What to See & do in Porthleven? | Full Guide

11th August 2022

Planning a trip to Porthleven and wondering what to see and do there? We’ve got you covered. This pretty harbour town has a thriving foodie scene, sandy beach and a working harbour, perfect for watching the boats bob in and out from one of the harbourside pubs. Here’s our top things to see and do in Porthleven.

Drink at The Ship Inn

This traditional, 17th century pub feels like you’re stepping back in time – that is, until you sample their fresh, modern menu. With traditional pub décor and an excellent view of the harbour, this cosy pub is made for whiling away the day sipping your pint of choice and admiring the harbour activity. Spot seabirds in the summer or hide from the storms in the winter, which often see waves crashing over the harbour walls. This old fisherman’s haunt is the best place in Porthleven to eat, drink and relax, no matter the weather.

Photo credit: Ed Perkins

Eat fish and chips at the harbour

Tuck into the freshest caught fish, battered to perfection and adorned with as much salt and vinegar as you like. Fish and chips are best enjoyed right by the sea, and Porthleven’s harbour wall is an ideal spot for soaking up the bustling atmosphere as you eat. Head to Porthleven Fish and Chips or The Top Chippy to get your fix. Just watch out for hungry seagulls!

Wild swimming

Porthleven has many sheltered spots for a dip to cool off in the summer months, or, if you’re brave, during winter. Wait for high tide and head in off the harbour slipway, when the fishing boats will be far out to sea and you can enjoy a calm pool to splash about in. Or, head to Porthleven beach to get your fix of the vast Atlantic ocean – lifeguards patrol here in the summer months, making it the safest choice.

Dine at Kota

Kota means ‘shellfish’ in Maori, and you may recognise head chef Jude, who is half Maori, half Chinese Malay, from his appearance on BBC’s Great British Menu. Kota serves up the finest of local produce with a signature Asian twist, and is the ultimate fine dining experience in the area. Expect tempura oysters, crispy monkfish and seasonal greens in seaweed butter, enjoyed with handpicked wine pairings. It’s a must visit.

Watch the sunset at Rinsey Head

Enjoy panoramic views of the Lizard and Land’s End and soak up a kaleidoscopic sunset at Rinsey Head, which you can reach in a circular walk along the coast path. This walk is beautiful at any time of day, but a post-dinner stroll will reward you with the most vivid pink and orange skies as the sun rolls behind the horizon. It’s a great dog walk, too, as long as you keep your pups on the lead when on cliff path.

Go crabbing off the harbour wall

Pick up a bucket and line and wait for high tide to do a spot of crabbing off the harbour wall. This is a fun activity for kids and adults alike, and you may choose to make it a competition of who can catch the biggest! When you’re done, safely return your crabs to the ocean and reward the family with an ice cream from one of the nearby parlours.

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