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image depicting Porthtowan
Cornwall, TR4 8AW, Lat/Long 50.3N 5.2W

A scenic sandy beach surrounded by steep cliffs along West Cornwall's north coast. Porthtowan attracts surfers to enjoy its consistent powerful waves and families to experience the clean waters.

Holder of a Blue Flag Award for many years, the glistening shore offers walkers the opportunity to explore the South West Coast Path and take in the impressive coastline and wildlife.

Water quality

  • Benefits from the 1999 Porthtowan Clean Sweep scheme
  • Porthtowan sewage treatment works offers secondary treatment and ultraviolet disinfection before discharge through an outfall at Porthtowan stream. This discharge is designed to protect bathing water quality
  • There are emergency/storm overflows from the pumping stations at Echo Corner and Porthtowan Beach and an overflow from the sewage treatment works. Overflows exist to protect homes, gardens, roads and open spaces from sewer flooding normally after storms
  • Bathing water quality in this area can be affected by urban drainage and agricultural runoff.

Local activities and interests

Swimming, fishing, surf board hire, surfing, canoeing. There is zoning for watersports.

Toilets, shops, food and litter bins. 

A well-known beach for surfers of all abilities. Strong tube waves are known to hit the shores at Porthtowan.

For RNLI lifeguard season dates click here.

Porthtowan Surf Life Saving Club.

Good Beach Guide: Porthtowan

factors affecting bathing water quality

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