«Coastal Walks in Penwith with Inland Returns The following walks are selected by the local Ramblers’ Association as being pleasant and suitable for ...»
Coastal Walks in Penwith with Inland Returns
The following walks are selected by the local Ramblers’ Association
as being pleasant and suitable for most walkers. Some places are
muddy, and appropriate footwear is advised. All walks are circular
and most can be shortened.
Walk 1. St Ives – Carbis Bay – Lelant (5.
5 miles – 3 hours)
Map Ref. 203-520/404
Start this walk at Malakoff (bus stop) in St Ives.
Take the road to the Portminster Beach and carry on around the
beach and on up the steep path beyond. At the top, take the middle road of 3 and carry on up the slope, continuing on along the tarmac road to Porthminster Point. Pass the Baulking House to your right – this was Huers lookout for Seine Fishing.
Keep on along this very pleasant road lined with trees – with the sea and railway to your left. At the end of the road carry on along the path which crosses the railway by bridge and then on to Carbis Bay Beach.
Take the road out up a steep hill. Near the top just before the railway bridge locate a path on your left. Follow this path down steps and carry on along the cliff edge around the point, known locally as Hawks Point. From here you get extensive views of miles of sand and Hayle River estuary. Just beyond this point, carry on to the right at fork and up slope to path along top of cliffs. Do not cross the railway but turn down a steep path. At the bottom a stepper path, to the left, goes down to a wishing well. As this is a dead-end, unless you wish to see the well, keep to the path up the slope through a nut grove and onto the sand dunes. Carry on until you reach the path to Lelant Beach where, at one time, a ferry crossed the river.
At this point, turn inland under the railway and on by a partly sunken path through the golf course to Lelant Church. Take the road beyond to the right which passes the golf clubhouse and carry on to the track to the right and sign posted “private road” to holiday flats. Follow this track to the end of wire fence on right and go through galvanised gate marked “path”. At this point enter golf course and go down slope. Please keep to footpath as indicated by white markers. At the time of writing the footpaths on the golf course were being revised. However it is intended that the paths referred to on this walk will remain.
Keep to the left of course, ignoring several paths to the left – ¾ of the way down; locate a short fence across your path. At this point turn left along path to kissing gate before. Follow path along top of cliffs with railway and beaches below hedge to left. Keep going until you reach houses. After the 7th house, turn left and keep going straight on. A little further on, re-cross railway over footbridge.
From this vantage point the views make the walk worthwhile. Carry on along path to road to Carbis Bay. Keep straight on to railway halt (not to right over bridge). Keep on past turning to halt and find footpathsign to the right. This path descends through trees to the valley. Cross river at the bottom and turn left up the valley. Carry on up the path until you find a good path to the right opposite a SWEB enclosure.
Just up the short slope to road, turn right then, ignoring a very steep road to the right, keep straight on to the end of the road. At the end find two paths – take the one straight on and, after a few yards, you get back on to the coastal path. Turn left and follow the path you started on back to St Ives.
Walk 2 – Zennor – The Carracks (Seal Island) – 5.5 miles/3.5 hours OR Zennor – Wicca Pool – 5 miles/3 hours Map Ref: 203-454/384 This walk starts at Zennor car park Turn left passing church on right; locate stile at back of churchyard.
Keep to the left hedge of the first two fields. Next, along right hedge which stops halfway across field – keep going and find stile to left of right-hand gate. Keep to the left hedge of the next six fields with Zennor Hill towering on your right – then straight across farm lane with Tremedda Farm on the left. From this point a line of poles is a good guide, keeping close to the line of the path. From Tremedda Farm lane the path keeps to the right of the next field and then across to far hedge. Now go straight across the next two fields followed by two more, along the left hedge. Cross another farm lane, keeping to the right of Tregerthen Farm.
The path is now passing Eagles Nest on the right along a sunken path along left hedge. Beyond the farm carry on along track through bushes with one small field in the middle – passing the interesting remains of an old chapel on the right. Keep to yellow and blue signs through the next two fields. Ignore opening to stile in corner beyond. Across short corner to right of next field and on along left hedge of next field and on through middle of Wicca Farm.
