A traveller's guide to Porthleven, Cornwall

A thriving food scene and seaside setting makes this Cornish town the perfect coastal escape.

By Maria Pieri
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:50 BST
Along the coast of Porthleven.

Along the coast of Porthleven.

Photograph by 4corners

Why go

Criss-crossed by coastal walks and dominated by an historic walled harbour, Porthleven is every inch the Cornish idyll. There are stone cottages, winding little streets and fishermen landing daily catches of mackerel and pilchards at the harbour. It's this seafood bounty — along with delicious gelato at Nauti but Ice — that's helped put the seaside town on the foodie map, with a raft of excellent restaurants and a food and music festival every spring. Plus, there are plenty of places to walk it all off, too: from scenic hikes along the coast to major local landmarks — St Michael's Mount, the Flambards Experience amusement park, the Minack Theatre and Land's End are all just a short hop away. visitcornwall.com

Where to stay

Bed down in The Quarterdeck, a two-bed duplex just a two-minute amble from the harbour. There's an outside terrace, open-plan kitchen, and a dining and living area with glass doors that open right onto the sun terrace. The Freeview and wi-fi will help keep you entertained on rainy days, too. porthlevenholidaycottages.co.uk

What to do

Follow the South West Coast Path for breathtaking views of the Lizard Peninsula and a glimpse into the region's fascinating heritage.

Where to eat

1. Amelie's: Housed in an old smokehouse on the quayside, Amelie's wood-fired oven cooks up seafood pizzas and lobster caught by a local, fourth-generation fisherman.
2. Rick Stein Porthleven: Synonymous with good food in Cornwall, the chef's Porthleven outpost serves excellent seafood classics like fish and chips or braised Cornish mackerel. Don't miss the book on the counter that recounts the building — and town's — history.
3. Kota: Fine Cornish produce gets a fine-dining, Asian-style spin at this delicious little restaurant by the harbour. Bag one of the en suite B&B rooms and stay for the delicious home-smoked salmon in the morning.

Published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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