Porthleven is an historic fishing harbour in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in south Cornwall. It is a thriving tourist village with a wide selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. Restaurants include the Michelin star Kota, the Kota Kai bistro, The Square, Seadrift and Rick Stein’s Fish Restaurant.
Local fishermen land their daily catch in Porthleven, much of which is sold in Porthleven cafes and restaurants and the fishmonger.
Porthleven has arguably the most impressive harbour in Cornwall; it was built just over 200 years ago. It is complemented by historic buildings, notably the iconic Bickford Smith Institute building and numerous fishermen’s cottages.
It remains an unspoilt, working harbour, mainly due to strict conservation measures. Activities include local boat trips, fishing trips and kayaking.
There is a lovely, mainly shingle, beach in a bay backed by cliffs. The beach is much quieter than other Cornish beaches, making it a relaxing spot to spend the day.
Wonderful coastal walks go East or West from Porthleven, with the famous Loe Pool – the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall – being a real highlight.
Porthleven is a recognized staging point on the South West Coastal Path. For experienced surfers, Porthleven is famous for its reef break; not for the faint hearted though! Visitors can often see Pilot Gigs being rowed out of the harbour.