Beyond Wicca, follow farm lane around Boscubben Farm and, at fork, turn down left lane to Treveal Farm.
At this National Trust farm, for shorter walk, turn left as signed locating lane at far end of buildings, and follow National Trust path to cliff path at Wicca Pool.
For those wishing to reach the Carracks, carry on down track, passing house and turning left to path with fence on right for a few yards. Follow this path along top of valley to coast. Turn left along cliff path where cliffs shelve down to the rocks, opposite the Carracks Rocks, where it is usual to see seals.
Carry on around the headland to Wicca Pool and on around the wild coast to Zennor Head. For those who wish to shorten the walk;
before Zennor Head, at a point where the path turns sharp right down steep stretch which is signposted, it is possible to keep straight on and cut out the headland by following a far easier path.
Form this path, or from Zennor Head, turn inland back to Zennor.
Walk 3 – Morvah - Portheras Cove - Pendeen Lighthouse – Pendeen Manor – 4 miles – 2.5 hours OR Morvah – Portheras – 2 miles – 1.5 hours Map Ref – 203-402/354 This walk can be started from Pendeen Lighthouse but I think Morvah makes a more interesting start.
Locate stile into field to right of churchyard. Keep to left hedge along a sunken track and follow track to lane. Carry on keeping to lane as it turns first left, then right ignoring all gates; keep on until your path is crossed by a stone hedge – cross to right into rough land keeping to right of stream for 100 yards to coast path.
Take path to left; cross stream and on up slope. At the top you can look back along cliff to Gurnards Head with Watch Croft (the highest point in Penwith) towering above it. After a level walk along the cliff top, the path plunges into the valley with Portheras Cove at the bottom and Pendeen Lighthouse on the next point. At the bottom, the path comes out on a lane for those wishing to shorten the walk – details follow.
(Shortened walk - Keep on up the lane to Lower Chypraze and carry on along road to Wheal Rose. Locate stile to left, opposite house.
Look for church and then cross field to right of line of church. In the next field cross to far hedge; find stile to left of gate near short piece of protruding hedge. Again, cross next field to stile to right of gate into road and then left to church.) At this point, turn right to Portheras Cove – the only sandy beach between St Ives and Sennen – but a very dangerous beach because of sharp pieces of metal in the sand. The path keeps going beyond beach path and river and reaches track which carries on to Pendeen Lighthouse. For this walk, turn up the road away from the lighthouse. But for the more energetic, the coast path is very interesting beyond this point with many mining remains. Carry on up the roads for over a quarter of a mile to track to left, marked “Manor Farm”.
A detour can be made here to Pendeen Manor Farm. The footpath is over a stile to the right. While keeping all farm buildings to your left, cross the yard and walk along a narrow path between a shed to your left and a hedge. At the far end of this farm yard can be found an Iron Age Fogou (man-made cave). Permission must be requested from farmer to visit this site. The Manor House also has some interesting features. If you look around, you might get confused, but the farmer is very helpful and will put you right.
Either retrace your steps back up to the lighthouse road or turn back into the lane and find the stile around the right of buildings.
Carry on, keeping hedge to right, through two fields and come out on the coast path in the bottom right hand corner.
Continue up the Lighthouse road for another quarter of a mile until track on left by fire hydrant. Turn down track and past some of the houses. Turn right, just before another building, over sign posted stile into field keeping hedge to left. After two fields, path crosses hedge and comes to track by Portheras Farm. Turn left towards buildings but just before turn right over stile and diagonally across field. Cross over stile to left of gate and straight down valley towards a concrete shed, first stepping across a small stream.
Beyond the shed is a track which you cross with 10 yard diversion to the right. There is a finger stile in the hedge to surmount, then going straight across a stone filled stile and into a smaller field and across to left corner. Keep straight across narrow field and turn left towards houses with hedges to right. Footpath crosses a stone stile as it approaches the backs of a row of houses and passing between two comes out onto a road. Over the road and the path goes diagonally to the right then across 100 yards of uncultivated land which has a small clapper bridge over the stream, hidden in its midst. The path finishes at the corner of the road to Wheal Rose, then follow the main coast road, for a fields length, back to Morvah.
