Portreath is a small resort with a very narrow harbour located about 5 miles north of Redruth. It was once a busy port, importing coal and exporting copper but now only sheltering the occasional fishing boat. The original loading ramp can still be seen in the village. Copper ore was transported from mines, in the Chacewater area, using horse-drawn wagons, and was shipped by the ton to Swansea in South Wales for smelting. The ships would return, laden with Welsh coal. The harbour entrance was quite hazardous and tremendous skill must have been required to navigate sailing ships into the port. Some of the ships carry well over a hundred tons of ore.
The pretty, sandy beach has a stream running down to the sea on the left hand side. It is a popular family beach which, like many beaches on the north Cornish coast, is popular with surfers and in particular bodyboarders who turn up in force at high tide on big swells to surf the harbour wall, or Vortex as it is known.. The beach is cleaned daily during the season and dogs are not allowed on the beach from Easter Day to 1st October each year.
There are several shops, cafés and holiday accommodation in Portreath. The village has a very friendly atmosphere and caters for most needs of tourists, whilst not being over-commercialised.
Some of the old tram-roads, used for transporting ore from the mines, have been made into cycle paths and it possible to cycle from Portreath on the north coast to Devoran on the south coast. Details can be obtained from Tourist Information.
https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/Portreath Sat Nav: TR16