Walk 1225 - printer friendly version
Sennen Cove & Botallack from St Just Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km
Ascent - 1340 feet / 406 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SW370313
Lat 50.123367 + Long -5.680856
Postcode TR19 7HU (approx. location only)
The Cornish coastline has plenty to offer walkers and the section covered in this walk is no exception. Rather than take a circular route this walk relies on using public transport and is therefore able to concentrate on a good long walk with the sea constantly in view. When starting from Sennen Cove the walk to Cape Cornwall looks quick and easy. However be assured it will take much longer than you expect and during the walk you will never be bored.
Park in the village of St Just (Grid ref. SW370313) where there is an ample supply of free parking spaces and then take a bus to Sennen Cove. The service is not frequent even in summer so some preplanning is required and details of the service are available in local Tourist Information Centre. If you do not want to use the bus then there is a maze of footpaths that will take you from the centre of St Just down to Sennen Cove although remember this adds around 5 miles to the length of the walk.
Alight from the bus at the turning point opposite the Lifeboat Station in Sennen Cove. This is a pleasant seaside village that has not suffered too badly from tourism. With the sea on your left head northeast along the front to pick up the South West Coast Path which can be found at the far end of the first large car park on your left just before the road begins to climb up a hill.
The onward route takes you across the sands of Whitesand Bay before becoming more rocky as you approach Aire Point. Here there is a short section of easy scrambling with the path climbing above the sea. The onward route, which looked quite short when you left Sennen Cove, follows an interesting section of coastline before dropping down to Porth Nanven. The route here is not too obvious so make for the lane that comes down Cot Valley and head inland (east). After a few hundred yards a narrow path climbs up the northern side of this valley to lead into a wider track that takes you up to Carn Goose. Shortly afterwards a superb view opens up ahead with Cape Cornwall looking superb some three hundred feet below.
If you have the energy then a stroll around the Cape is worthwhile before retracing your steps to follow the road inland. Just before the derelict hotel fork left along a signed path. The path contours across the side of a steep slope with a derelict mine chimney in the valley below. Take the path that descends to the left of this engine-house to reach a broad track in the valley. Cross over a climb westwards to reach Kenidjack Castle from where the view back to cape Cornwall is also superb.
Stay on the South West Coast Path with the view ahead containing much evidence of the former extensive mine workings. Ruined engine-houses and chimneys litter the landscape although the most dramatically located must be the twin engine-houses of Crown Mine, which can be seen below almost on the high water mark. In rough seas waves break over the roof of the lower house.
You have now reached the most northerly point of this walk. Assuming you have reached the broad track just above Crown Mine head south along this track to pass the Count House, which has been recently restored by the National Trust. With this fine building on your left continue along the track to reach a crossroads (grid ref. 367330) passing a rather attractive B&B on your left. Turn right at the crossroads ignoring the roads that lead into Botallack village to locate the footpath at the left hand end of a row of cottages. This path is hard to find and seems to lead through someone's back garden. However it does lead to a field, which you cross to reach a track. Continue on further paths in the same direction to reach Kenidjack Farm. Turn left here along a metalled lane to locate a footpath on your right after about 300 metres. If you miss this footpath stay on the lane to Nancherrow where you turn right along the main road. If you have successfully located the path, then it leads across fields to the northern outskirts of St Just to reach the same main road. All that remains is to follow the road into the centre of the village.