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Porthcothan Beach - geograph.org.uk - 314452.jpg
Porthcothan beach looking down from the north at low tide, towards the former Arch rock
Porthcothan is located in Cornwall
Location within Cornwall
OS grid referenceSW8574572018
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPADSTOW
Postcode districtPL28
Dialling code01841
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°30′29″N 5°01′20″W / 50.5081°N 5.0221°W / 50.5081; -5.0221Coordinates: 50°30′29″N 5°01′20″W / 50.5081°N 5.0221°W / 50.5081; -5.0221

Porthcothan (Cornish: Porthkehodhon)[1] is a coastal village between Newquay and Padstow in Cornwall, England, UK.[2] It is within the civil parish of St Eval.

Porthcothan lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.

The sandy beach is popular with tourists and surfers and is patrolled by lifeguards during the day in the summer; local surf schools sometimes use the beach for tuition. There is a pay-and-display car park and a small grocery shop near the beach. In January 2014, storm Anne reduced a local arch, Jan Leverton's Rock, to rubble.[3][4]


As with many coves in Cornwall Porthcothan has legends of smuggling, and there is a large cave some mile inland that is reputed to have been used to store the smuggled goods.[5]

Notable residents[edit]

Notable former residents include the early science fiction author J. D. Beresford[6] and the playwright Nick Darke.[7] The novelist D. H. Lawrence lived locally at one time, but did not get on with the local populace who accused him of spying during World War I.[5][6]

See also[edit]

Other coastal villages and bays nearby
Other villages nearby


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey Landranger 200; Newquay, Padstow & surrounding area, 1:50 000. 1988
  3. ^ "UK storms: Further flooding risk as heavy rain forecast". BBC News. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Storms smash iconic Cornish rock formation at Porthcothan". Western Morning News. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b Rendell, Joan (1983). North Cornwall in the Old Days. St Teath: Bossiney Books. p. 25. ISBN 0-906456-79-7.
  6. ^ a b Harrison, Andrew (2017). ""A new continent of the soul": D.H. Lawrence, Porthcothan and the necessary fiction of Cornwall". Journal of D. H. Lawrence Studies. 4. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  7. ^ Michell, Roger (15 June 2005). "Obituary: Nick Darke". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Porthcothan at Wikimedia Commons