Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

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neilos
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Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by neilos »

Hi does anyone have experience of kayaking at Porthcothan Bay, Cornwall or in the nearby area. I'm interested to know if the bay is a safe spot fortaking my sons on a Bic sit on top surf kayak. Also has anyone stayed at nearby Berryfields campsite or Old MacDonalds at the top of Portcothan hill? If is it possible to get a kayak down to the beach and back up without too much trouble.
Thanks for any advice.
neilos

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by TechnoEngineer »

I've not been however from looking at Google Maps, it looks like there are a lot of rocks about on the beach. Combine that with the big surf you usually get in that area, you might be asking for trouble. Also the rocks near the middle of the beach could cause potentially nasty rip currents. If you go there you'd have to pick your day really carefully (low wind, low swell) and wear buoyancy aids and helmets. You'd probably also have a long walk over sand to get to the water.

Watergate Bay looks like a much better beach to use - again, wear buoyancy aids and helmets.
http://magicseaweed.com/Watergate-Bay-Surf-Guide/961/

http://magicseaweed.com/Watergate-Bay-Surf-Report/961/


With both of those sites, make sure you pick a day that has low wind (F3 or less), or a wind blowing from the west-ish (so the SOT doesn't get blown out to sea) - use a wind forecast such as this:
http://www.xcweather.co.uk/
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camelpaddler
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by camelpaddler »

Pothcothan can have big surf as it funnels up the cove. you would be much safer in the camel estuary, daymer bay is recommended, a safe bay and if the weather is good and the surf low you could venture round to Polzeath . Trevone is much more sheltered and a safer beach

tg
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by tg »

St Austell Bay can't be far. I remember it as being calm and shelterd. Porthpean perhaps?

Tim
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neilos
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by neilos »

Thanks for all the advice and information. We all wear buoyancy aids as a rule and have had a few trips together on gentle flowing rivers and close to the open water not too far out. I am very aware of how easy it is to be blown out to sea and appreciate the useful link to the wind forecast site.

I was considering Portcothan as that is next to the campsite that I'm heading to ( That may now change after reading above information). I'm squeezing in some kayaking in between a bucket and spade break with the kids. After viewing youtube footage of Porthcohan surf I was going to leave the kayak at home. The pointers towards other sites has changed my mind. I have a Bic Ouassou which is good for getting through surf good for small trips with my two lads. Would you advise against also taking a stunt bat? The river Camel looks interesting, can you recommend a good place to drop in and whether a paddle from Wadebridge to Padstow would be too ambitious with a small passenger or two?
Neilos

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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by jam bo »

porthcothan is one of my favorite beaches on the north coast. Sure there can be a decent wave but if there is then anywhere on the north coast will be the same or bigger.

If it is flat (and it quite often is for weeks at a time in the summer) then there are some lovely caves and lagoons to explore.

atlantic coast campsite has direct access to the beach.

mark62
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by mark62 »

Pentewan Sands campsite, next one round from Porthpean is right on the beach, plenty of other sots to paddle with. Not a cheap campsite but a wonderful location.

chykensa
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by chykensa »

As a Cornishman I should respectfully point out that Porthcothan, Polzeath and Daymer are all north coast beaches, whilst Porthpean and Pentewan are south coast. Surf is usually bigger on north, although this depends on weather etc.
PLEASE check the tide times carefully and if using a beach with a lifeguard on duty, have a chat with them before entering the water. They can advise you on rip currents, tidal flows, areas to avoid etc. They have detailed local knowledge, and can also give you an up-to-date weather forecast.
Padstow to Wadebridge is probably 45 mins paddle at fair speed. Once again, try to take advantage of the tides up and back to make your job easier!

Hope you have a great time

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neilos
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by neilos »

Thanks Andy (and everyone else) after telling my lads about Booby's Bay and Stinking Cove I am now committed to Porthcothan as a place to camp. I will bring a kayak and a surf board and check out a few of the local spots.
Neilos

jammers
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by jammers »

I agree with the above - Trevone is very sheltered if you're worried about your kids.

Don't forget there are plenty of other beaches in the area, the majority with lifeguards - ask them if you are unsure about conditions.

As for paddling from Padstow to Wadebridge, it's very tidal and muddy - probably not a pleasant experience!

You could look at Padstow to Daymer though.

Best thing would be to ask for local advice when you get there.

Hope this helps
I'd rather be piddling...

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Mark R
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by Mark R »

jammers wrote:As for paddling from Padstow to Wadebridge, it's very tidal and muddy - probably not a pleasant experience!
It's quite nice actually. There are slipways in Wadebridge that work right through the tide.
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neilos
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Re: Porthcothan Bay Cornwall

Post by neilos »

I spent two great weeks in Corwall, staying at Berryfields Campsite which is very close to Porthcothan Beach. Berryfields is a really friendly campsite and very cheap. I was able to wheel my sit on top kayak down to the beach. Coming back uphill is a bit more taxing but there is a pub at the top of the hill as incentitve for the effort. I found conditions changed rapidly at Porthcothan from gentle flat to very choppy surf. There were lots of rocks pools deep enough to let my boys have a paddle by themselves.

Nearby Trevone Bay was great for kayaking and easy to park and launch from.
The Camel was also a great spot for taking the boys - it was safe enough to swim behind as my 5 year old paddled, he loved it.

I had forgotten what a beautiful place Cornwall is - especially from the view of a kayak.
Thanks for all of the advice given from people here.
Neil

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