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Home to arguably Cornwall’s most iconic building, the Bickford-Smith Institute (no, it isn’t a church) Porthleven has a thriving residential community and a bustling, seasonal tourist trade.

Porthleven is host to the Food Festival each Spring, has a year round selection of award winning restaurants, a sprinkling of fascinating and unique shops and small businesses, and of course, a beach. Yet the place still retains its character with its small working fishing fleet and the numerous (Grade 2 listed) historic buildings around the Harbour and Dock area. There is so much more to Porthleven than may initially meet the eye.

Porthleven, GB
4:59 pm, Jun 15, 2024
temperature icon 14°C
overcast clouds
Humidity 82 %
Pressure 1002 mb
Wind 16 mph
Wind Gust Wind Gust: 0 mph
Clouds Clouds: 100%
Visibility Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise Sunrise: 5:11 am
Sunset Sunset: 9:32 pm
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We will begin our tour at the start of the Pier, by the Bickford Smith Institute. Working our way slowly around the harbour and up onto the cliff top wrestling fields, Breageside, we will talk about Porthleven past and present and look at many of the Harbourside buildings and note their history and significance. With tales of new inventions,  shipwrecks, smugglers, heroic deeds and tragedies there is plenty within Porthleven’s story to keep you entertained.

Who was William Bickford Smith?

Who is the World WarII Flying Ace with a local connection?

Are the Harbourside Cannons real?

When was the harbour built?

What are the three lasting consequences of the ship wrecking of HMS Anson?

Tide times for Porthleven

map

15 June 2024

Time Type Height
06:16 low 1.91m
12:31 high 4.17m
18:52 low 2.07m

16 June 2024

Time Type Height
00:54 high 4.33m
07:14 low 1.94m
13:30 high 4.26m
19:51 low 2.03m

17 June 2024

Time Type Height
01:52 high 4.4m
08:13 low 1.9m
14:23 high 4.41m
20:49 low 1.91m

View full 7 day tide times.

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Sue F
Sue F
2024-04-25
Can’t recommend this talk enough. As already mentioned you feel as if a friend is taking you for a walk and sharing so much information with you. We have regularly visited Porthleven but David pointed out things we had never noticed and so much more. He explained and confirmed things we had wondered about. Really worth doing and am sure everyone in the party will enjoy it.
Nev I
Nev I
2024-03-08
An must-do for any trip to Porthleven David is incredibly knowledgeable and his tour is fascinating!! The tour is very immersive and Porthleven has a completely different feel to it once you’ve heard all the history and stories of those who lived here in the past. This tour should be an essential part of your trip. David is so friendly too. Thank you so much 😊
Natalie B
Natalie B
2024-03-08
Fun, professional, informative This is an exceptional 'tour'. Feels more Like a friend taking you for a walk. It feels easy and fluid but it is underpinned with an extraordinary amount of knowledge and endless genuine enthusiasm . David gave us an insight to the history of Porthleven with great respect, even honour to its people past and present. Fun, professional, informative. I highly recommend.
Emily A
Emily A
2024-03-08
Short walk. Long history. If you’re going to stay in Porthleven for any amount of time, it is worth it to take this tour, simply to familiarize yourself with the village and gain a deeper appreciation for its history and culture. David is extremely personable and passionate about Porthleven. He gave a very comprehensive tour and answered all our questions.
Thomas S
Thomas S
2024-03-08
A deeper appreciation of Porthleven and Cornwall. David is a knowledgeable and passionate guide and storyteller. His enthusiasm never flagged and he knows how to situate his stories in the long history of Cornwall from the saints of the 5th century through to the present day. On our two trips to Porthleven he made such a difference to our understanding of what we were seeing. Thank you, David!
CandPTravellers
CandPTravellers
2023-12-29
Brilliant walking tour of Porthleven We were amazed at the extent of David's knowledge about Porthleven a village he clearly loves with a passion. This tour was fascinating from start to finish, David held our attention with historic facts, local anecdotes and personal insight. Through his tours, David is keeping Porthleven history alive. We strongly recommend this tour for anyone interested in Porthleven. Thank you David
Robert H
Robert H
2023-12-05
4 Hours Very Well Spent Despite it being bitterly cold David made the 4 hour tour (that flew by) with his knowledge. Great value for money but this tour and the one on the 12th Dec are free with any donations going to ‘The Foodbank’. Would recommend this tour to anyone that would like to learn more history and facts about this amazing place.
GloucestershireJess
GloucestershireJess
2023-10-24
Fascinating afternoon Highly recommended. Really interesting to find out more about the history of the village and scratch beneath the surface of what you usually see as a visitor
Passport23137999933
Passport23137999933
2023-10-12
Porthleven then and now An excellent tour. David was very knowledgeable and informative. We have strong family links to Porthleven and he was able to entertain us with stories of important historical facts and personal insights into days gone by in this lovely harbour town.
Pam J
Pam J
2023-09-27
Fantastic experience The guided walk with David was really interesting and entertaining. He was good company and the pace of the tour was just right. It has made our stay in Porthleven even more enjoyable !