The village of Porthtowan, situated on the rugged north coast of Cornwall, is a relaxed beachside spot. A clue to its geography, in Cornish its name translates to Porth meaning beach and towan meaning dunes. Home to the award-winning Blue Flag beach, the community of Porthtowan also have a huge environmental commitment, with education and information around the beach.
If travelling by car, take the A30 from the M5, then head off on the B3277 at the Chiverton Cross roundabout and head for Porthtowan. It is around 10 miles from Truro.
If you’re driving to North Cornwall in a plug-in electric vehicle, see our list of charging locations here.
Porthtowan is also around 20 miles from Newquay Airport, so that is another option, but public transport is limited on this stretch so a taxi, or car hire would be the best option for onward travel.
The council-run car park on Beach Road is the main car park at Porthtowan. There’s 137 spaces, and charges apply from 9am – 4pm from 1 April until 31 October (out of the peak season there is no charge). The car park is reasonably priced; up to 1 hour costs 90p, 1 to 2 hours – £1.50, 2 to 3 hours – £2, 3 to 4 hours – £2.50, 24 hours – £3.50, and you can park here weekly for £8.75.
You may be lucky and find some on-street parking depending on the time of year.
The Unicorn on the Beach and its shack-style beach bar enjoy a dog-friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Moments from Porthtowan Beach, open seven days a week, its winning combination of tasty cuisine, beautiful surroundings, and a welcoming atmosphere makes it one of the best around.
Blue Bar opened in 1999 as Cornwall’s original beach bar and kitchen, and has been a popular choice ever since. Right on the dunes of the beach, you’ll find freshly prepared, locally-sourced food – think burgers, tacos and stonebaked pizzas – Barista coffees, local ales, lagers and more.
A Cornwall holiday wouldn’t be complete without fish and chips at the beach. Seasmiths is a short stroll from the beach, not deviating away from the main character, on the limited menu you’ll find lightly battered and sustainably caught cod and haddock, tasty chips and a selection of sauces and sides. Plus, everything Seasmiths serve can be gluten free.
Less than five miles away, Driftwood Spars is a pub with a real sense of history. Recommended by the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide, the fish is generally landed daily at Newlyn harbour or 200 yards away in the cove. Be sure to check out the seafood specials.
Porthtowan Holiday Cottages & Luxury Homes