The picturesque village of Mawgan Porth is seven miles south of Padstow and positioned at the seawards end of the Vale of Lenherne, where the River Menalhyl meets the sea.
Being North of Watergate Bay and south of Padstow gives this village a perfect placement so when you have finished exploring Mawgan Porth you don’t have to go far for a change of scenery.
All that you would ever need is on the beach front with shops, pubs, bars, hotels, guest houses and holiday parks including Sun Haven Valley.
The beach is privately owned with sand dunes that back on to both sides of the golden sand. This beach is popular with new surfers and adjacent is “King Surf” a surf school where you can get top tuition which will get you surfing as quickly as possible. The beach has been quality assessed and is supervised by life guards during the high season when this sleepy village comes to life.
There are many activities to do so if searching for shell or sun bathing is not for you, why not have a go at fishing in the locally stocked pools where you are sure to make a catch or maybe delve into the ancient history that dates back to 850-1050. Walk the ground that man did thousands of years ago and see artefacts that they would have been using.
It maybe small but has lots to offer, whether you fill up your time with relaxing on the beach or you feel like fun activities, there is something for the whole family. So between surfing, fishing and dining bliss why not take your next short break or family holiday at Mawgan Porth.
Located only a mile inland from Mawgan Porth is the scenic village of St. Mawgan. This village has been frozen in time and has not changed a great deal in decades, showing off a traditional piece of Cornwall.
The local Falcon Inn is a very popular pub in the area and there is no wonder why. When you feast on their award winning dishes, while making the most of the sun in the garden, there is lots of lovely floral display to appreciate. Positioned within the Vale of Lenherne there are many wonderful sights, smells and sounds of the local inhabitants to keep you amused as you relax in this heavenly setting.
The traditional post office is at the centre of the village, apart from sorting out the villager’s mail it is also the village shop and tea room, serving up the best cream teas in Cornwall.
The River Menalhyl runs through the village and is a beautiful setting to enjoy a picnic or play some pooh sticks under the bridge. There are brown trout living in the river so you can even do a spot of fishing and try and catch your self a fishy dinner. (Visit the Merry Moor, Mawgan Porth for a day ticket, £5.)
Since the 13th century the main land owner in the village have been the Arundels and many of them still live in the village today. If you take a wander around the parish church you will see many memorials to the Arundells and there is more in the church at St Column Major. There is one memorial which stands out, the Lantern Cross and the stem of a rowing boat which is a memorial to ten men who drifted ashore, frozen to death in 1846.
The Parish church dates back to the 13th century and is dedicated to St Mauganus and St Nicholas, the south aisle and upper part of town were enlarged in the 15th century and has not vastly changed since then.
Only a short three mile drive north of Mawgan Porth is the supernatural beach of Bedruthan. This area is owned and maintained by the National Trust. The car park is free to National Trust members and available to non members at a small price.
This beach is very well-liked with artists and tourists and is special because of the huge stacks that jut out of the beach, these are massive stand alone rocks that weigh thousands of tons and tower high into the sky.
The reason for the name Bedruthan Steps is dew to the 142 steep steps that you have got to use to get down to the beach. Make sure you time your visit with low tide as that is the only time that the beach is reachable, but when the sea gives way to a fantastic place the beach becomes popular for walkers. The massive stacks are magnificent up close with lots of coves and caves to explore.
A word of warning, It is strongly advised that you don’t go swimming here due to hidden rocks, heavy rips and fast tides.
This is a more popular beach which is only one miles south of Mawgan Porth and three miles north of Newquay the location and size of this huge beach is something to get excited about.
There is over two miles of this golden sand to use at low tide and in spring you can even walk all the way to Newquay, if you don’t mind getting your feet wet along the way. The beach is backed by the high rough cliffs of Trevlegue Head to the south and Stem Point in the North. The coastal footpath leads right the way round, perfect for those superb walks with stunning views and spending time with Mother Nature.
The beach is heavily used all year for a host of sports, most popular is surfing as this beach gets hit by some of the best swells the Atlantic can produce. The beach was also used to host the English National Surf Championship. There are different sports to have a go at like body boarding, wave skiing and kite surfing which you can hire or get tuition on supplied by the Extreme Academy which is located on the beach front.
Once a year The Watergate Hotel organises a game of beach polo which is very enjoyable to watch. There is a live music and a variety of different food to choose from giving the end of the high season a fun boost.
There are some great places to eat in the village, one being the world famous Fifteen restaurant that has been set up by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and serves world class cuisine. There is also a less pricy restaurant The Phoenix serving up a wide variety of food including there well known take away pizzas. There is even a small surf shop “Gone Feral” for all those surfing essentials.
Seven miles North of Mawgan Porth is the civil parish of Padstow. Once a traditional fishing port, Padstow has now become a well-liked tourist destination. The port does still function as some former fishing fleets do remain but the influence of celebrity chef Rick Stein has brought in much tourism. As he has opened an selection of different establishments including his famous seafood restaurant, fish & chips and Hotel with a pub in the local village of St Marryn all of which are very nice to spend some time at.
Positioned on the west bank of the River Camel estuary, Padstow has much to see and do. Numerous amounts of people choose to walk or cycle down the Camel trail, once a rail way line until 1964 when Padstow was served by the Atlantic Coast Express which was popular with holiday makers travelling direct from London. It’s now a multi use track connecting Padstow with Wadebridge and Bodmin great for exploring this magnificent location. Look out for a mile post which is now embedded out side the Shipwright’s Arms pub in the harbour.
In the history of Padstow the church of Wethinoc was of great significance until the town was raided by the Vikings in 981 and laid waste to. Once called “Petroces stow" back then, the monks decided to moved inland to Bodmin taking the relics of St Petroc, this cult was strong in both Padstow and Bodmin and had a set of three churches.
More recently with the maritime traffic in the mid-nineteenth century ship used to arrive at Padstow with timber from Canada and would offer low-priced travel of people wishing to emigrate. When the ships approached the River Camel from sea they would be blocked by the Doom Bar a bank of sand which caused countless ship wrecks.
The name Doom Bar is now more frequently known for the popular local beer produced by sharp’s, which if you have not tried is a must for ale lovers.
There are a couple of festivals that are unique to Padstow, the best known is Obby Oss. This festival starts at Midnight on May Eve when the towns people gather and sing night songs. In the day two male dancers dress up as the Obby Osses, one Old and the other in Blue Ribbon. Through out the day the two parades are led by the Mayer dressed up in his top hat and decorated stick with a band following all singing the morning song until, finally in the evening the two Osses meet at the may pole before returning to there stables where the crowd sings the Obby Oss to death.
Another great tradition is Mummer’s Day when on Boxing Day and New Years Day residents don black face paint and parade through the town singing minstrel songs. This is an ancient British midwinter celebration that was originally part of the pagan heritage and was regularly celebrated all over Cornwall.