Our otherwise competent guide book wrote Perranporth off as, ‘undeniably, a shabby little place’. The criticism stood out as this isn’t a book noted for its harsh words and Perranporth is a place of fond childhood memories for me. Every Easter for eight years, until I was fourteen, the family holidayed for a week at the Ponsmere Hotel (the hotel on the beach). So I have plenty of memories of the enormous sandy beach (still among the country’s best) and sunny days.
The sunny thing throws up the untrustworthy nature of memory, as when I reminded my mother of how lucky we were to always have good weather at Easter, she expressed surprise that I couldn’t remember the many rainy days or the time we drove home through narrow Cornish lanes in a blizzard. So I had an internal debate over the return. But I shouldn’t have had any doubts. Amazingly Perranporth, while not having a lot to offer, was just how I remembered it. The beach is enormous and there are plenty of caves to explore when the tide’s out. Outside the Ponsmere is exactly the same and, judging by the website’s family entertainment boasts, it’s the same inside too. And the weather was good, so good we extended the visit to spend a pleasant hour or two on the beach, exploring the caves and then reading.
Updated: 27 July 2005