Gorran Haven is a coastal village, 5km southwest of Mevagissey, with a pleasant sandy beach. To the west, it is sheltered by the rugged headland of Dodman Point (114m high) which protects the village from the prevailing winds. This part of the coast on the Roseland Peninsula is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Gorran Haven is typical of many Cornish seaside villages with its white-washed cottages and steep narrow streets. Some of the cottages date back as far as 1550. It sits behind the protection of a sea wall. The facilities in the village (pub, shops, public toilets etc.) sit right behind the beach.
There is no dog ban on the beach. Dogs are allowed all year round but must be kept on a lead between Easter Sunday and 30th September.
There are no lifeguards here, however, the beach is safe for swimming.
The beach is wheelchair accessible via a ramp.
At one end of the beach is a stone pier, which creates a small harbour in the area behind it. This was built back in the 19th Century during the era of the Pilchard boom. There are still a few boats here today, but these mostly operate fishing trips.
OS Explorer 105 Map. The Explorer 105 Ordnance Survey Map covers this part of Cornwall. The map displays the area around Falmouth and Mevagissey, the Roseland Peninsular and the South West Coast Path. With this map, you also get a code for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. The Explorer Map is available in both the standard paper version and the weatherproof ‘Active’ version.
Getting to Gorran Haven
You can reach Gorran Haven four times a day on the No. 23 bus which runs from St Austell through Mevagissey to Gorran Haven.
If driving, Gorran Haven is 8 miles from St Austell. Parking for the beach and village is available at a large car park a short walk away from the beach, postcode PL26 6JG. There are a few parking places closer to the beach but parking restrictions are enforced on most of the village’s roads.
Gorran Haven – Picture Gallery
There has been a settlement here since the Stone Age. Microliths (small stone tools) from the Mesolithic Period have been found on the cliffs to the east of the village. Around Gorran Haven are a number of Bronze Age Tumuli. There is an Iron Age Fort on nearby Dodman Point.
Back in the 13th Century, Gorran Havan was bigger than Mevagissey, it’s neighbour. Back then it was an important fishing port for catching pilchards. It remained the largest fishing port in the area until the 18th Century. After this time fishing fell into decline and the quay into ruins.
However, there was a change in fortune in 1886 when a new quay was built. Fishing returned and the village became important for catches of crab and lobster. This change in fortune lasted until after World War II. Since then the fishing industry has gone into terminal decline.
The village is now a popular holiday destination and stopping off point for people walking along the South West Coast Path.
The Bay at the Haven has two sandy beaches – Gorran Beach and the smaller Little Perhaver Beach. A stream runs over Gorran Beach down to the sea. Gorran Beach gets quite busy in summer, so, if you are looking for somewhere a bit quieter, follow the clifftop path northwards, where you can access Great Perhaver Beach which is much quieter. A short walk south along the coast path is another equally quiet beach, Vault Beach.
South West Coast Path
There are stunning walks from Gorran Haven in both directions along the South West Coast Path.
The path northwards passes Great Perhaver Beach before it reaches Chapel Point, Portmellon and Mevagissey.
In the opposite direction, the southward path passes Vault Beach, then climbs to the giant stone cross at Dodman Point where there are extensive views along the coast. After Dodman Point, the path heads west passing Hemmick Beach, Caerhays Castle, and Portholland before reaching the stunning fishing village at Portloe.
holidaycottages.co.uk help people find their perfect cottage in popular holiday destinations across the whole of the UK. Dog-friendly cottages, farmhouses or apartments, they have something to suit all budgets and requirements. Find your perfect holiday cottage in Cornwall here.
Want to save this article for later? Pin the image below!