Falmouth and The Lizard

Introduction

Times of high water

Falmouth: High water is 6 hours after high water at Dover

Gorran Haven: High water is 6 hours before high water at Dover

Helford River: High water is 6 hours and 13 minutes before high water at Dover

Coverack: High water is 6 hours and 7 minutes after high water at Dover

Mullion Cove: High water is 5 hours and 52 minutes after high water at Dover

Tidal streams

Mevagissey Bay and St. Austell Bay: Tides irregular and weak

Black Head: The north-east going stream begins at 6 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south-west going stream begins at 3 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The flow reaches a speed of 0.2 knots at springs.. Flow is slight, especially from high water Plymouth until the flow turns south west.

Dodman Point: Inshore streams: The north-east going stream begins at 4 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south-west going stream begins at 1 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Heavy tide races can extend a mile offshore.

Eddy to the east of Dodman point: An eddy here flows south-west starting 1 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport).. The eddy flows around Vault Beach and reduces the flow at Caddyhew Rock, as the streams divide here. By 1 hour after high water at Plymouth, the flow is westerly from Chapel Point to Dodman Point.

Eddy to west of Dodman Point: An eddy here flows south-east starting 5 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport).

Veryan Bay: Flows are mostly weak in the bay, although some flow may be experienced near Dodman Point,

Around Gull rock and Nare Head.: The north-east going stream begins at 4 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Plymouth (devonport). Flows are probably less than 0.5 knots. Tide races form here.

East of Zone Point: The north-east going stream begins at 4 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport). . A tide race forms at Zone Point.

Entrance to Carrick Roads: Between Pendennis Point and Zone Point: The north north-east going stream begins at 6 hours and 5 minutes before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south south-west going stream begins at at high water at Plymouth (devonport). The north north-east going stream reaches a speed of 0.9 knots at springs. The south south-west going stream reaches a speed of 0.8 knots at springs.. The ebb flow can be greater than this - reportedly 1.5 knots, or 2 knots after heavy rain. Conditions can be rough when the wind opposes the ebb tide.

In Carrick Roads: The north north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 45 minutes after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south south-west going stream begins at at high water at Plymouth (devonport). The flow reaches a speed of 0.5 knots at springs. In narrows, streams attain a rate of 1.5 knots, up to 2 knots when the ebb is supplemented by river flow.

Helford River Mouth: The east going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The west going stream begins at 6 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport). Flows can reach 2 knots in the river.

North of Manacle Point: Between Manacle Point and the Helford River Entrance: The south south-east going stream begins at 1 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The north north-west going stream begins at 5 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport).

The Manacles: The north north-east going stream begins at 5 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south south-west going stream begins at 1 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The north north-east going stream reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs. The south south-west going stream reaches a speed of 1.7 knots at springs.

Black Head: The east north-east going stream begins at 5 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The west south-west going stream begins at 30 minutes after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.. A tide race forms here. An east-going eddy forms to the west of the head around an hour before the flow turns east.

Between Black Head and Lizard Point: The flow comes close inshore around the bay.The north north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The south south-west going stream begins at 1 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). . The flow near Black Head turns east earlier due to the eddy formed behind the headland.

Inshore Lizard Point: The east going stream begins at 5 hours before high water at Plymouth (devonport). The west going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Plymouth (devonport). The east going stream reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. The west going stream reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

Eddy west of Lizard Point: An eddy here flows south-east starting 5 hours after high water at Plymouth (devonport).. The eddy begins close to the point, but extends to Predannack Head by 6 hours after high water Plymouth and encompasses much of the western side of the peninsula by 6 hours before high water Plymouth.

Notes

Dodman Point Gunnery Range: The range may be contacted on 01752 557550 or VHF 74. The range is typically active once or twice a week.

Access/Egress

Charlestown: (SX 039 515) g Slipway on west side of harbour mouth. Large car park 50 m to the north.

Portmellon: (SX 016 440) g Slipway onto the beach, near the car park of the Rising Sun Inn, where you may be able to pay to use the car park for the day.

Gorran Haven: (SX 013 416) g Narrow roads lead to a slipway onto the beach with very limited space. Large car park 200 m west of the beach.

St Mawes: (SW 844 329) g A ramp from the road allows access from the beach. Alternatively, it may be possible to launch from the slip near the quay in the busy town centre,

Truro Boscawen Park: (SW 833 436) g Free parking by slipway. Usable for an hour either side of high water.

Falmouth watersports centre: (SW 813 325) g Slipway just north west of the National Maritime Museum with a nearby car park.

Porthoustock: (SW 808 218) g Possible to drive right onto the beach and park nearby. Donations for upkeep of the beach requested.

Falmouth Swanpool Beach: (SW 803 312) g Easy launch with nearby parking.

Porthallow: (SW 798 232) g Large car park by the beach. May be a long walk across the beach at low water.

Maenporth: (SW 791 297) g Beachfront car park.

Coverack: (SW 785 182) g Put in down the harbour slip. Parking nearby along the seafront.

Helford Passage: (SW 762 269) g Easy enough access to the beach, but the only car parking is a fair distance uphill.

Cadgwith: (SW 722 144) g Possible to offload boats quickly by the beach slipway before leaving cars in the village car park up the hill.

Gweek: (SW 707 267) g Access is possible here two hours either side of high water at spring tides (dries to at least 4.3 m). MHWS here is 5.3 m (MLWS 0.6m) and there is at least 2 m water at Gweek Quay on a spring tide. Mean spring range is 4.7m.

Mullion Cove: (SW 667 179) g Launch in the large drying harbour. Cars can be left in one of two car parks well up the hill.

Gunwalloe Church Cove: (SW 662 204) g National Trust car park just north of Winnianton Farm. Access either at Dollar Cove (closer to the car park) or Church Cove (a longer walk, but a safer launch and landing in surf, especially nearer high water)

Suggested trips

Back to index