Classic family holiday beach resort
Perranporth is half way along the north coast, about 6 miles south of Newquay, and is well served by a road network, enabling one to travel to all parts of Cornwall whether by car or coach. Coach trips to all parts of the Duchy are available and can be booked at the Information Centre, where also you can purchase maps to enable you to explore the footpaths in the remote areas, including the Cornwall Coastal Footpath. You will see wildlife and rare birds and if you come in the spring every hedgerow and clifftop is a multi-coloured carpet of wild flowers.
It is no exaggeration to say that the history and development of Perranporth have been dominated by sand. Perranporth today has become a popular holiday resort thanks to its stretch of golden sands which extends north-west from the town for nearly 2 miles and is a popular surfing location, but the effects have not always been so positive. In the extensive dune system just inland, two ancient religious sites have been lost to the encroaching sands. St. Pirans oratory, an important early Celtic monastery which became one of the foremost places of pilgrimage in medieval Cornwall, became overwhelmed by sand sometime before 1500. Following its excavation in the last century, it had to be reburied in 1981 to protect the structure and the site is now marked by a memorial stone. Nearby are the ruined walls of the parish church, originally built around 1150. This building was abandoned to the sand in 1804. Beside it is a fine cross which may date from the 10th century or earlier. A festival is held on the 5th of March every year to cellebrate St. Piran.
North-east of the village is the Piran Round, an Iron Age hill camp. It is believed the amphitheatre was once used for games and mystery plays. At the opposite end is a more recent addition, the giant cliff top Millennium Sundial.
Perranporth Airfield was a Spitfire Station during the Second World War. Pilots from many different countries flew from here and there is a roll of honour, in the control tower, commemorating those who lost their lives. English Heritage considers this to be one of the most important remaining airfields from the Second World War and there are still many interesting features to be seen. Today the airfield is devoted to gliding and leisure activities and scenic flights operate from here.
Quaint villages abound in the area and nearby lies Trerice Manor, owned by the National Trust. Bolingey is a hamlet, situated a mile from Perranporth charming and picturesque, with a pretty 17th century inn, Bolingey is surrounded by miles of footpaths and bridleways. it is at the beginning of Penwartha Coombe (Coombe meaning valley), with a stream running alongside the road with banks of wild flowers and trees a very cool and refreshing walk away from the busy streets of Perranporth and well worth a visit.
The author Winston Graham (1908-2003) used to live here and it is where he wrote the series of Poldark novels.
The famous motor engineer and designer Donald Healey was born in Perranporth in 1898. After serving with the RAF during the war, he opened a garage in the town. He died in Perranporth in 1988.
Perranporth used to have a railway station on the branch line from Chacewater to Newquay.
The town's Tourist Information Centre is at Westcott House, St. Pirans Road, TR6 0BH Tel: (01872) 575254.
The Watering Hole
Perranporth Youth Hostel Cornwall's Beaches Surfing in Cornwall
Holywell St. Agnes Perranzabuloe Folk Museum The Coastal Footpath