Perranporth was once a mining village but is now a thriving seaside resort on the Cornish north coast 11 km north-west of Truro.
The broad expanse of Perran Beach is excellent both for surfers and for children and is patrolled during the summer season by lifeguards. The beach is backed by Penhale Sands a large area of sand dunes which extend nearly a mile inland. At the northern end of the long sweeping beach can be found cliffs with natural arches, granite rock stacks and tin-mining adits, which are the tunnels from which the water in the old mines was drained away.
The town contains all the cafes, restaurants and shops you would expect to find in such a popular holiday village and the surrounding area is liberally sprinkled with guest houses, holiday camps and caravans.
Perranporth in Cornish means "Perran's Cove". St Perran (or Piran) was originally the patron saint of tin miners but has now become patron saint of all Cornwall. Somewhere in Penhale Sands lies St Perran's lost oratory which he is believed to have built back in the 6th Century AD. This ancient building was later overwhelmed by the shifting sands and lost for many centuries. A new church was then built slightly inland but this too was buried by the encroaching sands. In 1910 the oratory was rediscovered but then lost again after a storm in the 1970s. Today, the 8 ft high Cross of St Piran stands between the site of the oratory and the second church. On March the 5th, St Perran's Day, there is a procession across the dunes to St Perran's Cross attended by thousands dressed in black, white and gold, and carrying Saint Perran's Flag, a white cross on a black background which is now honoured as the flag of Cornwall.