The sprawling bay of Perranporth sits next to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers up something for everyone. Expansive golden sands are ideal for ocean-goers and landlubbers alike, where you can relax in the sunshine with a book or a picnic, have fun in the waves with a watersport such as surfing, or play beach games with the family until the sun dips below the horizon.
There’s also top-notch dining, oodles of entertainment and events, and an abundance of places to visit both on your doorstep and in the vicinity, so whether you want to stay put and make the most of your retreat or pack in as much as possible from your surrounds, a holiday here is guaranteed to tick all your boxes.
For those who are keen to venture further afield, you can explore on foot – especially as the South West Coast Path cuts right through the town – or jump in the car for a brief journey to even more coastal gems including St Agnes, Holywell Bay and Newquay; or head inland to explore the city spoils of Truro. Otherwise, simply kick back and relax knowing that Perranporth is poised to take care of your every whim and need.
Here are some of our favourite things to do in and near Perranporth...
For beach lovers...
Stretching for three miles between Droskyn and Penhale Point, Perranporth beach is the beating heart of the town, and the main feature around which local life revolves. Boasting Britain’s only bar on the beach, The Watering Hole, you can find the sand at your feet a literal stone’s throw from the town centre. A system of towering sand dunes and smattering of rock pools at low tide are ripe for exploring, while Chapel Rock in the centre of the stretch is home to a fantastic tidal pool that also reveals itself with the ebbing tide.
Surfing is one of the most popular pastimes here, which you can get to grips with courtesy of highly-qualified and experienced instructors from either Perranporth Surf School located right on the beach, or Stoked Surf School, which is based in the town and also offers various hire options. Meanwhile, with Little Wolf Adventures you can book paddleboard lessons and private guided tours complete with champagne and strawberry picnic and/or kids treats.
The beach is also one of Cornwall’s many dog-friendly beaches, with pups welcome (on leads July and August) throughout the year!
Holywell Bay beach
Situated just three miles north-east along the coast from Perranporth, Holywell Bay presents another unspoilt stretch of sand backed by towering dunes. A Poldark filming location favourite (recognisable by the twin stacks of Gull Rocks rising from the ocean just offshore), the wide open bay boasts a bounty of space along with with seasonal lifeguard cover, toilets and parking, surf lessons and hire from Holywell Bay School of Surf, and scenic spots beyond the beach to drink and dine including The Treguth Inn and Gullrocks Bar and Coffee House.
St Agnes’ crowning glory is the beyond-beautiful beach at the base of the valley and foot of the village (three miles west of Perranporth), Trevaunance Cove. With high cliffs housing remnants of Cornwall’s mining heritage, this is striking, picture-postcard territory that is dog-friendly year-round and seasonally lifeguarded (though can become completely covered with the high tide). On the low tide, enjoy a stint of rock pooling or stroll to the neighbouring Trevellas Porth. There’s also a shop, pub and café, and surf and paddleboard lessons and hire from Breakers Surf School located on Quay Road just behind the beach.
For activity junkies...
You might fancy a short stroll or a serious hike, either way, there’s a network of walks in Perranporth – and beyond – to suit. Strike out on the South West Coast Path south-west for Trevellas Porth (an easy 3 miles), St Agnes/Trevaunance Cove (a moderate 3.6 mile route), Porthtowan (a moderate-strenuous 8.3 miles) and Portreath (a more strenuous 12.2 mile route); or north-east to Holywell (an easy-moderate 2 mile walk), Crantock (a moderate 9 mile hike) and Newquay (a moderate-strenuous 10.8 miles).
Alternatively, venture out on horseback with Reen Manor Riding Stables, and choose from a beach or inland ride (suitable for both adults and kids) through some of the area’s most stunning natural scenery.
Holywell Bay Golf
Holywell Bay, Newquay TR8 5PW
Just a few miles north of Perranporth, the 18-hole, par 3 golf course provides the perfect stomping ground for accomplished and beginner golfers alike. Small, contoured greens give way to sprawling sea views for an exhilarating day out with a difference, with or without the family.