Walk 4 – Porthcurno – St Levan – Nanjizal – 6 miles – 3.5 hours Map Ref: 203-385/225 Start at Porthcurno car park Leave car park by road up steep hill to left. Near the top, turn right on bend to Rospletha Farm. At the end of the farm buildings, turn left through gate with (at time or writing) the remains of a kissing gate.
Follow well-defined path through two fields, the first having a stone cross in the middle on which to rest coffin and seats for bearers to rest. After a stay in the interesting churchyard, leave by steps to right of entry. Turn left up slope, passing in front of house on the right and on into field. Carry on around left-hand hedge to stile in middle of hedge into next field and turn right along hedge. Keep to left hedge of two fields and along right end of next. Go straight across the next two fields, then left along hedge to road.
Turn right along road to Ardensawah Farm. Turn left beyond farm buildings and locate stile on right. If stile is blocked, go through gate a few yards on. Cross fields to far corner. Go to the far corner of the next field towards farm buildings. Into next field, over stile, and keep to the left of farm buildings, finding stile by gate into track and follow this track to the left. Then take right at turn at fork and on to Nanjizal Cove.
On leaving the cove, follow coastal path up very steep path keeping the sea to you right with views of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse and Runnelstone buoy. The current is very strong along this coast and is always turbulent. In due course, you will come to the Tol-Pedn Coastguard lookout.
Then on to Porthgwarra Cove – one of the prettiest hamlets along the coast which has a cave leading to a sandy beach with a few small boats. Further on, the path passes St Levan Holy Well and Porthchapel Beach. On passing the cliffs – alive with colour, as different flowers and gorse appear in season – you soon come to Minack Open Air Theatre. At this point, the superb view is unsurpassed with the Logan Rock headland and Porthcurno beach below. The path goes straight down the cliff to a lower path above the beach and on back to the car park.
Walk 5 – Marry Maidens – St Loy – Lamorna Cove – 7 miles/4 hours Map Ref – 203-433/246 This walk can be started from Lamorna or Merry Maidens/ Park any cars off road which passes the Merry Maidens Stone Circle.
It is then necessary to carry on along the road for ¾ mile, as road is narrow and, with bends, care must be taken. Just after you start, you pass a prehistoric site on your left, discovered during road widening a few years ago.
A little further on, at the point where the road turns off to St Buryan, you pass an ancient cross called Boskenna Cross. Carry straight on, passing another cross, opposite the entrance to Boskenna Estate. After another 200 yards the road goes down a slope with wood to the left. Locate a gate and stile leading into the woods. At the bottom, cross a small stream and come out on the beach.
You are now at St Loy which is a boulder-strewn beach. Follow the beach path, taking care at the end – then to path leading up through woods and meadows. Follow this path which climbs steadily to the top of the cliffs at Boscawen Point. At this point you can see the Tater Du Lighthouse which was built in 1965 owing to the number of ships lost along the coast. Even more recently, between this point and the lighthouse, the ill-fated Penlee Lifeboat was lost with all its hands.
Carry on along the path until you come to a Trinity House notice. At this point carry on along the track. A little further on and you will be able to look down to the light-house below. Over the next rise, you pass through the lower part of the grounds of Dorminack.
The next headland is Carn Barges and from this point the path becomes very rugged. For those not wishing to go to Lamorna Cove, with its steep hill out, a very easy path turns inland at this point, coming out above the cove, then down a road to the village of Lamorna and its well-known inn.
For those carrying on, on reaching Lamorna Cove, it’s nice to have a short stop to admire the view, before taking the hill out to the village. Carry on up the road and at a point where the road turns slightly right, with a “road narrows” sign on the right, take the path straight on and up a track. At the top, carry on up the road until you reach the main road. Locate gap in hedge to your left, close to end of road markings. Cross the field to a stile beyond in the middle. Cross stile into Merry Maidens field and back to start.
Walk 6 – Mousehole – Penlee – Paul – 3.5 miles/2 hours Map Ref – 203-470/264 This walk starts at Mousehole Harbour car park.
Leave the car park away from the harbour and take the beach path.