Porthleven is the southernmost harbour of mainland GB. It was originally built – and this is where it gets interesting – as rescue port for ships getting into trouble in the notoriously wild and dangerous waters of the Mount Bay between Landīs End and The Lizard peninsulas. The harbour has a narrow entrance and opens to wider basins fairly deep inland – formerly a marshy cove - all heavily fortified by massive walls to protect anchored ships from the often raging ocean. (continue here for more information about the townīs history).
At the east side of the harbour lays the old town with a few nice building. East of the harbour wall a narrow beach divides the sea from the hills. West of the harbour there are a few houses and a very recommendable pub. The hills meet the sea with steep cliffs and another little beach a bit further west.
Surfing: According to some resources, the reef was shaped into its actual form by blasting during the building of the harbour. This would mean that our forefathers were much better skilled in creating artificial breaks than all the modern engineers. The result is Englandīs second best wave, a powerful and fairly long right breaking over the shallow reef. That right is the wave that gave Porthleven its fame, but the left isnīt that bad either. Both waves get very sucky and hollow at low tide,
Despite the easy access to the lineup through the channel of the harbour entrance, the break should be left to skilled surfers only.
In addition to the reef you find a more suicidal break right in front of the harbour wall which is boogie boarderīs territories. The beach to the west has some nice waves too.
more pics in the galleries (2012, 2006)
relatet stories: Fall, Port-11-Sequences
want to know about the current surf and wind conditions? Check this: