The local’s guide to Poldark beach locations
‘Where is Poldark filmed?’ This is a question we’re often asked here in Cornwall…
With Poldark back on our screens for season 5, we’re all spending our Sunday evenings location spotting. This involves pointing at the screen every time we recognise a Cornish beach or filming location! There are so many beautiful beaches in Cornwall, but if you’d like to visit some of the Poldark beach locations during your holiday, let us be your guide.
Poldark beach locations in West Cornwall
We’ll begin at Kynance Cove. Located on the Lizard Peninsula, which is the most southerly tip of Cornwall and the UK, this pretty cove is approximately an hour’s drive from St Ives.
Poldark scenes which feature the fictional Nampara Cove were filmed here, including the scene when Ross rescues Demelza from her fishing trip. This is one of the Poldark beach locations which is easily recognised due to the unique rock formations.
Kynance Cove has become very popular and can be really busy during peak season. If you want to see this breathtaking beach through the local’s eyes, stand on the rugged cliffs above stormy seas during winter or soak up the sunshine in the quieter months of May, June and September. You can also enjoy the views from Kynance Cafe over a Cornish pasty or cream tea!
Moving along the coast from Kynance, almost to where the Lizard Peninsula meets the town of Helston, you’ll find Gunwalloe. Just a 45 minute drive from St Ives, Gunwalloe, also known as Church Cove is a little fishing village with a gorgeous sandy beach and one of the oldest churches in Cornwall.
So what’s the Poldark filming connection? This beach is where the night-time shipwrecking scenes were filmed. Indeed, it’s a great spot for storm-watching during winter months when Cornwall experiences wild weather.
Locals enjoy a refreshing drink at the Halzephron Inn, a 15th century Cornish country pub with fantastic coastal views, after walking their dog on the beach or walking on the south west coast path.
Porthcurno is most famous for the iconic Minack Theatre, Cornwall’s historic outdoor theatre with a spectacular ocean backdrop.
It’s also one of the Poldark beach locations which is sometimes used for Nampara and also used in scenes where Demelza and Ross are walking across the beach. Filming also takes place on the clifftop between Porthcurno and Porthgwarra, which is a great coastal walk to do, allowing you to see both of these stunning beaches from an elevated position.
The beautiful turquoise waters of Porthcurno are perfect for a refreshing evening swim. Locals head there after work, especially during the quieter months. The gorgeous soft sand is also the perfect spot for enjoying a picnic before a performance at the Minack.
A small cove and fishing hamlet, Porthgwarra feels like stepping back in time. It gives you a glimpse into Cornish fishing heritage. Porthgwarra is roughly a 40 minute drive from St Ives and is very close to Land’s End, should you be planning a trip there during your holiday.
Porthgwarra provides some of the most picturesque scenery in Poldark and is used in some of the swimming scenes. The most popular Poldark scene filmed here is from series one, featuring Ross taking a swim in the crystal clear water while watched from the cliff tops by Demelza. It also features in some of the pilchard fishing scenes.
Locals visit Porthgwarra to enjoy some peace and quiet or to go for a quick dip, before retreating to Porthgwarra Cove Cafe for some cakey tea (a pot of tea enjoyed with Cornish cakes such as saffron buns, hevva cake and scones). The swimming conditions are fairly safe, but there is no lifeguard cover. This tiny beach is fun to explore at low tide and has some interesting rock pools and caves to discover. See if you can spot the rock formation that looks just like a face…
Poldark beach locations on the north coast of Cornwall
Chapel Porth is a beautiful beach on the north coast of Cornwall. Situated near the lovely village of St Agnes, Chapel Porth is roughly a 40 minute drive from St Ives. It has a National Trust car park, toilets and a cute cafe, which hasn’t altered in at least thirty years.
This rugged part of the coast has many ruined engine houses dotted across the cliff top, including Wheal Coates, which towers above Chapel Porth beach. This Poldark beach location was used in many of the scenes featuring Aidan Turner and his horse. You know, the ones where he’s galloping across the cliff tops, over wild gorse and heather, with dramatic views of the ocean below.
The dramatic coastline between St Agnes and Chapel Porth is a popular coastal walk amongst locals. A great stop-off point is the Chapel Porth Cafe where you can enjoy a famous hedgehog ice cream or a slice of homemade flapjack with a cup of coffee, whilst taking in the spectacular views. This is a great spot to watch the wild winter waves or to jump into the summer surf.
Situated on the north coast, about a 35 minute drive from St Ives and a 20 minute drive from Newquay, Perranporth is a vast expanse of golden sand, backed by beautiful sand dunes.
Perranporth was actually the home of Winston Graham, the author of the Poldark books. It is referred to in the novels as “Hendrawna Sands”. However, it is yet to feature in the Poldark TV series…
The town of Perranporth is busy during summer months and also has a couple of music festivals, such as Tunes in the Dunes and Bands in the Sands. The Watering Hole pub on the beach also hosts a plethora of music gigs throughout the year. Plus, they make an amazing hot chocolate and have Cornish Rattler on tap! Perranporth beach is one of the most popular places to go to watch the sunset and is paradise for those with a surf board or body board.
Drive a little bit further up the north coast (approximately 45 minutes from St Ives) and you’ll reach Holywell Bay, a sandy beach backed with grass-tufted dunes. There’s a National Trust car park and great surf conditions, plus plenty of space to sunbathe and play beach games.
This was one of the most used Poldark filming locations in series 4, easily spotted by the two rocks in the ocean known as Gull Rock. The Poldark’s rivals, the Warleggans, own the gorgeous stretch of coastline filmed at Holywell Bay.
For locals, Holywell is another popular sunset watching spot and is great for a beach walk or a quick surf after work. The St Piran’s Inn is a great place to quench your thirst with a refreshing pint after a stroll or a surf.
This stunning a beach is a little bit further away from St Ives, at just over an hour’s drive. It’s well worth a visit though for the dramatic coastal views. Why not tie it in with a trip to Padstow or Newquay?
Porthcothan beach is half way between Newquay and Padstow and is a north west-facing cove backed by grassy dunes. Our final Poldark beach location was used as Nampara land along with shots of Hendrawna Beach.
This is a popular beach for dog walkers, as it’s pooch-friendly all year round. Walk up the cliff top for breathtaking views of the north coast. It’s quite a short walk across the cliffs to Bedruthan Steps, which is one of Cornwall’s most impressive sights. The Tredrea Inn is the place to go after your coastal walk, for a cold pint with a sea view.
If you’d like to discover these beautiful locations and other Poldark beach locations in Cornwall, you might be interested in finding out more about Poldark Tours and have a driver and tour guide show you around Poldark country.
St Ives is a great base for exploring West Cornwall’s tin coast and the rugged north coast where you’ll find the locations listed above. Find your perfect holiday cottage in St Ives and the surrounding areas and begin planning your holiday to Poldark’s Cornwall.