Porthcurno Cove: 10 Things to Do

An image of the Minack Theatre stage and audience, near Porthcurno Cove.

Porthcurno Cove: 10 Things to Do


Why choose between iconic beaches and world-class cultural venues when you can have it all?

Welcome to Porthcurno Cove. This precious spot not only offers an unforgettable sun, sea and sand experience, but also an internationally renowned open-air theatre. Add its fascinating history as the centre of global telecommunications and you’ve discovered the little bit of Cornwall that keeps on giving.

Here’s 10 things to do:

1) Settle into paradise at Porthcurno Cove

No, you haven’t just landed on a Greek Island, but it’s an easy mistake to make. Nestled between dramatic cliffs, Porthcurno Cove offers soft sand and aquamarine waters that will light you from the inside out. Many describe this multi-award-winning beach as paradise. It’s easy to see why.

2) Visit the extraordinary Minack Theatre

Meet the theatre that would make ancient Roman architects stop and stare. The Minack is a one-off – a masterpiece carved from Cornish granite and perched high above the ocean. It has to be seen to be believed – take a tour and marvel at this wonder of the world.

3) See a show at the Minack

Of course, the Minack is a living theatre too, offering everything from comedy and music to drama where the dramatic backdrop is always an essential member of the cast. Top tip: you can’t beat a bit of Shakespeare here. Somehow the unique aspect of this special theatre lends itself to the drama of the Immortal Bard! Book here.

4) PK Porthcurno

It’s hard to believe that remote Porthcurno has been at the centre of worldwide communications for over 100 years, but it’s true! Its role connecting the world with telegraph cables and later fibre optics is a fascinating tale of one small village’s big impact on global comms. Discover more at PK Porthcurno, a museum that explores the story of how the world connects.

5) Peer into The Cable Hut

Modest it may look, but this nondescript hut is where telegraph cables came ashore from all around the world. When open to visitors, you can even see the original cables and connecting terminals.

6) Go au natural at Pedn Vounder beach?

Just to the east of Porthcurno Cove, the once secret spot of Pedn Vounder is now famed as a poster child of beach perfection. It is gorgeous. And its natural beauties inspire many a naturist visitor – although donning your birthday suit is not compulsory. You can access it from the cliffs above or from Porthcurno Beach itself at low tide. If you are crossing from Porthcurno Beach, please ensure it is currently safe to cross and seek out a knowledgable local for advice.

7) Storm a coastal castle

A little further east of Porthcurno Cove, Teryn Dinas is one of many cliff castles in Cornwall, and perhaps its most beautiful. During the Iron Age, this promontory jutting into marine waters would have been defended by ditches and ramparts. Now it makes a lovely walk and clamber which can be accessed from Treen or along the coastal footpath from Porthcurno. 

8) Walk around the sculpture garden

PK Porthcurno is set in some beautiful subtropical gardens that are well worth a stroll. Along the way you’ll discover large art works that articulate the science behind telegraphic technology. A great place for a wander and a picnic – or a break from the beach.

9) Searching for wildlife

It’s no secret that over the years this neck of the woods has experienced numerous and frequent sightings of that leviathan of the Cornish seas – the basking shark. Look out also for seals, porpoises and rare sea birds. Find out more in our Cornwall wildlife post.

10) Walk the cliffs

Welcome to some of the most spectacular cliff walks in all of Cornwall. This south coast stretch, from Land’s End to Mousehole and passing through Porthcurno Cove, somehow manages to combine a sense of grandeur and power with a breathtaking, almost delicate, beauty. Walk cliffs strewn with wild flowers and gaze down at limpid waters below. Hikes heading either west of east from Porthcurno are unforgettable.

Penzance: an ideal base for your Porthcurno Cove visit

If you’re planning a Porthcurno Cove trip on your Cornwall holiday, why not base yourself at Penzance. This picturesque port town offers lovely places to stay, some of the best dining in the west and a lively shopping and pub scene. It’s also a great spot to come home to after day trips to St Ives, Porthleven, Mousehole, The Lizard, Hayle and other tops destinations – they are all less than 45 minutes away!