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Porthleven is near Helston on the south coast of Cornwall at the top of the Lizard Peninsula.


Porthleven is a small, vibrant harbour town on the south coast of Cornwall.

Get in[edit]

There are hourly buses (two-hourly on Sundays and holidays) from Helston and Penzance (Bus U4).

Get around[edit]

Everything in Porthleven is reachable on foot.


  • Bickford Smith Institute building and spire (at the mouth of the harbour).
  • working fishing harbour.


Caution Note: Do not venture onto the pier at the end of the harbour when the seas are rough, as freak waves can and have washed visitors into the sea. Also do not swim at Loe Bar, as the currents there are extremely dangerous.

Enjoy 1 Porthleven Beach. There is lifeguard cover from early July to end of August.

Go for a walk around the picturesque fishing harbour sampling the excellent restaurants and pubs.

Take the short walk to 2 Loe Bar, a natural sand bar (composed of shingle) that blocks the mouth of the River Cober, and through the Penrose Estate (open dawn to dusk daily, free entry) to 3 Loe Pool, the largest natural fresh-water lake in Cornwall (no swimming or boating allowed in the lake).

Continue on round Loe Pool to take the scenic route through the Penrose Estate to Helston (an hour's brisk walk), stopping off at 4 The Stables Café for refreshment (in the grounds, open Sa Su 10AM-4PM in winter, daily in summer).

Alternatively, take the South West Coast Path past Loe Bar to 5 Gunwalloe Cove (with its medieval church and seasonal lifeguarded beach), 6 Poldhu Cove (good for swimming and surfing), and 7 Mullion Cove (a small fishing cove). The full walk to The Lizard Point is 13.4 mi (21.6 km), with spectacular cliff-top vistas.

You can also take the Coastal Path westwards from Porthleven along the cliff tops towards 8 Rinsey, for excellent sea views.



There are lots of souvenir and arts and craft shops along and around Harbour Road.

Porthleven harbour


Porthleven is a particularly good place to savour fresh sea food, including crab, mussels, lobster, fish pie, etc., and both restaurants and pubs will often have seafood on the menu.

  • Kota and Kota Kai.
  • The Square.
  • Sea Drift.
  • Blue Haze.
  • 1 Amelie's. Restaurant and café sited in an old fish smokehouse. Offers fresh seafood as well as a variety of dishes.
  • The Horse and Jockey Cafe.


  • 1 Ship Inn. Usually has fresh seafood on the menu.
  • Harbour Inn.
  • Atlantic Inn.


There are many holiday cottages available for rent in Porthleven, especially along Loe Bar Road. Advance booking is essential.


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