List of walks in date order, with links
Date Walk Distance
27 June 2009 Coverack - St Keverne 5.7 km (3.6 miles)
26 June 2009 Coverack - Lizard 16.7 km (10.4 miles)
25 June 2009 Lizard - Poldhu Cove 14.8 km (9.3 miles)
24 June 2009 Pennance - Falmouth (Prince of Wales Pier) 7.0 km (4.4 miles)
23 June 2009 Place Creek - Treworlas 13.8 km (8.6 miles)
22 June 2009 Helford - St Keverne 16.4 km (10.3 miles)
21 June 2009 Helford Passage - Pennance 9.8 km (6.1 miles)
20 June 2009 Pennance - Maenporth - Swanpool Beach - Pennance 5.5 km (3.4 miles)

20 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Pennance - Maenporth - Swanpool Beach - Pennance

5.5 km (3.4 miles)

Pennance Barns
Holiday cottage in Pennance Barns

The start of another week walking the South West Coast Path with Haydn and Pat (unfortunately, for the first time since we have been doing this, no Viv). The aim is to try to cover the section of the path between Hemmick Beach (the west side of Dodman Point) and Mullion. But we have only one car this year, and will need to rely on public transport - buses, ferries and taxis.

Swanpool Beach
Swanpool Beach, Pendennis Point in the distance

We are staying in a holiday cottage in Pennance Barns, which has direct footpath access to the Coast Path. Haydn and Pat are at a wedding today, but I've come ahead of them (train to Falmouth Town, then a taxi).

Pennance Point
New-mown fields on Pennance Point

This evening I did a short exploratory walk, establishing the access to the Coast Path, and finding a couple of options for eating and drinking. Pennance Barns have a linking path across the Falmouth Golf Club course to a public footpath path that cuts the corner off Pennance Point, with connections at either end to the Coast Path. I walked to Maenporth, and called into the Cove, a bar-restaurant recommended by my taxi driver - looked as if it would be worth a visit.

Three Mackerel
Sign for the Three Mackerel

Then walked the Coast Path back to Swanpool Beach and looked into the Three Mackerel. They were doing tapas (actually raciones), so I stopped for a bowl of chorizo and butter-bean stew, and a glass of white wine, eaten on the covered terrace overlooking Falmouth Bay. Then a stroll back to Pennance Barns across new-mown fields, in wonderful late evening sun.

Tufted Vetch


21 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Helford Passage - Pennance

9.8 km (6.1 miles)

Helford Passage
Helford Passage

Haydn and Pat weren't due to arrive until mid-day, so I occupied the time by walking to the Three Mackerel, stopping to have breakfast (excellent) and then following the Coast Path into Falmouth, around Pendennis Point, a distance of 7.0 km (4.4 miles). Then back to Pennance by taxi.

The three of us walked this section of the South West Coast Path again on 24 June 2009.

Sea near Mawnan

After Pat and Haydn arrived, we took the No 400 ('The Falmouth Explorer') to Helford Passage - it only runs there on Sundays, and stops conveniently at the end of the lane leading to Pennance. From Helford Passage we walked along the Coast Path back to Pennance.

Rosemullion Head
Approaching Rosemullion Head

With the two walks combined, I've covered the Helford Passage to Falmouth section of the Coast Path, from ferry to ferry.

Sea king Helicopter
Royal Navy Rescue Sea King Helicopter, above Rosemullion Head

Sheepsbit scabious


22 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Helford - St Keverne

16.4 km (10.3 miles)

Helford Ferry
The Helford Ferry

We ordered a taxi to take us to Helford Passage (the bus only runs on Sunday), where we caught the ferry to Helford.

Towards Mawnan
Looking towards Mawnan, from near Dennis Head

From Helford we walked to Dennis Head (carefully avoiding a bull in the field) and then to St Anthony-in-Meneage at Gillan Harbour, to find it was low tide. It is possible to ford the Gillan Creek at low tide, but we decided to walk round the creek long way - I suspected that picking our way across the creek, and then drying off, would take as long as the walk around it.

St Anthony-in-Meneage
St Anthony-in-Meneage

From Gillian we walked to Nare Point, where we called into the lookout station. It is staffed by very friendly volunteers, who will sell you a cold drink or a cup of tea.

