The 630 mile 'South West Coast Path’ is the longest stretch of coastal path in England, and there is no better place to access it than from Perranporth. With its rugged cliffs, tin mines, heritage sites, diverse wildlife, geology and spectacular scenery, it’s easy to understand why the path has recently been recognised as one of the top walks in the World. The South West Coastpath website can provide endless information for walkers.
The South West Coast Path is the longest National Trail in the country. Starting at Minehead in Somerset it runs along the coastline of Exmoor, continuing along the coast of North Devon into Cornwall. It follows the entire coastline of Cornwall, goes across the mouth of the River Tamar and continues into Devon. After running along the south coast of Devon it then follows the Dorset coastline before finally ending at Poole Harbour.
The following information will help you to get started:-
Heading North – The path can be accessed from Perranporth beach by heading North (turning right) once on the beach. Walk past the Watering Hole pub, keep close to the sand dunes and just follow the sign to St Pirans Oratory. This will lead you on to the path and the various beautiful places listed below along the way:-
Holywell Bay (2.0 miles) - This is a glorious beach boasting impressive sand dunes, a safe shallow river with mature reed beds, and an old ship wreck that can be seen at low tide.
Crantock (9 miles - Approx. 4 hours) - Another spectacular beach, backed by sand dunes and separated from Newquay by the the tidal Gannel Estuary. This is a special conservation area, and at low tide it’s possible to walk along the sandy river bed and across to Newquay.
Newquay (10.8 miles – Approx 5 hours) –This bustling, coastal town offers an abundance of pubs, restaurants, shops, superb beaches and rugged headlands. Home to the iconic surfing beach of Fistral, this is a surfers paradise where you are sure to see someone catching a wave on most days of the year!
Heading South - The path can be accessed by following Beach Road past the beach car park and up the steep hill behind the Seiners Arms pub at the Southern end of the beach. Allow yourself a moment to take in the glorious views from the Sundial at the top of the hill before following the signs to the YHA. This is spectacularly located directly on the cliff top at the start of the Coast Path from Perranporth, and will lead you on a beautiful walk to the following wonderful spots:-
Trevellas Porth Beach - (3 miles)
A beautiful small, rugged inlet. Lots of rocks here for exploring the rock pools or a spot of fishing. The beach is at the mouth of an gorgeous old tin mining valley with the remains of old engine houses. A spectacular place to be at sunset.
Trevaunance Cove (St Agnes) - (4.5 miles)
The Coast path will drop you into this picturesque cove which is nestled between two towering headlands. Here you’ll find the Driftwood Spas which is renowned for good pub food and real Ale. There are a couple of arts and crafts shops, and during the summer months a coffee shop with stunning views.
Porthtowan - (8.3 miles)
Set in a narrow winding valley, Porthtowan is surrounded by impressive granite cliffs which offer breath taking views of the Cornish coastline. The award winning blue flag beach is overlooked by the popular Blue Bar pub and restaurant.
Portreath - (12.2 miles)
Portreath is a pretty tourist town with a small harbour and a lovely sandy beach. It offers great surf and a selection of pubs, cafés and shops.
If your legs are feeling a little weary or you would just prefer to walk one way and take a bus, First Kernow buses provide an up to date timetable to help you get back to where you started!