Weird name, perfect beach: welcome to Porthkidney

PUBLISHED: 11:19 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 October 2020

View from the dunes at Porthkidney Sands Beach near Lelant and St Ives Cornwall England UK Europe

View from the dunes at Porthkidney Sands Beach near Lelant and St Ives Cornwall England UK Europe

ian woolcock

The marvellously named Porthkidney Beach in Lelant near Hayle is the perfect beach

Porthkidney Sands Beach is near Lelant in St Ives BayPorthkidney Sands Beach is near Lelant in St Ives Bay

Close your eyes and picture the perfect beach. Miles of golden sands, gentle waves lapping at the shore in front of you, gently sloping sand dunes behind – and all sitting in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and forming part of the South West Coast Path. Now open your eyes and you are probably standing on Porthkidney Sands near Lelant. Sitting on the estuary of the River Hayle, this beach has a sense of infinite sands during low tide when this one-mile wide beach becomes a vast expanse of beach. Sitting on the Atlantic Coast it is actually in the mouth of the River Hayle in Lelant to Hawk’s Point in Carbis Bay. On the lowest of tides it is possible to walk around the point to Carbis Bay beach, home to the stunning Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate and its restaurants, bistro and spa. Beware: the tide moves quickly so be careful not to get cut off.

Hawk’s Point at the northern end is a good surf spot, but swimming is not advised – especially during turning tides as there are strong, unpredictable currents and no lifeguard cover.

There is plenty of room for all the family – including dogs. Porthkidney is all year dog friendly making this wide expanse the perfect spot for energetic animals and children.

The name? It was originally called ‘Porth Kinnis’, meaning ‘firewood beach’, suggesting that Porthkidney was historically a haunt of shipwreckers.

Explore more of Cornwall’s best beaches here.

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