Portscatho is a coastal village at the end of Gerran’s Bay, on the Roseland peninsular, Cornwall. The village was heavily reliant on Pilchard fishing as far back as the 16 hundreds. Along the shore were fish cellers where the fish were cleaned, salted and packed for sale.
By 1907 pilchard fishing in Portscatho had declined. Whilst fishing boats still work from the village it is now on a much less grand scale. Today the village derives much of its income from tourism. With its beautiful coastline and stunning beach, it is hardly surprising people wish to holiday there.
We were staying at a caravan club site just outside of Trewithian. As we haven’t yet explored the Roseland peninsular, this seemed the perfect place to start. With only one full day for exploring we wanted to be as close to the coast path as we could get.
We were hoping for a fairly cool day as we wanted to bring the dogs along with us. We got our wish or so we thought. When we set out is was warm but pretty overcast. Not the best for photography but at least the dogs wouldn’t overheat.
From where we met the coast path we could go right to Portscatho or left to a Carne beach. We had a good vantage point in both directions and as beautiful as the coast path looked toward and past the beach, there didn’t seem to be enough difference in the landscape of interest for a photographer. Whereas a village at the end of our walk was sure to produce some opportunities.
Portscatho was waymarked as being 1⅔ miles from where we met the coast path, so it would be an easy walk for our chubby little blind dog. The path on this stretch of the coast was a fairly easy walk with stunning views across the Bay in both directions. With plenty of hedging making shadows for the dogs to stay in. This was a bit of luck as the sun came out and it was getting hot.
The path meets Porthbean Beach before climbing some steps back to the cliffs above the sea. If we had been walking longer we would probably have stopped here and let the dogs have a paddle. It’s a nice size beach with barely anyone in it.
Porthbean Beach is a mixed sand and shingle beach, with rocks when the tide is low. Dogs are allowed on this beach all year round. As far as we can tell this beach can only be reached by walking the coast path. There are no toilets or lifeguard cover on this beach.
Rejoining the path we soon came to Portscatho Lookout Station at Pednvadan Point. The view from the station is quite stunning. So much so I even braved a brief look over the edge. The sea has a beautiful Mediterranean look as it covers the rocks. This is the only part of the path that we had walked all day that gave me pause because it came too close to the edge. Normal people really wouldn’t notice. Nik certainly didn’t, he was too busy taking photos of Porthcurnick Beach, which we had almost reach.
Porthcurnick Beach is a beautiful little sandy cove, owned by the National Trust about 10 minutes walk from Portscatho.
There is a car park above the beach accessed by steps. We also noticed many, many people chose to park along the edge of the road that meets the slipway onto the beach. This beach is also dog friendly and sadly lacks lifeguard cover. However, it does have a little cafe with outside seating. When we walked past, it was doing a roaring trade.
Moving forward, or more accurately, down steps into a valley and then back up the other side, it wasn’t long before we reach the outskirts of Portscatho. By this time the sun was super hot and wandering through hot streets with two dogs would have been cruel. So keeping as much to the shadows as we could, we made our way to the beach. Typically, this is the beach we decided to stop at and it turned out to be the beach that has a seasonal dog ban.
So we crawled across the rocks, giving the dogs a chance to cool their feet in the rock pools, to the harbour. Once there as scenic as it was with the boats tied up on the sand we quickly moved onward and upward to a little shelter that overlooked it. This was because there was no shade on the sand and we really wanted to give the dogs a chance to rest in as cool a spot as possible.
We only investigated the seafront area of Portscatho because of the heat. But to be honest there was no sign from that area that there was much reason to want to explore further inland.
Not that we were disappointed with the village, after all, we’d had no idea what we would find when we reached it. Well, maybe we were a little disappointed that it didn’t turn out to be a quaint little fishing village. With cute little boutique or tourist type shops near the water’s edge. I did have a look on google maps to see if there was a village shopping area and couldn’t see any. So we have concluded that Portscatho is a large village that is very popular with holidaymakers.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable day walking the coast path and Nik got lots of fantastic photos so we really aren’t complaining.
We had to leave our campsite by 12 pm so we got up bright and early. Returned to the coast path, to see how far we could get in the other direction.
We knew we wouldn’t make it to Carne beach, as little chubby Ella doesn’t walk fast enough. We were walking into the sun, so it made for some interesting photo opportunities. This part of the coast path reminded us of walking on Exmoor. With the sea to one side of us and bracken on the other. And just to enhance that feeling, just before we had to turn around, we met a small heard of ponies.
For more blogs about our adventures, click HERE
The days’ Photos
Click the images below to enlarge