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Ponsence Cove: A sailor’s guide

Even in the peak of summer, the secluded little cove of Ponsence in Cornwall remains a tranquil and idyllic anchorage. Hidden away on the most remote southern banks of the Helford estuary and lined with ancient woodlands, it’s a quiet and sheltered spot to spend a few days relaxing in nature.


Where is Ponsence Cove?

This small, sandy cove is on the southern fringe of the Helford Estuary, on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. It provides a beautiful, secluded anchorage.



What’s Ponsence like?

Ponsence is the most easterly of a trio of beautiful little Cornish coves, all easily accessed by yacht with a tender.

As you reach the shore, the coves merge with the woodland. At the water’s edge, rockpools, boulders and small sandy, stone beaches make for the perfect playground for both young and old(er) sailors.

The picturesque village of Helford is about 40 mins by foot along a pretty towpath meandering across the edge of the lush green Bosahan estate.

Assuming you make it to the village, leave time for food and a pint at the excellent Shipwrights Arms, offering good views of the activity on this part of the river and adjacent deep water mooring buoys.



How to sail to Ponsence Cove

Just a short one sail hour from Falmouth, and a full day trip from Plymouth, Ponsence Cove is a well sheltered anchorage offering protection from all winds but the Easterly quadrant. The entrance to Helford River is relatively straight forwards (there are some submerged rocks charted close to headlands), but otherwise access is without hazards.

When should you make the trip?

Ponsence is best visited in the main boating season April-September, but is so well protected that you could visit at any time of year.


beautiful view across helford passage with boats moored


How to moor at Ponsence Cove

Ponsence Cove is just one of many bays and anchorages within the Helford Estuary – you’ll be spoilt for choice, with most of them offering good holding in mud or sand. If you prefer to take a mooring buoy closer to the Village, head for the ‘The Pool’ and numerous green visitor moorings are available.



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