Friendly village will suit the outdoor types
If you love surfing, cycling, popping to the pub and coastal walks, then the village of Portreath could be the place for you.
Tucked into the dramatic North Cornwall cliffs, Portreath (meaning cove of sand in Cornish) is one of the few places on this rugged coast sheltered enough to act as a harbour.
In 1840 the village was Cornwall's busiest port, shipping out 100,000 tons of copper ore each year. Today, it is far more peaceful, although the beach gets busy in the summer months.
Portreath is three miles northwest of the nearest town, Redruth, and has a population of 1,400. The village runs along two sides of a river valley and is centred around the small harbour and sandy beach.
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Until 2001, Portreath's beach was blighted by raw sewage from Redruth, discharged into the sea here. Thanks to major investment and improvements, the outfall has been treated and moved to several miles away, leaving the beach and bathing waters clean.
If you're into surfing, there is a powerful right-handed wave off the harbour wall and novice-friendly waves in the centre of the beach. The village Surf Life Saving Club, with its lottery-funded club house on the beach, is a social and sporting centre.
Nowadays, the former tramlines which brought ore to the harbour have been transformed into a cycling and walking network called Mineral Tramways, making the area a haven for mountain bikers. It is possible to cycle from Portreath off-road along this cycleway all the way to the south coast of Cornwall at Devoran. Biking enthusiasts also have a nationally-recognised off-road activity centre on the outskirts of the village. All in all, there's no excuse for laziness in this lively, friendly village.