Welcome to Porthtowan-An Audio Description for the Visually Impaired

An audio description of Porthtowan beach for the visually impaired or for anybody to listen to and enjoy.

(auto-play not available with iPhone and iPad)


© G.Jones. Recorded at Echo Corner Studios and narrated by a popular local Porthtowan resident.

From the Cornish words porth (cove or harbour), and tewyn (dune), Porthtowan’s main attraction has long been its beautiful beach. It has always lured daytrippers and holidaymakers – from the Victorian miners and their families who would walk here from Redruth on sunny bank holidays, to the huge range of visitors we welcome today.

Situated in the heart of tin and copper mining country, tin streaming took place on the beach right up to the 1950s. The beach is a dynamic environment – in the winter months, the power of the ocean and the winter storms can alter its appearance. In spring, gentler waves return more of the golden sand to the beach. Porthtowan is a popular surfing destination due to its excellent conditions. There are also good rock pools to explore on both sides. PLEASE TAKE CARE, AND BE AWARE OF THE TIDE AT ALL TIMES. Lushington Cove is on the western side, with Godrevy Lighthouse and St Ives Bay in the distance. On the eastern side, a long stretch of sand leads to Chapel Porth, overlooked by Towanroath engine house at Wheal Coates, one of the most iconic and well photographed in Cornwall. In the distance are St Agnes Head and Bawden Rocks, or ‘Man and His Man’.

Watch out for ravens, kestrels and oystercatchers, and fulmars nestling on the surrounding cliffs. Peregrines are resident here and can often be spotted hunting overhead – listen for their characteristic squeal. These powerful falcons can ‘stoop’ through the air at speeds of up to 200mph. Majestic gannets plummet for fish in the distance, and can sometimes be lured closer to shore by large shoals of fish. Grey seals can be observed in the surf all year round, and as the sea warms up in spring, it’s worth watching for harmless basking sharks – the second biggest fish in the sea – as well as several species of dolphin and porpoise.