Down on the northern banks on the Helford River hides the picturesque hamlet of Durgan and its south-east facing beach. The hamlet consists of 15 cottages, most of them now owned by the National Trust and has a permanent population of just 10. It is situated at the foot of the subtropical Glendurgan Gardens that wind inland up the valley, making this an ideal opportunity to explore both land and shore in a single visit. Although Durgan Beach is fairly narrow at high tide, the sandy/shingle beach is accessible most time of the tide and its slipway is popular with boaters with a few deep water mooring sitting just offshore. Durgan was once home to Captain George Vancouver, an English officer in the Royal Navy, famous for exploring and chartering North America's northwestern Pacific coastline. The beach offers stunning vistas over the river and across the wilder southern banks of the Helford. The water is safe for swimming with plenty of rocky outcrops to explore and dive from, as well as a cave in the rocks roughly 100m from the beach for more confident swimmers. Be wary that this is a river and some currents will occur so weaker swimmers should stay close to the shore. The annual Durgan Reggetta is held by the locals on the last Sunday of August and makes for great day out. Bring food and drink and keep an eye out for the prestigious Row & Run event. Excellent walking opportunities can be had along the banks of the Helford with small but defined footpaths leading east and west. Take a short walk west and stop off for a drink at The Ferryboat Inn on the Helford Passage.
Helford & Lizard: Twenty-five Secret Beaches
A beach guide book pulling together all of the Lizard Peninsula and Helford River’s best secret beaches and hidden coves.
Here’s to adventure. The spontaneous foray down that overgrown footpath, leaping that ancient granite hedge and traversing that deserted headland no-ones ever heard ... Read More
Head toward the North Helford and follow signs to Mawnan Smith. After leaving the village turn left at the cross roads before you reach the Glendurgan entrance. Park in the National Trust car park to the right, opposite Bosloe, and make the 10 minute walk down to the coast. There is no parking at the beach.
Postcode: TR11 5JR
Lat / Lon: 50.103699, -5.11562
OS Explorer Map: 103 - The Lizard
Grebe Beach: 0.1km
Grebe Beach is an intimate fringe of greyish shingle on the northern bank of the Helford River, about 10 minute drive from Falmouth. It is situated ju... read more
Polgwidden Cove: 0.3km
The northern banks of the Helford River in Cornwall are home to a number of secret coves and inlets with Polgwidden Cove being one of them. The Helfor... read more
Porth Sawsen: 0.5km
The northern banks of the Helford River in Cornwall are home to a number of secret coves and inlets with Porth Sawsen (Porth Saxon) being one of them.... read more