Perranporth

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Perranporth  is a medium-sized seaside resort town on the north coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.

It is 1 mile east of the St Agnes Heritage Coastline, and around 8 miles south-west of Newquay. Perranporth and its 3 miles (5 km) long beach face the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of 3,066, and is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Perranzabuloe. It has an electoral ward in its own name, whose population was 4,270 in the 2011 census. The town’s modern name comes from Porth Peran, the Cornish for the cove of Saint Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall. He founded St Piran’s Oratory on Penhale Sands near Perranporth in the 7th century. Buried under sand for many centuries, it was unearthed in the 19th century.

History : The Voorspoed ran ashore in a northerly gale in Perran Bay on 7 March 1901, while travelling from Cardiff to Bahia. The wreck was one of the last to be looted. Perranporth Airfield, built during World War II as an RAF fighter station, is now a civil airfield. It is located at Cligga Head, on the plateau above the cliffs. Until the 1960s, Perranporth was served by a railway line. Built as the Truro and Newquay Railway, the line ran from Chacewater to Newquay and the principal intermediate stop was Perranporth station. Perranporth also had a second station, known as Perranporth Beach Halt.

Geography : Perranporth is centred on a main street, St Piran’s Road, part of the B3285 Newquay to St Agnes road. The town centre has various shops, cafes and pubs. The long-distance South West Coast Path runs past the town. There is a long-distance coach service provided by National Express (service 316) which runs between London and Perranporth.

Perranporth is a popular family holiday destination. A wide sandy beach, Perran Beach, extends northeast of the town for about 3 km (nearly 2 miles) to Ligger Point. The beach faces west onto Perran Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular surfing location. There are lifeguard beach patrols from May to September and the beach is generally safe for bathing, although there are dangerous rip currents around Chapel Rock at ebb tides. Gear Sands is a sprawling holiday camp and caravan site to the north of the town centre.

At the south end of the beach are cliffs with natural arches, natural stacks and tin-mining adits. There is a youth hostel above the cliffs at Droskyn Point. Nearby is the 19th century Droskyn Castle, formerly a hotel and now divided into apartments.

Protected areas : Perran beach is backed by extensive sand dunes which reach nearly a mile inland. Known as Penhale Sands, the dunes are used for orienteering competitions, and there is an 18-hole links golf course. The far northern end of the beach is used as a naturist beach, although the MoD discouraged naturism in the sand dunes that boarded their property.

The dunes are also a valuable resource for wildlife, with many rare plants and insects including Cornwall’s largest colony of the silver-studded blue, a Red Data Book species. Southwest of Perranporth, the coast becomes more rocky, with cliffs rising to about 300 feet (90 metres) at Cligga Head. These cliffs form the Cligga Head SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), noted for its geological and biological characteristics.

Annual events : The “Perranporth Shout” Sea-song and Shanty Festival is held over the third weekend in April, with performers from as far away as Scotland and Norway. It has expanded over the last nine years to be a three-day, five venue occasion. In 2016 the name was changed to ‘The Loudest Shout’, in recognition of the new event on the Friday night when up to 60 singers take part in a mass singing session.
Perranporth used to host an inter-Celtic festival each October, Lowender Peran, drawing people in from Cornwall and the other five Celtic nations. The festival moved to nearby Newquay when the hotel that hosted it closed in 2015.

Places of worship, associations and clubs : The parish church, which is in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England, is in Perranzabuloe,  An Anglican chapel of ease in Perranporth dedicated to St Michael opened in 1872 and seats 100 people. The town also has its own Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Christ the King, on Wheal Leisure Road, which is part of the Diocese of Plymouth  Dom Charles Norris completed stained glass windows for the church of Christ the King. Masonic and fraternal associations : The town’s Masonic centre in Liskey Hill is home to 16 Masonic bodies, which makes it one of the foremost centres of Masonic activity in Cornwall.

There used to be a Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Manchester Unity), who at one time, owned the Odd Fellows Hall near the Ponsmere Hotel, but due to declining numbers this Lodge closed and the building is now rented by Cornwall Council as the town’s library. The Oddfellows building is owned by Perranzabuloe Museum, which has a display gallery and research area above the library.

Access : Coordinates: 50.3437, -5.1546 / By car : From the M5 South, take Junction 31 (  past Exeter) on to the A30, and continue for approximately 80 miles. Take the B3285 at Boxheater Junction and you’ll reach Perranporth in approximately 6 miles.  By train : Train services run regularly to both Newquay and Truro. Thetrainline.com is a useful site for train information and the booking of tickets. From either Newquay or Truro, you have the option of taking a taxi or catching a local bus to Perranporth. The First Kernow site provides up to date bus times for the routes which service Perranporth, Newquay and Truro. Alternatively, if you would prefer to take a taxi, please visit our ‘Local Businesses’ section for local taxi numbers.

By coach : Most coaches drop off at Truro or Newquay. National Express and Megabus run regualar services thoughout the year. Please take a look at the ‘arriving by train’ section above for information on reaching Perranporth from Truro or Newquay. By plane : There are daily flights in and out of Newquay Airport from a number of British and International airports. The Newquay Airport website provides you with up to date information on the routes and airlines available. There is a taxi rank at the airport to provide you with ongoing transport.

Highlights :

  • St Pirans Lost Oratory : , Tintagel Castle , Minack Theatre , Jamaica Inn
  • Eden Project , Lost Gardens Of Heligan , Bodmin Jail , Lanhydrock House and Gardens

Activities : Lighthouse Cinema Newquay , Newquay Sea Safaris & Fishing , Waterworld Swimming Pool (Newquay) , Horse Riding – Reen Manor Riding Stables , Ticket to Ride Surf School , Walking – South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path has recently been recognized as one of the top walks in the World , Perranporth Surf School , Cycling – The Camel Trail
The ‘Camel Trail’ (17 Miles from Padstow to Wadebridge) , Perranporth Golf Club
Situated on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean , Perranporth Flying Club
Perranporth Flying Club is based at Cornwall’s only tarmac airfield with a superb cliff-top setting and views of Perranporth’s stunning surfing beach and coastline , Fishing (Course) – Gwinear Pools , Perranporth Triathlon –  Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club will be hosting the 27th Perranporth Extreme Surf Triathlon on the 7th September 2014 , Salt Air Adventures – Coasteering
Salt Air Adventures are based in Newquay , Perranporth Gardens Charities and Beach Wheelchairs , Perran Tennis Club – Perran Tennis was established in Perranporth.

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