Situated in a depression at the centre of Mount's Bay, Praa Sands (pronounced locally as 'Pray Sands') and its mile long golden beach enjoys huge popularity with holidaymakers. With plenty of space to play in the sand, well lifegaurded waters and a mass of rockpools to explore, it offers a fantastic day out for the whole family.
One of the most historically significant sites in the coastal village is that belonging to Pengersick Castle. The castellated tower that can be seen today was built in the 16th century and was then attached to a tudor manor house. The Pengersick family occupied the site since the 12th century but after the last owner, a Mrs Angela Evans, sadly passed away in 2008 it was bequeathed to the Pengersick Historical and Educational Trust, which she herself founded with the goals of restoring the castle to its full glory.
Any ghost enthusiasts will know Pengersick Castle as, supposedly, one of the most haunted locations in the UK. With numerous accounts of ghoulish sightings, including that of a monk in the garden who wears a brimmed hat and a young girl who stalks the battlements waiting for people to push off the side, the site has become extremely popular with ghost hunters with the television series Most Haunted even filming an episode there.
The ghost stories may well, however, have been the fabricated by 18th century smugglers wanting to keep the attention away from the castle. Legend has it that the infamous John Carter, otherwise know as the 'King of Prussia', would use a secret tunnel, leading from the western end of the beach up to Pengersick, to smuggle contraband goods into the castle.
Praa Sands beach, which is protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, boasts golden sand for playing on and clear water for bathing and waterborne activities, such as surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding. One of my favourite things to do is to hire kayaks from a shop above the beach and paddle west around the rocks and towards Kennegy beach and Prussia Cove. As such popular spot for beach goers, it can get rather packed on the beach but, with a whole mile of it to enjoy, a walk along the sand to the eastern end (known as Hendra) will allow you to escape the masses. Unlike the western end, however, this side is not lifegaurded so caution should be taken when swimming there.