Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Porthleven to Praa Sands (South West Coast Path 58)


We started today's leg by simply walking out of the pub where we have been staying and following the edge of the harbour. This gave us an excellent view of the wonderful Bickford Smith Institute at the start of the breakwater.

We made the inevitable climb out of Porthleven and enjoyed the view back along Porthleven Sands, i.e. yesterday's route.

A flat grassy section overlooking rocky ledges, gave way to a curving sweep of coast with several small inlets.

The route along here was up and down and as we entered a more over grown area we found ourselves engaged in quite an arduous climb to the top of Trequean Cliff. This led into Trewavas Cliff where we reached the former mine workings that we had seen across the bay. Wheel Trewavas has been restored by the National Trust and now presents a rather picturesque image just below the top of the cliff, high (well 60 odd metres) above the sea below. No doubt it was anything but picturesque to work there!

We now turned a wide grassy headland and descended towards Porthcew, also known as Rinsey beach. This pleasant sandy cove has a high grassy cliff at its back where another restored mine can be seen. This is Wheel Prosper. A helpful sign board explained that it was not in fact a success story and operated for only a few years before being closed. It did feature however in the once famous TV series Poldark.

We walked past Wheel Prosper and along a path somewhat back from the coast to soon be greeted by the great sweep of Praa Sands.

As we got closer, the headland of Prussia Cove and the other side of Mounts Bay could be seen beyond How Point which marks the end of Praa Sands. 

Praa Sands was the end for today because we were leaving the path to visit distant relatives who live there. On the way inland we were staggered to suddenly come on a castle by the side of the road.

This is Pengersick Castle, described by Pevsner as a "remarkable and important survival". He explains that it once formed part of a larger mid 16th century fortified manor, probably built by William Worth, of Worth in Devon.

Conditions: warm and sunny.

Grading: Strenuous becoming Moderate.

Distance: 5 miles (distance now covered 347.7 miles.

Map: Explorer 103 (The Lizard) and 102 (Land's End).

Rating: four stars.

No comments: