Some of the old tram-roads, used for transporting ore from the mines, have been made into cycle paths and it possible to cycle from Portreath on the north coast to Devoran on the south coast. Details can be obtained from Tourist Information.
Portreath 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.
Located on the B3300 which is marked from the main A30.
There are two surf/beach shops and an amusement arcade for families located on the seafront. Public toilets are also available close by. The village has a local supermarket, Post Office, Bakery and a tearoom located within The Square. The village also has three pubs – one of which overlooks the harbour and a smaller, sandy beach.
Seasonal dog ban. Easter day to 1st October
Access to the beach via ramp at harbour end of car park. Some designated disabled parking spaces in the beachfront car park. Both adult and child sand chairs available from Portreath Surf Life Centre - 01209 842746
By 1827 Portreath was described as Cornwall's most important port and Portreath was, with Devoran on the south coast, one of the main ports for sending the copper ore mined in the Gwennap area to Swansea for smelting. The ships returned with Welsh coal to fire the steam engines used on the mines. The peak of this enterprise was around 1840, when some 100,000 tons of copper ore were shipped out each year.
RRH Portreath, on Nancekuke Common to the north of the village, is now a radar station operated by the RAF, but was originally built in 1940 to be the RAF's main fighter airfield in Cornwall during WW2.
The railways and Portreath Tramroad associated with the minerals trade today form the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast, a long distance cycleway and footpath extending 15 miles (24 km) from Portreath to the south coast.
Portreath (Cornish: Porthtreth or Porth Treth) is a civil parish, village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The village is about three miles (5 km) northwest of Redruth. The village extends along both sides of a stream valley and is centred on the harbour and beach. West of the harbour entrance and breakwater are two sandy beaches which are popular with holidaymakers and surfers.
There is a reasonably large privately owned car park right on the beach
This is good walking country with beautiful views from the spectacular cliffs One good walk is south to Bassets Cove, about five miles there and back. Although the walk is strenuous in parts, there are lovely views, lots of wild flowers and various sea birds. North to Porthtowan is a longer walk of about eight miles there and back. The cliffs in the area are made up of slate and sandstone and are subject to erosion, so care should be taken when walking the coastal path.
The Portreath Tramroad, the first railway in Cornwall, was started in 1809 to link the harbour with the copper mines at Scorrier and St Day. By 1812 the tramroad reached Scorrier House, one of the financiers houses, and was completed by 1819. It was horse-drawn with wagons on an approximate 4 ft (1.2 m) gauge using L-shaped cast iron plates on square granite blocks. The line was little used after the Poldice mine closed in the 1860s and the tramroad was closed in 1865.
Nance Wood, 1 mile to the south east of the village, is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its biological characteristics. The woods are one of only 2 sites in Britain to contain Irish spurge (Euphorbia hyberna), a Red Data Book of rare and endangered plant species.
The pretty, sandy beach has a stream running down to the sea on the left hand side. It is a popular family beach which, like many beaches on the north Cornish coast, is popular with surfers and in particular bodyboarders who turn up in force at high tide on big swells to surf the harbour wall, or Vortex as it is known.. The beach is cleaned daily during the season and dogs are not allowed on the beach from Easter Day to 1st October each year.
Full lifeguard service in the Summer (19 May to 30 September)
The beach and Gull Rock at sunset
To hire the Sand Chair please contact David Green of West Cornwall Adventure who is based at the beach. Tel: 07837 634861
The large beach has soft fine sand, with shingle below the shore line, that is popular with families. The harbour wall and “rocky” is popular with surfers for its “vortex” surf break. Refreshments may be obtained from the Beach Café or The Retreat Restaurant & Take-Away which has a relaxed atmosphere with comfy sofas.
In the late 1770s, during the American Revolutionary War, lieutenant-colonel of the North Devon militia, Francis Basset, commanded local miners to fortify the port, which helped counter a Franco-Spanish invasion fleet gathered as part of the European theatre of the war, some of them still standing to this day.
There are several shops, cafés and holiday accommodation in Portreath. The village has a very friendly atmosphere and caters for most needs of tourists, whilst not being over-commercialised.
Toilets, including disabled facilities, first aid post, lost child centre, café, restaurant, shops and surf life-saving club.