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Cornish: Porthperan

Perran Beach from Droskyn Point
Perranporth is located in Cornwall
 Perranporth shown within Cornwall
Population 3,066 
OS grid reference
Civil parish Perranzabuloe
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Perranporth
Postcode district TR6
Dialling code 01872
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Truro & Falmouth
List of places
Perranporth Boating Lake
Perranporth Village Centre, with the beach in the background

Perranporth (Cornish: Porthperan)[1] is a small seaside resort town on the north coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is popular with surfers and tourists because of its spectacular beach, and Atlantic swell. It is 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Newquay[2] and 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Truro. Perranporth and its 3 miles (5 km) long beach face the Atlantic Ocean.[3] It has a population of 3,066,[4] and is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Perranzabuloe. It has an electoral ward in its own name the population of which at the 2011 census was 4,270.[5]

The village's modern name comes from Porth Peran, the Cornish for the cove of Saint Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall. He founded St Piran's Oratory on Penhale Sands near Perranporth in the 7th century. Buried under sand for many centuries, it was unearthed in the 19th century.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Protected areas 2.1
  • Annual events 3
  • Places of worship, associations and clubs 4
  • Masonic and fraternal associations 5
  • Sport 6
  • Notable people 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The Voorspoed ran ashore in a northerly gale in Perran Bay on 7 March 1901, while travelling from Cardiff to Bahia. The wreck was one of the last to be looted.[6]

Perranporth Airfield, built during World War II as an RAF fighter station, is now a civil airfield. It is located at Cligga Head, on the plateau above the cliffs.[3]

Until the 1960s, Perranporth was served by a railway line. Built as the Truro and Newquay Railway, the line ran from Chacewater to Newquay and the principal intermediate stop was Perranporth station.[7] Perranporth also had a second station, known as Perranporth Beach Halt.


Perranporth is centred on a main street, St Piran's Road, part of the B3285 Newquay to St Agnes road. The village centre has various shops and cafés including a Co-operative store, Premier convenience store, the Camelot restaurant and seven pubs. The long-distance South West Coast Path runs past the village. There is a long-distance coach service provided by National Express (service 316) which runs between London and Perranporth.

Perranporth is a popular family holiday destination. A wide sandy beach, Perran Beach, extends northeast of the town for about 3 km (nearly 2 miles) to Ligger Point. The beach faces west onto Perran Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular surfing location.[3] There are lifeguard beach patrols from May to September and the beach is generally safe for bathing, although there are dangerous rip currents around Chapel Rock at ebb tides.

At the south end of the beach are cliffs with natural arches, natural stacks and tin-mining adits. There is a youth hostel above the cliffs at Droskyn Point. Nearby is the 19th century Droskyn Castle, formerly a hotel and now divided into apartments.

Protected areas

Perran Beach is backed by extensive sand dunes which extend nearly a mile inland. Known as Penhale Sands, the dunes are used for orienteering competitions and there is an army training camp which includes a live firing range, over which Ministry of Defence byelaws apply[8] and a golf course on the dunes. The dunes are not to be used by naturists, although the far north end of the beach is still a fairly accepted place for nudists. The dunes are also a valuable resource for wildlife, with many rare plants and insects including Cornwall's largest colony of the Silver-studded Blue, a Red Data Book species.[9]

Southwest of Perranporth, the coast becomes more rocky, with cliffs rising to about 300 feet (90 metres) at Cligga Head. These cliffs form the Cligga Head SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), noted for its geological and biological characteristics.[10]

Annual events

  • Perranporth hosts an inter-Celtic festival each October, Lowender Peran, drawing people in from Cornwall and the other five Celtic nations.
  • The "Perranporth Shout" Sea-song and Shanty Festival is held over the third weekend in April, with performers from as far away as Scotland and Norway.

Places of worship, associations and clubs

The parish church, which is in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England, is in Perranzabuloe village, but there is an Anglican chapel of ease in Perranporth dedicated to St Michael which opened in 1872.[11]

Masonic and fraternal associations

The town's Masonic centre in Liskey Hill is home to 16 Masonic bodies, which makes it one of the foremost centres of Masonic activity in Cornwall.[12]

There used to be a Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Manchester Unity), who owned the Odd Fellows Hall, near the Ponsmere Hotel, but due to declining numbers this Lodge closed and the building is now rented by Cornwall Council as the town's library. The Oddfellows building is owned by Perranzabuloe Museum, which has a display gallery and research area above the library.


Surfing is very popular in Perranporth with its long sands and beach break. The Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club is one of the oldest in the country and hosts an extreme triathlon event every autumn. The beach is also a popular destination for Kite Surfing enthusiasts. There is a golf club, Perranporth Golf Club, just north of the village, while the football team Perranporth A.F.C. play in Division One West of the South West Peninsula League.

Notable people

These include:

  • Motor engineer and designer Donald Healey, who opened the first garage/petrol station in the village in 1919; a nearby cider farm run by a grandson of his has a detailed graphic display about his life.
  • Author Winston Graham, who lived in Perranporth for many years and whose Poldark novels are based on the area.


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 200 Newquay & Bodmin ISBN 978-0-319-22938-5
  3. ^ a b c Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 204 Truro & Falmouth ISBN 978-0-319-23149-4
  4. ^ Cornwall County Council Statistics
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Reade, Lewis (1983) Branch Line Memories; Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Publishers ISBN 0-906899-06-0
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ GENUKI website; Perranzabuloe; retrieved May 2010
  12. ^ Province of Cornwall (2011)Cornwall Masonic Yearbook 2011/12 Truro:

External links

  • Perranporth at DMOZ
  • Cornwall Record Office Online Catalogue for Perranporth
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