Perranporth – The Complete Guide

Written by: Eliot Prince

Ahoy, beachgoers! Welcome to Perranporth – a stunning Cornish seaside town surrounded by pristine golden beaches and dazzling offshore views. 

Nestled in between the cliffs and hills of North Cornwall is a paradise promising rest, relaxation and adventure for all its visitors. Whether you’re looking for surfing fun or coastal walks, sunbathing or delicious restaurants; this is one of the UK’s top beach destinations. 

So grab your bucket and spade and join us as we explore everything Perranporth has to offer for you unforgettable getaway…

Around Perranporth

perranporth town centre sunny

Perranporth is a small town located on the north coast of Cornwall, England. The town revolves around its famous wide, sandy beach, which stretches for nearly three miles. 

As you arrive, you’ll immediately notice how much is going on to make it such a brilliant holiday destination. The residential area crawls up the hillside with all the streets culminating in the centre which is just a few steps from the beach.

As you walk through Perranporth you’ll come across a selection of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and bars for you to enjoy. There’s a laidback surfing beach vibe to everything that goes on here, but there are pursuits for everyone to enjoy – cliff-side nature walks, a tidal bathing pool, beachside cocktails, all manner of water sports, golf, and plentiful sunbathing spots. Plus, it’s always a favourite destination for dog walkers. 

Of course, if you are looking for consistent waves, a visit to Perranporth is always a good shout!

How to Get to Perranporth

perranporth sign

Transport links to Perranporth are a little limited, generally, it involves driving yourself as there is no train station in the town.

It is one of the easiest of Cornwall’s north coast beaches to reach by road. It sits just 10 minutes from the A30, the main road running through the heart of the county. If you’re travelling from outside Cornwall, this means you can take major motorways like the M5 toward Exeter, then jump on the A30 towards Truro. Then follow the signposts on the B3825 until the countryside rolls down the hill to the seaside. There’s plenty of parking in town with several large car parks, including on the beachfront.

Train travel is a little more tricky, you’ll have to get the train to Newquay, then make your way by road via car or local U1 coast-to-coast bus. Although, there is an airfield at Perranporth, the nearest commercial airport is Cornwall Airport in Newquay.

What to See and Do

Surf lessons in Perranporth

Beach. Beach. Beach. It’s literally impossible to go to Perranporth without spending most of your time on the epic 3 miles of golden sands! There’s even a beach wheelchair you can hire if you struggle with mobility.

During mid to low tide Perranporth beach links to Perran Sands which opens up this glorious expanse, you’ll always be able to find room for your whole family, even in the peak of summer. Adding to this, dogs are allowed on the beach all year round (must be kept on a lead in certain areas during July and August.)

Surfing is attraction number one, with consistent rolling swells like an ocean of blue corrugated iron when viewed from the clifftops. You can rent a board at any number of local surf shops like Piran Surf and book lessons at Perranporth Surf School or Stoked Surf School.

For an adventure, take the coastal cliff walk on the South West path which takes you up through sand dunes for spectacular scenery across the bay.

Golfers can test their skills on the links golf course, one of the finest around with particularly stunning putting surfaces to go with the mind blowing views. Hopefully, your ball won’t disappear into the aforementioned views…)

Ready to just chill out? Then that’s a go-to move for many who set up camp on the beach for the day with deckchairs and buckets and spades. The beach is lifeguarded from April until October so make sure to swim between the red and yellow flags. Perranporth is a vast beach and rip tides occur regularly, so stay safe with the lifeguards. Surfers can also surf between the black and white flags too. 

For those that like to take in a little history during a visit, then take a stroll to the Perranzabuloe Museum which offers insight into the rich history of the area.

Where to Stay

Apartments on the beach in Perranporth

The accommodation in Perranporth largely consists of bed and breakfasts, private apartment and villas rental, beach resorts, and camping. You won’t find any large hotels like other holiday destinations.

For complete luxury, then The Bolena boutique hotel is an award-winning stop with suites and charming self-catering cottages.

You’ll find dozens of options if you’re looking for an apartment or villa for the week on all the major booking websites. From studio flats for a low coast surf trip or penthouses overlooking the beach for sunset.

Adding to this there are holiday parks and camping at Perran Sands holiday park, Liskey Hill holiday park, and Tollgate farm camping.

Eating and Drinking

summerhouse and alcatraz

You’ll be surprised at the choice of establishments to try out during your visit, you’ll struggle to get through everything during the week. Naturally, there’s varying quality and price on offer.

Cafe and coffee stops are littered throughout town which also serve up tasty breakfast, brunch, and lunch. The Hub is a friendly and well-priced spot to refuel or No. 4 Breakfast and Bistro is always too tempting, whether you want pancakes for brunch or seafood linguine for dinner.

Restaurant in perranporth

Summerhouse and Alcatraz both perch right on the beach with cracking views. Both serve up relaxed feel-good food throughout the day and evening. The real trick here is to arrive just before sunset and grab a cocktail. Trust me on this one.

A number of other pubs and bars are sprinkled throughout Perranporth. The Wateringhole is a rare Cornish beach bar which is located on the sand. So you can grab a beer, burger, or coffee without leaving the sand. And the music turns up a notch after sunset.

To fill up after a busy day on the beach all the staples are available in town from pub grub, curry, Chinese, pizza, and of course, fish and chips. A popular move is grabbing a fish and chips to eat on the beachside benches.

fish and chip shop in perranporth

Shopping in Perranporth

piran surf shop sunny

Shops along the main street in Perranporth have you covered for all the things you could need for a beach holiday. You’ll find a number of surf shops offering rental equipment and selling it too along with summer clothes, beach towels, suncream, and body boards, wetsuits, surfboards, and beach accessories for everyone. Don’t forget to grab a bucket and spade, no beach day is complete without a killer sand castle and epic hole.

All the key beach clobber… Adding to this you can potter around a number of unique boutiques, stop for a coffee in a cosy cafe, or grab some groceries. You’ll find two CO-OPs shops, one at each end of the high street for food and drink during your stay. 

In all honesty, it’s not a place to go and do your retail therapy but has all the necessities and a selection of gift shops for souvenirs or a piece of art.

Surrounding Area

Jump in the car and be out and about in the Cornish countryside in minutes. You can explore local towns and cities like Newquay or Truro both just 15 or so minutes away. 

Or wind your way up and down the coastal road to arrive at more glorious beaches like Holywell Bay with its towering humpback sand dune or the cute beaches of Porthtowan and St. Agnes.

Beach life getting a bit much? Then take a day out at Lappa Valley where the family can ride through woodland on miniature steam trains. For animal lovers, Dairyland – a farm-themed type of petting zoo, is a short drive. And if you’re looking to quench your thirst then Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm is the place to sneak off to for a day of apples as you taste your way around the Scrumpy garden.

Perranporth – A Paradise that Promises Rest, Relaxation and Adventure

Perranporth beach in Cornwall at sunset

Don’t pass up the chance to explore Perranporth. When the hustle and bustle of life seem just a little too much, take a break and dive into what Perranporth offers. 

Relax on its enormous beach or take a paddle out on the consistent swell. Enjoy local seafood speciality dishes, either right in the town or within a short drive to Newquay.  Grab a drink at the local watering hole and take in the breathtaking view of a beach sunset. And if you’re never far from the lush rolling Cornwall countryside which awaits with activities filled days out.