Porthcurno – sun, sand, theatre and communications

Porthcurno, Cornwall

Back in 1982 I arrived in Porthcurno, Cornwall, fresh out of college and wet behind the ears. The attraction of Porthcurno? Apart from the fantastic beach, gorgeous blue water and weather, it was a remote Cable & Wireless out-station were people from all around the world came to learn about all sorts of communication equipment.

Well Porthcurno has just been awarded a great accolade – it’s one of Britain’s top ten beaches. But there’s more to Porthcurno than that.

Cliff-side theatre

Aside from the fantastic beach, there is the intriguing Minack Theatre which was built in to the cliffs by Rowena Cade in the 1930s. Whilst not being a mainstream theatre-goer, I recommend everyone attends at least one play there for the atmosphere. There’s nothing like watching HMS Pinafore with the wind in your hair and the Atlantic Ocean for a backdrop – no other theatre comes close.

Communications galore

The Cable & Wireless training college is now long gone, but before it was established as a place of learning it was one of the most important places in the world – so important that it was heavily defended during World War II.

Porthcurno, or PK as it was more commonly known in the communications world, was were many of Britain’s communications cables slipped down the beach, in to the ocean, and off to all corners of the world. Porthcurno was the centre of the Victorian Internet.

The sands shift nightly on the beach and often reveal their secret, armour plated submarine cables that will, at one time, have linked Britain with every continent on the planet. But it doesn’t stop there, about a quarter of a mile north of the beach is the Porthcurno Telegraph museum.

The museum traces the history of communications in this remote part of the United Kingdom and is a fascinating visit for the whole family.

Porthcurno – one of my top locations in England

Cornwall holds a special place in my memories. It is a special place and I suggest you book your trip now.

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