Maenporth (Cornish: Meyn Borth, meaning stones cove) is a cove and beach in west Cornwall, situated approximately two miles from Falmouth on the estuary of the River Fal.
This delightful cove faces east across Falmouth Bay with views towards Pendennis Castle and the lighthouse on St Anthony Head. It is one of my favourite places for sea swimming - when the waves aren't too dumpy - and because it is mostly sandy, it is a lovely little spot for sitting and watching the world go by.
It is also a wonderful place for the young ones as when the tide is out, there is plenty of sand to play in and a few rockpools for them to explore.
According to the Maenporth Estate website, unbeknown to many locals, the beach head of Maenporth was once a natural harbour. Over the years and thanks to the blustery easterly weather, the harbour has disappeared due to a build up of sand.
Remnants of human activity were also discovered dating back to the middle to late bronze age! Woah! The heritage environment records indicate a forest terrain beneath the sandy cove - which makes sense if you head further inland - and a total of seven bronze age ancient burial mounds were found by aerial surveys. This can suggest that the area was a significant settlement and trading base in the mid to late bronze age.
Maenporth cove would have been a well sheltered area for vessels to seek refuge against the westerly weather and would have probably used the two flooded valleys above the beach head as a point of trading, the likely commodity would have been tin brought overland from the west.
Unfortunately, sand now obstructs the harbour entrance which is thought to be on the south end of the inlet, this is also where a stone quarry was discovered with trackways leading west past the creeks and riverhead off the Helford towards Helston and Penzance, however this has also been obscured by blown sand.
I absolutely love Falmouth. It is one of my favourite places to visit and I tend to head their most weeks; whether it's for a sea swim, to take Purdy my dog for a wander, or to get a takeaway coffee from the beach cafe and sit in my car reading if the weather is bad.
Did you know? On the night of 30 December 1978, the Scottish trawler Ben Asdale was wrecked off Maenporth in a heavy easterly gale, on the North escarpment, adjacent to a rock called the Devil’s Eye. At low tide you can see the remains.
It is also a great place for people watching and to admire the various people who use the beach for dog walking, sea swimming, and picnicking.
The beach shelves gently and at low water leaves an area of shallow water that is safe for swimming. The beach has facilities for launching boats, scuba diving and sea kayaking. Other facilities include car parking, @maenporthbeach cafe and public toilets.
Things to be aware of when visiting Maenporth Beach
Below are a list of useful things you may want to be aware of before visiting Maenporth.
There is no RNLI Beach Lifeguard presence on this beach.
Car parking is available directly behind the beach. Cost: £3 per visit during the summer months.
Public toilets are available on site
Public transport: The Maritime Train Line service connects Falmouth to Truro via a twice hourly service. Alight at Falmouth Docks or Falmouth Town station stops both a 5 min walk from the beaches along Castle Drive.
Fal River Links: for information on reaching Falmouth’s beaches via the Park & Float scheme or via boat from neighbouring villages.
Maenporth is approximately 45-60 min walk from Falmouth town centre via the South West Coast Path that links it to Gyllyngvase Beach (3 miles) and Swanpool Beach (2 miles).
Dog restrictions 1 July to 31 August between 10-6
Walking at Maenporth
The South West Coast Path runs through Maenporth and there are spectacular walks where you can head towards Grebe, the Helford and Budock on one side and Swanpool, Gylly, and Pendennis on the other. I have organised many a ramble along this stretch of coast and it is always popular with my ramblers.
If you're looking for a decent circular walk when visiting Cornwall that isn't with Cornish Ramblings then I 100% recommend using the iWalk Cornwall app, which has over 300 walks for you to choose from.
There are two fantastic walks in Maenporth you can try, click the link here to check them out: Maenporth Circular Walks - iWalk Cornwall.
Things to do near Maenporth
If your looking for other things to do near to Maenporth, why not try one or more of the below.