Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The South West Coast Path - South Cornwall: A review


Plymouth: Royal William Victualling Yard


Cornwall as a whole accounts for 287 of the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path. The Guide produced by the South West Coast Path Association divides the county into three sections, South, West and North, which seems very sensible and I am going to do the same. We have just finished South Cornwall - from the Tamar to Carrick Roads at St Anthony Head, a distance of 74 miles - and here are our impressions.


Most of this section was completed this year, when we have embarked on a policy of doing more frequent walks with the intention of bringing forward the completion date.

We started by crossing the Tamar from Plymouth and it was good to quickly escape the long urban section around Plymouth, by far the largest settlement on the Coast Path.

As ever, the route was dominated by some major headlands. Initially, Rame Head, seen below looking back from Portwrinkle, then Gribbin Head with its red and white beacon and later Black Head and Nare Head, where we were memorably drenched. It was only after Nare Head that the coast was anything other than up and down.

There were pretty fishing ports such as Looe, Polperro (below) and Mevagissey

And there were some lovely secluded beaches. This is Great Lantic Beach, between Polperro and Polruan.

The section between Looe and Polperro was easily the busiest we have yet encountered on the entire coast.

There were churches named after unusual saints such as St Fimbarrus in Fowey and villages with strange names too like London Apprentice and Readymoney.

We thought there were fewer holiday villages than in South Devon, although there was a big one between Lower Portpean and Mevagissey at Pentewan.

One abiding memory will be the unusual warning sign on the same section advising of "undermining" by badgers. It seemed to suggest deliberate sabotage by these creatures.


40 Plymouth (Cremyll Ferry) to Rame Head

41 Rame Head to Portwrinkle

42 Portwrinkle to Looe

43 Looe to Polperro

44 Polperro to Polruan

45 Fowey to Lower Porthpean

46 Lower Porthpean to Mevagissey

47 Mevagissey to Gorran Haven

48 Gorran Haven to Portloe

49 Portloe to Portscatho

50 Portscatho to St Anthony

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