Praa Sands

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Coordinates: 50°06′16″N 5°23′09″W / 50.1045°N 5.3858°W / 50.1045; -5.3858

The beach at Praa Sands

Praa Sands (Cornish: Poll an Wragh),[1] (formerly Prah Sands) commonly pronounced pray or prah, is a white sand beach and coastal village in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The exact pronunciation of the name is a source of debate. It is in the parish of Breage and lies off the A394 road between Helston and Penzance.[2] Formerly serving the local mining industry, it is now mostly a tourist-orientated area.

The village is also the site of Praa Sands and District Community Centre, which holds events throughout the year for the local community.


Situated in a sheltered indentation within Mount's Bay, Praa Sands has a long, wide sandy beach facing south, lapped by comparatively large waves for the area[citation needed]. The beach, which has shallow waters and seasonal lifeguards, attracts surfers and holidaymakers. Adjacent to the beach are traditional retail outlets serving the holidaymaker.

Praa Sands lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The western side of Praa Sands beach contains Folly Rocks Site of Special Scientific Interest, noted for its geological aspects, including a granite porphyry.[3] The geology is most interesting.[4]

To the west of the village is another small beach, at Kenneggy, which is accessible from the cliff path at low tide.


On 1 February 1882 a pumping engine at Sydney Cove (part of Mount's Bay Consols) was fired. Although in September 1882 it was reported in The Cornishman newspaper that an engine house is nearly completed and the engine is being put in.[5][6]

The Short Sunderland plane crash of 1943[edit]

After an air battle against eight German planes in the Bay of Biscay, the Sunderland had been heavily damaged. The crew made it back 800 miles to the Cornish coast, where pilot Colin Walker managed to land and beach it at Praa Sands. The local people of Praa Sands took the crew into their houses, and gave them medical assistance. Walker received the Distinguished Service Order and several of the other crew members also received medals. On 2 June 2013, a memorial was opened on the green at Praa Sands.[7]


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  3. ^ "Folly Rocks" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  4. ^ French, C. "The 'submerged forest' palaeosols of Cornwall" (PDF). Retrieved 21 March 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Starting An Engine At Sydney Cove". The Cornishman (187). 9 February 1882. p. 8.
  6. ^ Johnny-Come-Fortnight (21 September 1882). "Mining Notes". The Cornishman (219). p. 5.
  7. ^ "Crew of Praa Sands WWII crash plane remembered". BBC.