This fine easterly facing beach is somewhat unusual in Cornwall in that most of it is privately owned and managed by an adjacent holiday camp but the whole of it can be used by the public although access by those not staying, or using the camp site, is limited to the northerly end of the beach by the silted up former harbour. The last cargo ship used the Harbour in 1940 but it gradually silted up until around 1960’s the harbour basin was entirely cut off from the sea. The beach next to the camp site is sometimes called Sconhoe Beach. At low water the beach joins up with Portgiskey to the south.
PL26 6BX – From St.Austell take the B3273 road to Mevagissey and after 5kms turn off to the village of Pentewan. After 250m there is a small car park on the right (capacity 50+cars) plus a few roadside parking spaces in the middle of the village. This is the only public parking available close to the beach. There is then a short walk (200m) from the car park, through the Sailing Club and next to the Harbour Basin out on to the beach by the old harbour wall.
The sandy beach is over 1.1kms long and around the harbour entrance is often a fine silt.
There is always a wide strip of beach above high water mark. When the tide is out a flat expanse of beach is exposed. The St.Austell River crosses the beach by the harbour wall.
There is safety equipment above the beach provided by the Holiday Camp. There are no lifeguards but the beach in sectioned off in the summer season by buoys marking swimming and bathing areas each side of an area of water for launching boats. It is a safe beach for swimming when conditions prevail. It is not a surfing beach but can occasionally be good for bodyboarding. It is not a good snorkelling beach and there are no rock pools. It is a good beach for windsurfing and water skiing but restrictions on access means that launching boats, kayaks etc can only be done if staying at the Holiday Camp although Kayaks and sailing dinghies can be hired; Jet Skis are not permitted.
Dogs are only allowed on weekdays from 8.00hrs to 16.00hrs from the beginning of November to mid March. There are toilets in the Village Square, a pub and shop. The camp restaurant and beach kiosk can be used by the public; if the camp facilities are used then parking is then permitted on the site.
The sea water quality is good and the beach is generally clean. If staying at the Holiday Camp the beach has much to offer. For a day visitor there is always the cycle path up the valley to explore.
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