South West England
Porth Nanven, Cornwall
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Porth Nanven is a small, rocky or sandy, depending on the state of the tide, bay on the north Cornish coast near St Just. A stream flows down the valley and out on to the beach providing foreground interest if the tide is in and there are lots of sea-smoothed boulders and rocks on the beach if the tide is out. To get there, head through St Just taking a left after the main square signed to Great Atlantic Art Gallery and the Cape Cornwall golf club then take the second left at the primary school and then turn left again at the end of this road. It’s pretty narrow and winds through the village before the landscape opens out to fields. Keep going down the single-track road and you’ll get to Porth Nanven after about a mile. There’s a car park at the end of the road and close to the bay.
From the car park you can either walk to the end of the road for a view of the bay, or cross the small stream that flows alongside the road, and then walk down to the bay.
This stream can produce some interesting images, as in places you can get a view of the the sea and bay with the stream in the foreground, or at low tide you can go down the rocky beach to reach the sea. If the tide is high (especially if there’s an on-shore wind) the sea will fill most of the bay, so you’ll have to stay higher up on the rocks at the top of the bay, or use the coast path to go higher up onto the cliffs.
Porth Nanven faces due west so it’s best to visit at sunset at most times of the year, although during summer the sun will set behind the high cliff to the north of the bay.