Nare Point
Lookout station, Nare Point

The walk from Nare Point, over Nare Head, was excellent, so we were disappointed to find that at Nare Cove the path had been diverted inland because of a cliff fall. The diversion was shown inaccurately on the plan on the path closure notice, but was extremely well waymarked, so we found our way to Porthallow without difficulty.

Towards Porthkerris Point
Looking towards Porthkerris Point from Nare Head

Porthallow is the half-way point along the South West Coast Path (517 km / 315 miles from Minehead and Poole), which is marked by a large steel monument, cut on both sides with text invoking the local area. It is also the home of the Five Pilchards, where we stopped for a pint.

Midway Marker
South West Coast Path Midway Marker, Porthallow

From Porthallow the Coast Path follows a largely inland route to Rosenithon, via Porthoustock. At Porthoustock we watched a ship being loaded with aggregate - there are a number of quarries locally, extracting gabbro.

Porthoustock, ship being loaded with aggregate

We left the Coast Path at Rosenithon, and followed the road into St Keverne. From St Keverne we took the No 32 bus to 'Helston Tesco', changing there onto the No 35 to Falmouth (a very convoluted journey through narrow lanes, with many diversions along the way). And then from Falmouth we took a taxi back to Pennance.

English Stonecrop


23 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Place Creek - Treworlas

13.8 km (8.6 miles)

St Mawes Castle
St Mawes Castle, from ferry

Today we decided to tackle a section of the route on the other side of the Carrick Roads. Traveline showed a ferry for St Mawes leaving Falmouth at 09:15, connecting with the No 50 bus to Truro, which we planned to take as far as Treworlas (a hamlet on the A 3078, near the coast at Gerrans Bay), with the intention of walking back to the ferry at Place Creek.

Unfortunately, the St Mawes ferry actually leaves at 09:45 and does not connect with the bus. The fallback plan was therefore invoked, doing the walk in reverse.

Place Creek Ferry
Place Creek Ferry

We took the ferry to St Mawes, and then changed onto the ferry to Place Creek - with enough time to spare between ferries to have a cup of tea.

St Anthony Head
Approaching St Anthony Head

The first part of this section of the Coast Path is one of the best, around St Anthony-in-Roseland.

We stopped to look into St Anthony's church, cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust, and I made a short detour to look at the lighthouse on St Anthony Head. From St Anthony we walked to Portscatho, where we stopped to eat our sandwiches.

Lighthouse on St Anthony Head
Lighthouse on St Anthony Head

At Porthscatho, we decided to try to get to Treworlas for the 15:15 No 50 bus back to St Mawes - the alternative was a later bus to Truro, and a longer and less attractive journey back to Falmouth.

Porthbeor Beach
Porthbeor Beach

Fortunately, we made it with 20 minutes to spare. The bus stop at Treworlas is not attractive - a busy road, no view, and no pub. But our thanks to the kind lady in the nearby house who came out to tell us that the bus actually stopped 100 yards from where we had been waiting.

Once back at St Mawes, we stopped for a pint and then took the ferry back to Falmouth, then a taxi to Pennance.


Field Bindweed


24 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Pennance - Falmouth (Prince of Wales Pier)

7.0 km (4.4 miles)

Falmouth Docks
Ship in Falmouth Docks

With two relatively hard days behind us, we decided on a rest day. Haydn and Pat still needed to walk the short section of the Coast Path from Pennance to Falmouth I had walked in the morning on Sunday (21 June 2009). We therefore made a late start and walked into Falmouth for lunch (cornish pasties).

River Fal
Ships laid up in the river Fal

The afternoon was occupied by a boat trip (in Enterprise II) up the river to Truro - well worthwhile. There are some very large ships laid up in the river Fal, waiting for the economy to recover.

The boat actually only took us to Malpas, as the tide was against us, but there was a connecting bus laid on to cover the last couple of miles.

In Truro we looked round the cathedral and then caught the train back to Falmouth, and a taxi back to Pennance.

Truro cathedral
Truro cathedral

Common Mallow


25 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Lizard - Poldhu Cove

14.8 km (9.3 miles)

Most southerly point
Most southerly point

We decide to walk the section of the Coast Path from Lizard to Poldhu Cove today. There is a bus between Poldhu and Lizard (the No 33, Lizard to Helston), so we drive to Poldhu, park the car and take the bus into Lizard village.

Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove

From the centre of Lizard village we walk to the 'Most Southerly Point' (as it is named on the direction signs in the village), using the footpath provided by the National Trust alongside the road.

Soap Cove
Soap Cove (unnamed on map)

From the 'Most Southerly Point' we follow the Coast Path to Kynance Cove, which is a beautiful small beach dotted with great serpentine rocks. We make an unplanned stop here to have crab sandwiches and pasties from the National Trust cafe.

Coast approaching Mullion Cove

From Kynance Cove, we continued the walk to Mullion Cove, over the best section of the Coast Path we have walked this week - great cliff top walking, with the wild flowers at their peak.

Mullion Cove
Harbour, Mullion Cove

We stop for an ice cream in Mullion Cove, then carry on to Poldhu Cove, over Poldhu Point. Poldhu Point was the site of Marconi's first radio station, and there is a monument on the cliff top.

At Poldhu Cove, we pick up the car and drive back to Pennance. We could have done the trip to and from Poldhu Cove by bus, but having the car at the end of the walk meant there was no pressure to finish the walk at any particular time.

Monument near site of Marconi's first radio station



26 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Coverack - Lizard

16.7 km (10.4 miles)

Black Head
Lookout, Black Head

We need to fill in the gap between St Keverne and Lizard, so today we plan to walk from Coverack to Lizard, leaving a short walk for tomorrow between Coverack and St Keverne.

Beagles Point
Memorial cross, Beagles Point

We ordered a taxi from Helston to pick us up at Lizard and take us to Coverack (£25 fixed price). We drive to Lizard, arriving a little early, but the taxi also arrives early, so we get off to good start. The taxi drops us off at the northern end of Coverack, by the car park and bus stop, as this is where we will start and finish tomorrow.

Kennack Sands
Kennack Sands

The early part of the walk, from Chynhalls Point to Black Head, is hard going, as the path is very uneven, with rough steps and boggy patches. But from then on, the walking is excellent.

Ponies, Enys Head

At Cadgwith I persuaded the others to stop for a pint at the pub. Just beyond Cadgwith is the Devil's Frying Pan - a cove with a natural rock bridge over the entrance - presumably the result of the partial collapse of a large cave.

Devil's Frying Pan
The Devil's Frying Pan

Between Cadgwith and the 'Most Southerly Point', we pass the new Lizard lifeboat station, with a dedicated funicular railway to take the crew down the cliff to the boat.

Lizard lifeboat station
Lizard lifeboat station

We then walk round Bass Point (with a lookout station, Lloyd's Signal Station and the Lizard Wireless Station, with a small plaque commemorating Marconi), around Housel Bay, past the Lizard Lighthouse, and so to the 'Most Southerly Point'.

Lloyd's Signal Station
Lloyd's Signal Station

From the 'Most Southerly Point', we take the National Trust path back to the car for the drive back to Pennance.

Laven-a-caen, Housel Bay
Laven-a-caen, Housel Bay

Cornish Heath


27 June 2009: South West Coast Path, Coverack - St Keverne

5.7 km (3.6 miles)

Coast approaching Dean Quarries

This is the last day for walking the Coast Path this year. We drive to Coverack, where we started yesterday's walk. The Coast Path east of Coverack has a different character, as the rock changes from serpentine to gabbro. Most of the walk is near sea level.

Dean Quarries
Dean Quarries

Once past Lowland Point the path runs along the edge of Dean Quarries. The site looks as if it has only recently been abandoned - offices still with furniture in them, but doors and windows broken.

Godrevy Cove
Beach at Godrevy Cove

From the quarry the path follows half way round Godrevy Cove (a quiet beach) and then heads inland to Rosenithon, where we left the Coast Path on Monday (22 June 2009). From Rosenithon we again walk along the road to St Keverne. In St Keverne we have half an hour to wait for the No 32 bus to take us back to the car at Coverack, so we look round the church. It contains some interesting woodwork.

St Keverne
St Keverne

We have lunch in Coverack, and then drive back to Pennance via Lizard.

Rood screen
Rood beam, St Kevern church

We have covered all the ground we intended to, with the exception of the Coast Path between Hemmick Beach (the west side of Dodman Point) and Treworlas - about 15 km (9.4 miles). I just couldn't work out a sensible way of doing it with only one car.

Stinking Iris