Sunday, 27 April 2014

Portscatho to St Anthony (South West Coast Path 50)

 Portscatho beach

This is the final walk of this trip and we set off from Portscatho following the sea front. This is a bit of a novelty as the last two walks have begun with a steep climb. It is low water and the beach looks more interesting that we had realised.

There is soon a great view across a very calm Gerrand Bay and yesterday's landmarks, Nare Head and Gull Rock are very clear, with the day before's, Dodman Point, also in view behind.

We are soon walking along a grassy low cliff and noticing how different this section of coast is: low rocky shelves rather than sandy coves.

This soon gives way to the large sandy expanse of Towan Beach.

At the back of the beach is a what looks at first sight like a sort of totem pole, or perhaps something for kids to climb up. It turns out it is called the Wreck Post was put there by the coastguard to help practice rescuing people from a ship using a breeches buoy. It is meant to simulate a ship's mast.

A little further on you come to Kilgerran Head where there another fine view back.

The view west is lovely too, with The Lizard on the horizon and Zone Point in the foreground. 

As we head uphill towards zone point we pass above the inviting sandy beach at Porthbeor. Unfortunately, according to a National Trust notice, there is now no safe way down following a rock fall. Suddenly the view to the right opens up with a view across to St Mawes on the other side of the Roseland Peninsula.

 Soon after this, we reach St Anthony Head and pass the remains of World War II gun emplacements.
 Pendennis Castle can be seen across Carrick Roads, with Falmouth behind.

This is another view across Carrick Roads, with the top of the St Anthony lighthouse.

We climb down to near the waterside to continue round towards Place House and soon enjoy this fantastic view towards St Mawes castle. It was built 1540-43 and was one of the large network of coastal defences constructed by Henry VIII.

Around about here the path was definitively closed by a rockfall and we had no option but to turn back.

Conditions: warm and bright.

Grading: Easy.

Distance: 6.2 miles. Distance now covered: 295.4 miles.

Map: Explorer 105 (Falmouth & Mevagissey).

Rating: four stars.

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