Naturist / Nudist Beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland

Porthkidney - near Hale

Cornwall (north coast)


Sandy beach on North Cornwall coast near Hayle. Backed by the St Ives branch rail line. Access via coast path. Naturists keep to the dunes.

Porthkidney is a north-facing sandy beach about 600m long on the western side of the Hayle estuary and is reputed to be used by naturists - but with some history of local hostility. Carbis Bay is round a small headland to the west, Lelant is to the south. On the other side of the tidal river, caravan and holiday chalet complexes are strung out along the two mile sweep of eastern St Ives Bay.

Getting There

Satnav: TR26 3DY

Porthkidney can be approached by car from the A30 via the A3074 and is about 3 miles SE of St. Ives. Alternatively, branch line trains run to St. Ives - passing within view of the beach! (St Ives to Penzance, stopping at Carbis Bay, Lelant and St Erth).

To the south, there is limited free parking by St Michael's church in Lelant at SW548377. Parking in St Ives is difficult and expensive, and taking a car into St Ives is not a good idea at all, but there are many free parking opportunities in and around Carbis Bay. The main South West Coast Path is a good way to get to Porthkidney on foot as it runs along the back of the dunes.

The path is way-marked in both directions, but not brilliantly. Near Lelant, it is one of six rights of way which cross a golf course, but its the only one which is visible on the ground - even then the route one is obliged to take isn't the one marked as the Coast Path on the map, but the one which interferes least with the golfers. The easiest way onto the beach through the dunes is at SW546382, not far from where the coast path crosses the railway. A broad track about 50m long takes you to a point where beach flags provide a clear landmark and information on safe swimming - note that there can be significant currents, especially at the eastern end of the beach near the river. At low tide, you can get onto the beach just south of the western headland (Carrack Gladden) at SW535387, but this access is well underwater at high tide


Despite being close to both St Ives and Hayle, which have enormous summer populations, Porthkidney beach is never crowded, even at high tide when only about 10-20m of soft sand separate low dunes from the sea. The reason is that you have to walk at least half a mile to get to there, which is about 800 yards more than the average tourist seems to want to walk. Swimming conditions may not be safe.

Naturist tend to stick to 'secluded enclaves' in the sand dunes, rather than the beach, and are 'definitely costumed' on the beach, and for swimming.

Facilities can be found in St Ives.



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