Vertical Blue Blog – Paddleboarding and Kayaking in Porthleven, Cornwall

Vertical Blue Blog – Paddleboarding and Kayaking in Porthleven, Cornwall

With summer fast approachiporthleven-panoramang we thought it about time to start a regular information page to inform you of all the things we love about our Paddleboard and Kayak adventures in Cornwall, along with some of the amazing sites, sounds and history of where we are lucky enough to call home.

From our base in Porthleven we have the ability to explore some truly amazing areas with many tales to tell, some of which I will touch on throughout the summer season as we run trips throughout these areas.

To start with though lets have a bit of history from how Porthleven came to be.

The meaning behind the name Porthleven (Lev as its known to the locals) stems from the traditional Cornish language with Porth, meaning a port and Leven, which means smooth. The Smooth Port!

It’s a sad story the beginning of Lev as we know it. The tragic sinking of HMS Anson on 29 December 1807, off of Looe Bar (1KM to the left out of harbour), with the approximate loss of 130 sailors in a huge storm.  This led to a bill being struck in parliament in 1811, signed by King George 3rd for the construction of a harbour, in Mounts Bay, County of Cornwall.


Napoleonic prisoners were set to work building the outer harbor and pier using local granite, yet it wasn’t actually finished until 1825. The inner harbor wasn’t finished until 1858 after changing hands to a new owner. The population at this time was only around the 1000 mark and by the early 1900’s this had doubled to 2000. It now stands just over the 3000 mark.
The village was a bustling fishing and boat building harbor throughout the 1900’s, however this went into slow decline as steel and fibreglass became the material of choice. Lev has still managed to hold on to its fishing roots however with a handful of boats still calling port home and numerous boats still being built in the workshops.

Porthleven-storm-2014Porthleven has had a makeover in the last few decades where the town has truly flourished as one of the best spots in Cornwall if not the UK to visit and enjoy the history, location and events taking place in this now booming little slice of paradise. Theres no better way to explore than looking up from a paddleboard or kayak at this great little town.

Café’s, galleries, restaurants and not to mention one of the best surf breaks in the UK all combine to bring 10’s of thousands of visitors per year. Amazing events include the Masked Ball, the Food and Music Festival and the RNLI Lifeboat Day to name just a few.

The locals are some of the friendliest and, how do I say this, most eccentric bunch you will come across. Life living by the sea surely does work wonders!