Mostly unspoilt fishing village
A former pilchard-fishing village on the Roseland peninsula about five miles from St. Mawes and down a lane of the A3078. Portscatho pilchards stopped coming a century ago, but the village remains, relatively unchanged over the years. Although the lichen-speckled skippers' houses are now holiday homes. There is a small permanent population, including a few fishermen (for mackerel and lobsters today), but the majority of the village's population changes weekly during the holiday season.
As early as 1626 records survive of 18 pilchard seine boats working out of the village. Along the shore there were numerous low built open fronted fish cellars. Here the fish were cleaned, salted and packed into wooden barrels. Some were kept to feed the local families through the winter but the vast majority were sold and found their way to Mediterranean ports. The last great pilchard catch in Gerrans Bay was in 1908 and credited to the landlord of the Plume of Feathers, Edward Peters.
Portscatho has a small, sandy beach and a harbour, with its steep ramp leading down to a small collection of boats.
The east-facing cove affords shelter from the prevailing south-westerly winds and this makes it safe for swimming, and its proximity to many fine sandy beaches means it's a family favourite.
In the village centre you will find several shops including a butchers and a decent grocery/off licence as well as the now standard galleries and gift shops.
Portscatho once had a Barclays Bank, but that has now gone, and it has been converted into a holiday let. There are still bars on the windows with the Barclays eagle etched on the frosted glass. The back office is now the bathroom.
The Plume of Feathers pub was built in 1756 for the Jennings family. The Inn now one of the three oldest buildings in the village.
A red, spiky sea mine is still used as a container to collect money for charity. And beside it is a memorial to those killed in Burma, but who have no known graves.
East of Portscatho is Porthcurnick beach and the Hidden Hut cafe. A stimulating 15 minute walk from Portscatho along the cliffs. At low tide, Porthcurnick has acres of sand, and an old volunteer coastguard lookout post.
Porthscatho Regatta is held at the end of August each year. All the usual activities – sailing, sports, games, stalls, barbecue and live music. There is even a sandcastle competition and a raft race.
Also held in August is the Porthscatho Fish Festival.
The Hidden Hut
The Boathouse Restaurant
Across the sloping square is the magnificent Plume of Feathers pub, still owned by the St. Austell Brewery.
Portloe St. Mawes Caerhays Castle The Roseland Peninsula
The Coastal Footpath Melinsey Mill St. Anthony Head