Porthcurno, Cornwall

Explore the southwest’s own island paradise by sea kayak and on foot for the ultimate sub-tropical day trip

27th July 2011
image
Difficulty
Moderate
Distance
8 miles
Duration
4-5 hours

Park in Treen and set off on a footpath that leads past the car park towards the sea. Climb a stile and follow the path as it zigzags around the edge of fields. Climb a stone stile and turn right, through a hole in a wall and bear diagonally left through a field to the bottom right corner. Cross a stone stile and follow a path around the crop field. Continue through woodland and past huge gunnera plants. Turn left at a branch in the path, past allotments, to the tiny fishing hamlet of Penberth Cove.

Turn right and pick up the South West Coast Path, which heads uphill on to the cliffs. Carry on along this path, following acorn markers as it curves around Cribba Head. Occasionally the path splits and you have an option of following a cliff-top path or an inland route – the paths will rejoin later so you can choose either.

When you come a fork in the path, turn left to explore (or enjoy views of) Pedn Vounder, one of Cornwall’s most incredible beaches. The beach is only accessible by foot on a spring low tide from Porthcurno or by climbing down a rock face at the end of this path. If you decide to descend take great care and look up tide times or you’ll find yourself cut off! The beach is (unofficially) favoured by naturists.

Back on the path, continue to Porthcurno. Carry on as the path dips down into the village then head up steps to the Minack open-air theatre. Continue on the coast path as it follows the cliff-tops then dips into a bay at Porth Chapel. Cross a bridge over a waterfall and carry on, turning left at the acorn marker.

Pass through the village of Porthgwarra and pick up the coast path on the other side. The coastline along this stretch is stunning.

Again the path splits – take either route, the higher (right) to stay away from the cliff edge, or the lower (left) for more dramatic scenery. If you take the lower path, take great care as it skirts a collapsed sea cave.

Pass a lookout station, and as you round the headland you should be able to see Land’s End in the distance. Carry on until you reach the magical Nanjizal Bay. Virtually undiscovered, this boulder-strewn bay is a real treasure and even at high season you’ll find yourself alone save for a few intrepid walkers.

Turn right and head inland. When you reach a lane turn right then, after 400m, left. Follow a lane that leads right, around Higher Bosistow Farm, then pick up a track running east. Continue on this for 800m. Turn left at the road, then immediately right to Raftra Farm. Take a left before farm buildings and follow a path to the road at Trethewey. Turn right and walk for 300m before picking up a path that runs diagonally through two fields. Go through a gap in the hedge, turn right and skirt the corner of the next field and walk through the farm. Turn left, then after 60m, right, and follow a path through fields back to Treen.


Useful Information


Terrain

Cliff paths, take care near edges, especially around Gwennap Head. Only consider the descent to Pedn Vounder Beach if you’re a confident climber/scrambler.

How to get there

by car: Treen is 7½ miles southwest from Penzance on the A30 then B3283. There is a pay and display car park in the village (£1.50).
By public transport:
Buses run from Penzance to Treen every hour.

Refreshment

The Logan Rock Inn
Treen, St Levan, Penzance TR19 6LG
01736 810495

Map

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 102.
Grid ref: SW 394 230

Nearby excursions

The Minack Theatre and Visitor Centre
Porthcurno, Penzance
TR19 6JU
01736 810181
www.minack.com

Treen Farm Campsite
Treen, St Leven TR19 6LF
01736 810273
treenfarmcampsite.co.uk

Accommodation
Mount Haven
Turnpke Road, Marazion
TR17 0DQ
01736 710249
www.mounthaven.co.uk

More info
www.visitcornwall.com
 

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