Portreath World Heritage Port





The Tour / Experience:

Join your local Cornish Blue Badge Guide to explore lesser-known corners of Portreath, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, and share in stories and facts that only locals know.

Once a private Georgian spa and bustling Victorian port, changes in the demand for copper and tin, and investments by the land-owning Bassett family, reshaped opportunities and lifestyles for local people who previously depended on fishing and farming. Smuggling, wrecking & skirmishes with the French also have associations with this coastline.

Now with its spacious beach nestled between rocky headlands, Portreath is a small resort less crowded than more well-known coastal hotspots. Here you can walk at leisure, sample local food, swim in the sea and tidal pools or just relax on the sandy beach.

Get to know this stretch of the North coast on a walk with your local guide that starts with a wander around the harbour. A specialist port for Cornwall’s most important copper and tin mining area in C19th developed to accommodate the Welsh fleet that imported coal and transported ore back to Wales for smelting. The port’s difficult and treacherous approach, lookouts, piers and capstans witnessed tragedy, shipwrecks and changing fortune in the local community.

The walk continues through the heart of the village where a unique railway incline, remnants of a tramway, the Red River and typical Cornish cottages are to be seen. Across the wide, open beach we are likely to see surfers catching waves rolling off the Atlantic, the dark cavern of Wheal Mary, an ancient copper mine, and rock baths hidden secretly in caves or cut into the cliffside which provided spa waters for the Bassett ladies in the C18th.

At Amey’s side, we pass Smugglers cottage and from here the option to venture up Western Hill along the South West Coast Path for unrivalled views of uninterrupted seascapes and dramatic cliff top scenery before returning to the village. A ‘Cornish Cream Tea’ or Miner’s lunch can be arranged in the village at extra cost- Jam First of course!


The Highlights: 

  • A 2 ½ hour guided walk led by Cornish Blue Badge Guide
  • Tour of Portreath harbour, village and beach – UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk.
  • Optional Extra Cream Tea in tearoom or pasty & pint in local pub
  • Optional ½ hour walk extension up to the cliff top into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place.


Tour Details: 

Start & End Location: Portreath Beach Car park entrance. GR SW 654452


Tour Options:

  • Include as part of the whole day experience on the Cornish Ancestry Tour ‘Minerals Mines and Migration’.
  • Combine with a contrasting half-day walk on the Great Flat Lode when public transport can be used between sites. £22 pp Additional cost for optional extras.


Contact Details:

Email: bluebadge@absolutours.co.uk

Tour gallery

About the guide

Name: Viv Robinson

Qualifications: South West

Languages: English