This beach faces north-west and lies in a cove sheltered from winds and sea swells by cliffs. It is also backed by sand dunes, making it a great spot for families and sunbathing generally. At low tide, the beach extends to neighbouring coves to the north and south. The water quality is tested regularly and Porthcothan has recently appeared on the list of Marine Conservation Society Recommended beaches. While the sheltered conditions make it less popular with experienced surfers, beginners and swimmers will appreciate the usually calm waters. The South West Coast Path runs behind the beach and allows walkers to appreciate the views out to sea.