A wonderful north westerly facing beach that stretches for over 1.3kms from Dennis Point in the south to Hole Beach and Bagalow Beach in the north and framed by Lower Penhalic Point. Backed by high cliffs the beach is at the end of a steeply sided incised valley with many remains of the former slate quarrying industry.
The beach is known locally as ‘The Strand’. Port William, at the southerly end of The Strand, was once a small harbour used in the export of slate. The gully entrance on to the beach from the road was carved out centuries ago when sand from the beach was used for agricultural purposes. The beach is owned by the National Trust and is ‘Trebervedh Sian’ in Cornish.
PL34 0HB - From Camelford on the A39, take the B3266 signposted to Tintagel and after 2.7kms the B3263 (again signed for Tintagel). After 3.5kms, turn left to Trebarwith Strand. Follow the road down the valley for nearly 2kms and there is a large car park on the right (capacity 130 cars). There is smaller car park nearer the beach (capacity 45 cars) and very little It is a short walk from the car parks down the road to the entrance to the beach which is a rocky gully through the rocks. Although it is relatively flat, the uneven surface may make it difficult for the less able. To get to the Port William end of the beach it is possible to follow the road on the left (behind the cafes and shops), past the pub and over the small headland (with fine views of the beach) and down to the beach. As well as the main access point it is possible to exit the beach as the tide rises in two places up the cliffs to the Coast Path.
One of the major issues with the beach is that at high tide – for most of the time an hour either side of high water - there is no beach at all apart from some of the higher rocky ledges at the entrance to the beach. Occasionally in particularly rough conditions the beach is closed when waves surge up the gully.
However, as the tide recedes a glorious sandy beach appears with a number of rocky ledges. At low water it is truly a very fine beach indeed. There are numerous caves especially around the headland to Port William. It is a popular family beach and has some relatively sheltered spots around the rocks despite its exposure to the Atlantic swell and westerly winds. The tidal shallow sandy pools are especially popular with young children. Around to the right of the entrance is the more secluded Lill Cove and further on a stretch of The Strand known as Vean Hole. It is possible to walk to Hole Beach and Bagalow Beach at low water.
There is safety equipment at the entrance to the beach and also on the rocks to the right of the entrance, and above the Port William end of southerly end of the beach. RNLI Lifeguards are on duty from the end of May until the end of September.
It is only safe to enter the water when the Lifeguards are on duty and then in the designated areas. The swell and surf that normally prevails means it is not suitable for swimming although in calmer conditions it can be possible. The rip currents at low water and the numerous rocks at higher tides are constant dangers.
It is a fine surfing beach but mainly suitable for those who are more experienced but conditions sometimes are very good for beginners. It is a beach break that is best at mid to low tide because of the rocks. It is well known for having cross-waves that give punchy peaks and fast barrelling waves. There is a surf school which operates from one of the facilities above the beach. There is also board and wetsuit hire.
It is not a snorkelling beach. There are numerous rock pools of considerable interest at the base of the cliffs. Small fish and crabs can be easily found and the rocks and pools are full of crustaceans such as periwinkles, limpets and mussels.
There are no restrictions on dogs.
Toilets are located immediately above the beaches which include disabled facilities. There are also toilets opposite the nearest car park to the beach.
There are cafes, shops, hire facilities just above the beach although many closed out of season. The is a well known pub and restaurant on the road to Port William and a restauarnt further up the valley. Further facilities are at nearby Tintagel (2kms).
The water quality is generally good but the Trebarwith Stream crosses the beach and this can be affected from time to time by storm overflows which can reduce water quality. The beach is cleaned by tidal action and the National Trust. It is a fine family beach with magical sunset views across to Gull Rock which is about 750m offshore. The walk along the Coast Path to Tintagel is recommended.
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