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] - pronounced Pray or Prah Sands, is a beautiful white sand beach and coastal village in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is in the parish of Breage and lies off the main road between Helston and Penzance.[2] Formerly serving the local mining industry, it is now mostly a tourist-oriented 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, it 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). Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.

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.

The Short Sunderland plane crash[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.[5]