porthgwarra from West  

A superb , secluded Cornish Cove just under 3 miles southeast of Lands End. Porthgwarra is steeped in history and tradition - one time a busy fishing cove , now just one boat regularly works crab pots from here.
The cliff path leads away west towards Lands End (roughly 1 .5 hours walk) , and east towards Porthcurno (45 minutes) - both very scenic and dramatic routes !
Swimming is safe within the confines of the Cove - though strong currents run near the western point. You may hear a `moaning` noise in the vicinity ; this is the hydrophone on the Runnelstone Buoy which rides at its mooring one mile off Porthgwarra guarding the dangerous Runnelstone reef . The noise is made by the swell rising up and down in a tube on the buoy.

Porthgwarra Tunnel

Folklore has it that the tunnel from the slipway towards the road at Porthgwarra was used by smugglers - maybe ! - the more mundane explanation is that it was excavated by miners from St.Just to allow farmers to gather seaweed from the beach by horse & cart - seaweed is an excellent fertiliser.

Porthgwarra Shop

Porthgwarra shop   Porthgwarra Shop
 
 

Run by Mary Chappell , the unique Pothgwarra Shop is ready to revive you with a cup of tea and a Cornish Pasty !
A good selection of beverages , ice cream and snacks ; as well as postcards and souvenirs.........this is your only chance to refuel between Porthcurno and Lands End !!
Open daily - except the very rainiest - from April to October - tel 01736 871998.

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Porthgwarra is a mecca for Birdwatchers. Both seabirds and rare `landbirds` feature in an impressive list of rarities seen at Porthgwarra.

 

Gannet

Thousands of Gannets - like the one pictured here, stream past the Porthgwarra cliffs during autumn gales ....always heading west (unless fishing) ...why ?

 

There are three routes from the nearest major town of Penzance , to Porthgwarra.

1. Take the A30 from Penzance towards Lands End. After passing through Sennen (8 miles) bear left onto the B3315 (Porthcurno) road. About 3 miles on, enter Polgigga; past duck pond on left, then turn right (not sharp right) on blind bend onto unclassified road to Porthgwarra (1.5 miles).

2. Take the A30 from Penzance towards Lands End. Turn left at Catchall (3 miles) onto the B3283 for St.Buryan. Pass through St.Buryan and continue on for Porthcurno ; pass the left turn to Treen and The Logan Rock. At the left-hand turn to Porthcurno keep straight on, through Polgigga and take the left hand turn onto the unclassified road to Porthgwarra.

3. From Penzance, head for Newlyn ; in the centre of Newlyn take the B3315 uphill for Paul & Lamorna. Follow the B3315 all the way past Lamorna and onto Sparnon . Here the B 3283 joins the B3315 - turn left and continue towards Porthcurno as in (2). This is the longest but probably the most scenic route.

The unclassified road to Porthgwarra is very narrow in places, but there are plenty of passing points and it is generally good fun !!

 

The Cliff Path runs from Mousehole right the way round the peninsula to St. Ives and offers superb views of the varied and dramatic coast. More and more people are exploiting this by arranging accommodation along the way and setting sections of the path to walk each day. Mousehole to Porthgwarra would certainly be a full day`s walk for the average person. Check out our accommodation pages for B&B, Self Catering & Local Hotels.

 
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