Once a busy harbour built by a local mine owner for shipping china clay, the dock basin is now separated from the sea by the beach and is filled with fresh water. Despite not having welcomed a ship for over 60 years, evidence of its industrial past are still scattered around the village.
Heading inland, the Pentewan Valley Trail is a 4km woodland and riverside walk, which follows the bed of an old narrow gauge railway, to the village of London Apprentice. The 19th century railway was built to carry clay and tin for export from the docks and closed when they silted up. The village pub, the Ship Inn, is small and friendly with tables on the old harbourside.
Nearby Pentewan Sands is a well-equipped campsite literally beside the sandy, shallow-watered beach and ideal for family holidays.