Located on Mount’s bay, the biggest bay in Cornwall, Praa Sands is a village that is situated in a sheltered area of the bay. As its name implies, it is most renowned for the sands that stretch on for close to a mile and is one of the more popular beaches in Cornwall for holidaying. Various local attractions are situated around this area, and account for the great popularity that Praa Sands enjoys almost year round.
Unfortunately, this popularity comes with a downside as Praa Sands finds itself facing crowding problems due to the large amounts of visitors to their famous beach. As such, instead of being a quiet secluded beach it can often end up being a noisy and fairly boisterous beach.
Options to Stay
Visitors to Praa Sands may choose between staying within the village itself, or at the fairly large camp and caravan site located a mere few minutes walk from the famed beach.
In the village proper, there are the usual choices that would be expected from a tourist village in Cornwall. Visitors on holiday may select either one of the small hotels, bed and breakfast, or self catering establishments. Some properties are even available for a short-term rent, and a quick search on the internet will normally give a number of listings for a rough idea as to the going rates.
On the other hand, the camping and caravan site offers a particular draw of its own. Sometimes it is nice to sleep beneath the stars, unless of course it rains. With easy accessibility to both village and beach, the location is ideal should the camping and caravan site option be the preferred one.
A bit inland from the beach is the haunted castle of Pengersick. Whether or not it really is haunted is up for debate, and teams of ghost hunters seeking either thrills or to actually prove the existence of ghosts are not an uncommon sight. What is an uncommon sight however would be the black robed monk that supposedly restlessly wanders the grounds. For some reason, the tower of the castle is reputedly the most haunted spot in all of Britain.
Over the years, some have come up with the theory that the variety of ghost stories that grace Pengersick Castle were probably all created by local smugglers that sought to discourage prying eyes from the vicinity. Considering the prevalence of smuggling throughout Cornwell, Praa Sands was probably no exception and it gives the theory some small form of credence.
Further ties to smuggling in Pengersick Castle are in the form of it being the supposed birthplace of a certain John Carter, the King of Prussia. Under his guidance, contraband is said to have been unloaded into a cave with a tunnel that used to lead to Pengersick.
Ghost stories and smugglers aside however, the castle itself was originally part of a heavily fortified mansion. Although the mansion has long since been demolished, the castle still remains and so too do its defenses, thus making it worth the look while in the area.
Even if the ghost stories and smuggler tales are just pure exaggeration through storytelling, it would probably not be recommended to sleep in the castle. Find a nice bed and breakfast, self catering establishment or one of the many hotels around instead.
Praa Sands is one of the best places around for some good ol’ sandy times or some good ol’ wet ones too. Despite the proximity of a full fledged haunted castle, there’s no stopping the surfers as they converge on the beach in search of the famed huge waves that regularly turn up. Possibly this is due to one of the many claims of Praa Sands that states the waves at its beach are just as good or better than the rest of Cornwall.
Certainly the waves are powerful and high, and just as certainly almost every high tide the beach receives a massive influx of surfers. Still, for a family vacation, this beach is extremely ideal with its shallow waters and constant lifeguard service. There is even a beachfront pub located along the sands, for those who wish to sit back, relax on a deckchair, and have a decidedly tropical cocktail fully equipped with a little umbrella, just for the atmosphere.
Apparently canoes and other equipment may be hired from some of the shops on the beach, allowing for a whole range of other activities. During overcrowded occasions however, it might not be as enjoyable an experience as it may have otherwise been.
Essentially, if crowds are not a problem then the overall beach at Praa Sands is a hard one to pass up, especially for a surfer. Otherwise, there are a number of good beaches located throughout Cornwall that can pretty much match Praa Sands in most terms, and could be considered as possible alternatives.
As a holiday choice, Praa Sands offers flexibility and options, as well as its beautiful, sandy beach and creepy haunted castle. For those that are truly intrigued with the prospect of a haunted castle, it is worth mentioning that special events are held there every Halloween.
Complete facilities make the package offered by Praa Sands a very attractive one, as there seems to be a wide variety of choices of activity, the key to all good holidays. With accommodation costs not even a problem as it is always possible to pitch a makeshift tent and camp in the camping site, Praa Sands could even be a very cost effective budget surfing holiday destination.
Regardless of the reasons for which the many people converge upon Praa Sands, the one thing that is certain is that as holiday destination in Cornwall, it certainly is doing well, and maybe even better than most others are. However the constant overcrowding could become a problem for it eventually, if not tackled both quickly and decisively. After all, there is nothing worse than ticked off customers; it’s just good business practices.
You can soak-in on the famed hospitality of Praa Sands by staying in warm Bed & Breakfast homes and Self-catering cottages. You can also rent-out a clean and comfortable caravan and loll in the lap of nature.
Bed & Breakfast
Dingley Dell, Grove Cottage and South Colenso Farm, will warmly welcome you into their cosy space.
Idyllic Cottage Home, The White House, Camilla Chalet, Chywood Barn, Holiday Apartment, Sea Home and Beach Comber Holiday Home will ensure that you have a comfy stay.
You can rent out all kinds of caravans from Dingly Caravans, Broscrege Camping and Caravan Park, Praa Sands Holiday Park and Two Chimneys Holiday Park.
You can relish the rich sea flavours of delicious local food and guzzle a pint of chilled Cornish beer.
Chris Olds Clipper Restaurant and Sandbars are the two comely restaurants at Praa Sands, which will happily serve you their scrumptious fare.
This little sea-side haven exudes a rare beauty. Do visit it, and slowly savour its unusual delights…