Durgan Beach

Down on the northern banks on the Helford River hides the picturesque hamlet of Durgan and its south-east facing beach. The hamlet consists of 15 cottages, most of them now owned by the National Trust and has a permanent population of just 10. It is situated at the foot of the subtropical Glendurgan Gardens that wind inland up the valley, making this an ideal opportunity to explore both land and shore in a single visit. Although Durgan Beach is fairly narrow at high tide, the sandy/shingle beach is accessible most time of the tide and its slipway is popular with boaters with a few deep water mooring sitting just offshore. Durgan was once home to Captain George Vancouver, an English officer in the Royal Navy, famous for exploring and chartering North America’s northwestern Pacific coastline. The beach offers stunning vistas over the river and across the wilder southern banks of the Helford. The water is safe for swimming with plenty of rocky outcrops to explore and dive from, as well as a cave in the rocks roughly 100m from the beach for more confident swimmers. Be wary that this is a river and some currents will occur so weaker swimmers should stay close to the shore. The annual Durgan Reggetta is held by the locals on the last Sunday of August and makes for great day out. Bring food and drink and keep an eye out for the prestigious ‘Row & Run event’. Excellent walking opportunities can be had along the banks of the Helford with small but defined footpaths leading east and west. Take a short walk west and stop off for a drink at The Ferryboat Inn on the Helford Passage.

No dogs.

No lifeguards on duty.

Directions: Head toward the North Helford and follow signs to Mawnan Smith. After leaving the village turn left at the cross roads before you reach the Glendurgan entrance. Park in the National Trust car park to the right, opposite Bosloe, and make the 10 minute walk down to the coast. There is no parking at the beach.

Secret beach location: 50.103653,-5.115595