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Portreath

About Portreath  |  Weather  |  Video


Portreath is a place that, on the face of it, seems a little insignificant compared to the attention received by many other places on the peninsula; but it has its own particular history and secrets. Today it is concerned more with the holiday trade than in past times and has a fine beach and surf. Like many inlets on this northern coast, it is popular with surfers.

The Harbour, under the cliffs on the right hand side has a very narrow entrance and although no longer of service to shipping, some smaller fishing boats still use it. Amazingly, Portreath was once a very busy port serving the flourishing copper mines around Chacewater in the 19th century. A tram road was built for transportation to and from the mines, using horse-drawn wagons, copper ore was shipped by the ton on a regular basis to Swansea in South Wales for smelting. The ships would then return laden with Welsh coal and had to negotiate the hazardous harbour entrance, which must have required tremendous skill in the days of sail. Some of the ships would carry well over a hundred tons of ore at a time.


The Beach is sandy and has a stream running down to the sea on the left hand side. At certain times quite big waves come rolling in which can make surfing and body boarding quite exciting. It is also used as a family beach.

Parts of the old tram roads have now been made into cycle paths and it possible to ride between Portreath on the north coast and Devoran on the south. Details can be obtained from, The Mineral Tramway Discovery Centre near Carn Brea, Redruth and the Tourist Information Center in Truro.

 

There are tall and spectacular cliffs in this part of Cornwall which make for good walking with beautiful views. A good day out is to walk in a southerly direction to Bassets Cove where there is a National Trust car park. There and back is roughly five miles and there are one or two strenuous sections, but it really is worth it for the views, the wild flowers and the sea birds. Walking north to Porthtowan is longer; about four miles there and four back, but you have the added bonus of visiting another superb beach. The Cliffs north and south of Portreath are included in the area known as 'North Cliffs' and are probably of the Mid - Devonian period. They are made up of slate and sandstone and subject to erosion. Reasonable care should therefore be taken when walking the coastal path as straying too close to the edge in places can be dangerous.

 

Drive up out of Portreath along the road to Gwithian for about one and half miles and you will find an entrance to Tehidy Country Park on your left. This is one of the ways into a really beautiful country park spanning 250 acres, mostly of woodland, with around 9 miles of nature trails. Once the estate of the wealthy Bassett family who made their fortune from tin, it is now owned and administered by Cornwall County Council and open to the public all year round at no charge.
If you don't have your own transport, there is a bus service from Camborne to the East Lodge entrance. Apart from walking trails, there are also bridleways for horse riding and tracks for mountain bikes. The park is situated in a valley of one of the upper tributaries of the Red River which flows into the sea near Gwithian so naturally the stream has been put to good use. There are one or two ponds and a rather lovely grassy-banked lake inhabited by swans and ducks of various kinds.

  

Videos of Portreath

 

Video courtesy of Paul Dinning for Wildlife in Cornwall

 

Video courtesy of Paul Dinning for Wildlife in Cornwall

 

    

 

       

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