Compared to the many other holiday destinations in Cornwall that offer rustic village experiences combined with other distinct features on a village by village basis, Porthtowan stands apart in the simple fact that it is a village that really leaves much to be desired. Although ‘rustic’ and ‘quaint’ are two words that may still apply to describing the village, truth is that it does not have the breathtaking beauty that so many other coastal villages do.
Fortunately for Porthtowan, it more than makes up for what it lacks in terms of compelling scenery and background. By being both steeped in history, and having evolved itself into one of the premier recreation destinations in both Britain and Europe, Porthtowan makes marks of its very own on the map of Cornwall.
Rich History, Literally
Unlike other places, saying that Porthtowan possesses a ‘wealth’ of history would not be simply speaking figuratively. Sojourning to the days when mining thrived across Britain, Porthtowan was the location of many a flourishing copper mine.
Of all these mines, the Wheal Towan mine in particular was a renowned cash cow that, allegedly, generated incredible amounts of wealth for its owner, Ralph Allen Daniell. As a matter of fact, he is known to have said that his mine made in excess of ten thousand pounds a week, which is an even larger sum in those days, comparatively, than it is today.
Needless to say, profitable as they were, the mining industry in Porthtowan did not stand the test of time, and gradually Porthtowan shifted from mining to the industry that would become its forte over the years to come. With minimal transition pains, Porthtowan shed its mining past and began to become a holiday destination.
In the beginning, during Victorian times, it was the local population from nearby villages and towns that would enable Porthtowan to slowly embrace its newfound industry. Of course the pristine and extensive sand beach does not hurt the prospects of attracting visitors either.
From there on out, Porthtowan has had little reason to look back, as it moved on from being merely a nameless holiday destination to being one of the surfer options of choice. Due to its uniquely ideal conditions, Porthtowan is perfect for such things and has built a reputation among surfers that proves as much.
What about the Village?
As mentioned above, the Porthtowan village is not exactly a wonder; however, that said, it is still geared towards the fairly large crowds of tourists that come and go regularly.
In this spirit, Porthtowan offers up the services that its clientele would require, and first and foremost of these is of course accommodation. All around the area there are multiple hotels, rentable village cottages, bed and breakfast, or self catering establishments. As such, accommodation should not be a problem for any, unless of course any expect to stay in a Hilton or such.
As the predominant crowd that Porthowan attracts is encompassed of surfers, much of the accommodation is geared towards their needs. Because of this, there would appear to be many more self catering establishments and rentable village cottages, both of which do well among that crowd due to either their economical or long-term natures.
Legacy of the Copper Mines
Matching the history, there are a few connected places that allow a first hand trip down memory lane. Naturally, the copper mines are no longer accessible, but other traces of its existence still remain as they stand strong against the test of time.
Chief among these remnants is the engine house of the Toath Roath, which, true to the old styles, is positioned firmly on the cliffs. Now it has been converted for residential use, but it still maintains much of its original structure as a memory of glory days long past.
Other signs of the copper mines legacy include the sporadic appearance of old mining tramways that were used to transport copper ore to the harbors for export. Many of these old lines have recently started to be converted into footpaths.
More than Spectacular Beach
For certain there are many spectacular beaches up and down the coast of Cornwall, all of which with their own little niches for holiday-goers. However, even among these spectacular beaches, Porthtowan stands out completely in a class of its own.
In fact, the beach is a Blue Flag beach, meaning that it has met stringent quality standards on a year-long basis. Mostly, this is an indication of the high environmental, amenities and safety standards that the Porthtowan beach keeps up on a continuous basis, thus certifying it a much desired holiday destination whether for families, individuals, or even groups of friends.
To describe the awe-inspiring beauty of the beach is a task that would daunt even the most accomplished poet. During the low tide, the beach stretches out as far as the eye can make out, a large expanse of sand that borders the sea. Waves, gigantic, and hollow as they break, crash against this barrier, and draw surfers to them as they do so.
Few things are too perfect for words, but the Porthtowan beach comes close, especially as far as surfing is concerned. Being frank, the only small downside to the dream-like waves is the fact that it can be dangerous for beginners, and as such is inadvisable. Still, it is places like this beach and all its wonder that makes people want to get better at surfing to ride the almost poetic waves.
From copper mining village to resort and holiday destination, Porthtowan has come through with merit. A fusion of both the past and the present has worked for it in entirety, and it looks set to write a whole new chapter in its history. What may come next for Porthtowan is anyone’s guess, yet as things stand it does make sense to visit the place and bask in the full light of history while enjoying a nice sunny day on one of the best beaches that has ever existed.
Hotels, cottages, apartments and caravans are available at Porthtowan.
The Beach Hotel offers you a peaceful stay and a panoramic “birds-eye view” of the Porthtowan Bay.
Chy-Morron, Cornish Blue Apartment, Cornish Escapes, Seacott, Kingsly Cove, Atlantic View Apartment, The Sea Otter, Abbamead, Beach Comber, Coast Bungalow, Cornish Blue, 14 Seaspray, South Towan Cottages and Beach View Cottage are clean and comfortable, and they will happily welcome you.
Bed & Breakfast
You can stay at Malt House, Buzby View or Elm Farm, and enjoy the warm Cornish hospitality.
Camping and Caravanning
Camping in the open countryside of Porthtowan is a pleasurable experience. You can rent out caravans and camp equipment from Cambrose Touring Park, Porthtowan Tourist Park, Rose Hill Touring Park, and Wheal Rose Camping and Caravan Park.
The Flaming Wok, The Blue Bar and Restaurant, Unicorn and Shakers, offer you a delightful dining experience. You can savour their delectable sea-fare, wholesome soups, and farm-fresh salads. You can also guzzle chilled beer and ale, as you watch the sun set on the beach.
The little town of Porthtowan is a warm and refreshing sun-trap. The lovely climate and charming countryside will ensure that you have a perfectly wonderful holiday!