The Greenbank’s Insider Guide: 24 hours in Porthleven
What to do in Porthleven – our 24 hour guide
The most southerly working port in the UK, Porthleven boasts a picture-perfect harbour, a famed food and drink scene, and a strong community spirit. Uncover our ultimate 24 hour itinerary and discover all the charming Cornish village has to offer…
8am – 10am: tuck into breakfast
With a busy day of exploring ahead, we think the best way to start the day is with a hearty breakfast. So wake up early to fuel up for the day ahead, then set off on your journey south to Porthleven (approximately a 30 minute drive).
10am – 1pm: pull on your walking boots
Porthleven has some incredible walks to get on your hit list, be it a short meander or full day trip. The stunning Penrose estate in nearby Helston is one not to miss – it encompasses rich farmland, woodland, and Cornwall’s largest naural lake, Loe Pool. The full walk from Helston to Porthleven and back is eight miles long, so if time is not on your side there are two options. You can either park near Porthleven beach and walk along the coast path as far as Loe Bar (a vast sandy beach separating Loe Pool from the sea) then back. Or park at Penrose Hill National Trust car park (TR13 0RE) which is closer to Porthleven than the main Helston car park, and pick which way to go!
1pm – 2pm: find a spot for lunch
Every spring, the bustling village hosts its annual Porthleven Food Festival – a weekend full of top chefs, food stalls, live music and culinary treats. So it seems fitting that Porthleven is a renowned foodie destination. Choose a seafood inspired spot with the freshest catch (try Seadrift, Amelie, or The Square), pub grub (our favourite is The Ship Inn – a characterful 17th century smugglers haunt), or a more fancy affair (don’t miss Kota, with well-known chef Jude Kereama at the helm). Lastly, you could always opt for takeaway mussels, squid or chowder from The Mussel Shoal, where you can kick back on the harbour wall with a pint or home-crafted cocktail in hand.
2pm – 3pm: mooch around the shops
While away an hour or two mooching around Porthleven’s independent shops, delicatessens and art galleries. There are some hidden gems peppered along the main harbour stroll from the town’s small high street, along to the clock tower. Don’t miss Stargazey for gifts and souvenoirs, Salt Cellar for unique clothing, the harbour markets for a host of traders, and Four Crows Gallery for Cornish crafts and jewellery. Also the recently converted Shipyard building hosts a daily market, with permanent and occasional pop up traders including casual eateries, cupcakes, juices, crafts and lots of lovely local art.
3pm – 5pm: get on your bike
Open all day every day, you’ll find Shipyard Cycles – a new Porthleven business venture, offering bike and e-bike hire. The perfect option for exploring those Cornish hills a little further afield! And no trip to Cornwall is complete without a boat experience. You’ll find kayaks, paddle-board hire and boat excursions running daily on the harbour. Porthleven is also a famous surfing hot-spot, so if you don’t fancy taking to the waters yourself, you can gaze across the reef to watch the action unfold in front of you.
5pm – 6pm: squeeze in an afternoon treat
The village has lots of lovely cafes to enjoy an afternoon treat too, if you’re still on the hunt for something sweet or a caffeine boost. You’ll find smoothies, bagels and vegan delicacies at Shipyard Market, a proper coffee at Origin on the harbour head (roasted in nearby Helston), or our best-loved spot – Nauti But Ice. This renowned ice cream parlour serves up homemade cakes and local Roskilly’s ice creams, created at a nearby dairy farm.
7pm – 9pm: dive into dinner
Make your way back to the Greenbank to savour a well-deserved dining experience by the Water’s Edge. Including daily changing chef recommendations, as well as gluten free and vegan options on request, indulge in signature Cornish dishes with the freshest seafood and local produce in our restaurant. Book ahead by calling 01326 312440.
9pm – 8am: and relax
You’ve had an action-packed day exploring Porthleven, so it’s time to relax. Amongst the many rooms we have at The Greenbank, you can’t beat a little laid-back luxury in The Florence or The Lookout. Soak up the views in your roll top bath and end the perfect Cornish day The Greenbank way…