Porthallack Cove

The northern banks of the Helford River in Cornwall are home to a number of secret coves and inlets with Porthallack Cove being one of them. The Helford River has long been recognised for its beauty, as well as its geological and biological importance. It exhibits almost 50km of stunning coastline, from rocky shores to muddy creeks, where unspoiled woodland and rolling fields meet the Atlantic. Porthallack is primarily made from pebbles so isn’t a typical ‘bucket and spade’beach but the likelihood of getting it to yourself is relatively high, making it ideal for peaceful picnics. It proximity to the river mouth means that it can be susceptible to south/southeasterly winds during the winter months. The water is safe for swimming but be aware that this is a river and some currents will occur so weaker swimmers should stay close to the shore. Due to its distance from the more popular riverside spots such as Durgan, the secluded shore of Porth Sawsen is relatively quiet and ideal for uninterrupted picnics. 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 towards Durgan and get a pint at the Ferryboat Boat Inn, Helford Passage. Alternatively, head eastward up to Rosemullion Head for impressive vistas across Falmouth bay and the whole River.

Dog friendly.

No lifeguards on duty.

Directions: Head towards the North Helford and follow signs to Mawnan Smith. Take the back road from Mawnan to Maenporth and park in the Carwinion Playing Fields car park. Take the wide footpath to the side of Carwinion Gardens down to Porth Sawsen. Take the coastal path eastward towards to the river mouth and you will find the small cove of Porthallack to your right.

Secret beach location: 50.10134,-5.103321