Perranporth Flying Club
Perranporth Airfield, Trevellas, St Agnes TR5 0XS
The airfield is the only hard surfaced GA airfield in Cornwall, presenting spectacular ocean views along with the opportunity to take to the air for flight training and trial lessons, including their newest exciting addition: microlight flights.
For attraction seekers...
Perranporth Gardens Charities
Incorporating a variety of features within the town, the charity’s land runs from the Perrancoombe Railway Walk alongside the stream from the bowling green, boating lake and clock garden to the prom garden and promenade. Hire a boat (in the summer months), enjoy the putting green, roam the public gardens, or play a round of bowls at your leisure. Beach wheelchairs are also available to hire (for free) through the charity.
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
Penhallow, Truro TR4 9LW
For a taste of the Cornish countryside and some of the best cider the Duchy has to offer, a trip to Healy’s (just under 4 miles inland) is an absolute must. The family-run farm has been making award-winning ciders, wines, spirits, juices, sauces and preserves for 40 years, so whether you wish to discover more about the process, stock up on local goodies to sample or take home, or treat the kids to a vintage tractor ride, a trip here is full of rewards.
Callestick, Truro TR4 9LL
Located near Healy’s Cornish Cyder Farm less than four miles from Perranporth, fill your boots with an array of flavours produced from the 300-strong herd of Jersey X Friesian cows that finds its home amongst this gorgeous valley and working farm. Kids will not just delight in devouring sweet treats in the sunny courtyard, but will love meeting the resident animals to boot!
St Piran’s Oratory
Penhale Beach, Perranporth
Rising from the dunes of Penhale Beach just north of the town, the remains of the 6th-century oratory established by St Piran constitute one of Britain’s oldest Christian sites – making this particular landmark of Cornish heritage a definite to-do for history buffs.
For local entertainment...
Tunes in the Dunes
The annual three-day summer music fest takes place right on the sand at the renowned beach bar venue, The Watering Hole, presenting an eclectic mix of live performances on a trio of stages. Famous headliners join other well-known and local acts, plus there’s a wealth of other entertainment including DJs, a silent disco, a wellbeing area, Estrella Beach Club and family activities.
Dubbed the ‘Perranporth Extreme Surf Triathlon’ and hosted by Perranporth Surf Lifesaving Club, the gruelling event is just the ticket for anyone wanting a physical challenge while holidaying in the area. Widely regarded as one of the UK’s oldest and toughest events of its kind, consisting of a 1.5km surf swim off Perranporth Beach followed by a 38km hilly bike leg out of town and back three times, completed with a 7.5km run along the sand and cliffs to the finishing line at the village green, smack in the centre of town.
For the best food and drink...
Drink and dine to your heart’s content without leaving the town courtesy of a swathe of pubs and restaurants serving a host of local and world foods.
The Watering Hole is at the epicentre of the beach action, offering a heady combination of live music and a variety of food and drink – including Sunday lunches and beach barbecues alongside breakfast and pub classics like burgers.
For locally sourced cuisine, head to No 4 Breakfast and Bistro, while for family-friendly menus and cocktails with entertainment - and a beer garden - plump for The Waterfront. Alcatraz is the bar with a view and The Hub is the latest coffee hangout; or for vegan and world-food, search out Sprout At The Yard. Refined dining is the order of the day along with divine sea-gazing tables at The Summer House Restaurant; and for more beachfront action The Seiners Arms remains as popular as ever. Otherwise, expect a string of ice cream, fish and chips, Indian and Chinese takeaways, street food outlets, cafés, pubs and pop-ups all scattered throughout Perranporth for the most top-tasting holiday.
With so much to see and do in and around Perranporth, visitors to this spectacular part of the Duchy can create a holiday to match your every mood – check out our cottages in Perranporth to start planning your perfect trip to the coast.