Carne Beach and Nare Head
OS grid reference :-
Popular Carne Beach near Veryan on the Roseland Peninsula, is situated at the eastern end of a large sandy beach, which is about 1.5 mile long, between Nare Head and the village of Portscatho. The beach has low soft cliffs and rock pools which have been designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's).
The south facing, crescent shaped beach connects with Pendower Beach toward the western end which and becomes considerably rockier further to the west. At high tide only a small fringe of sand is accessible but as the tide recedes there is a large expanse of sand. There is no Lifeguard service. Dogs are allowed on the beach but must be kept on the lead between May and September.
Although the Lizard and Roseland Peninsulas do create somewhat of a wave shadow, Carne beach is popular with surfers and fun waves can be had in larger south westerly swells.
Carne Beach lies on the Cornish Way Cycle Route and the South West Coastal Path. Spectacular sea views are to be had by taking a short walk up to the cliff of craggy Nare Head, a favourite haunt for walkers, from where there are stunning views across to Portscatho and Falmouth,. In the other direction the tops of the China Clay hills of St Austell are visible. In the sixteenth century Nare Head was known as Penare Point, from the Cornish 'pen ardh' meaning 'prominent headland'.
A metal hatch poking above the ground marks the entrance to the Veryan Royal Observer Corps post, which was manned throughout the cold war to detect any fall-out from potential nuclear events. This early-warning system was never called into service and the National Trust retained the bunker. The Royal Observer Corps Association transformed this small, underground space into a unique museum. Each year the National Trust hosts a few guided tours, offering a rare chance to learn more and go inside the South West's only fully-equipped early-warning cold-war bunker. Each talk and tour lasts 90 minutes, and is led by Lawrence Holmes who is a former member of the ROC. The role and history of the Corps is explained and visitors are shown all the equipment both on the surface and underground.
The restaurant at the Nare Hotel, which sits in its own grounds, is open to non-residents and serves delicious cream teas.
Carne Beach is 10 miles from Truro. Follow signs to St. Mawes and Veryan. Continue following sign posts to Pendower and eventually the road will lead down to Carne Beach. Parking is available in the small National Trust car park by the beach.