logo Walking Britain

Cornwall AONB Walk
Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove

Region - Cornwall AONB

County/Area - Cornwall

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km

Ascent - 1355 feet / 411 metres

Time - 4 hours 40 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SW383225
Lat 50.044959 // Long -5.656686
Postcode TR19 6JX (approx. location only)
what3words start votes.openly.tomato

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk includes a visit to Land's End and the spectacular Gwennap Head with its amazing rock architecture. As with many of the coastal walks featured on the "Walking Britain" website, it has been designed to make the best of local public transport so you can concentrate on the delights of coastal walking on the South West Coast Path. As with any coastal walking, do not underestimate the time taken as there are many ups and downs and the path is never straight!

Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

It is suggested you park at Sennen Cove and catch a bus to Porthcurno. This service is relatively frequent but is quite complex and it is important that you make sure the bus you catching goes to Porthcurno on its way to Penzance. Assuming you have got your homework right, alight at the main bus stop in the centre of Porthcurno village (grid ref. SW383225)and head through the main car park down to the beach.

The onward route could easily be described as "follow the South West Coast Path back to Sennen Cove" but the route is worthy of a more detailed description. The SWC Path climbs steeply up the cliffs on leaving Porthcurno beach and skirts round the inland side of the world famous Minack Theatre, which you sadly don't get to see, to enter the theatre's car park. Cross this and exit at the western end to regain the coastal footpath, which stays at cliff top level before dropping down to go across the back of Porth Chapel beach.

The next section through to Porthgwarra is pleasant and you make good progress to reach this hamlet with a small, sandy beach. The temptation on the next section is to take the short cut across the back of Gwennap Head to Porth Loe but to do so would mean that you have missed one of the highlights of the Cornish Coast. Instead stay on the path nearest to the sea, passing the Landmarks on your right, and enjoy the rocky cliffs, which act as a magnet for rock climbers. Rock stacks and an arch add an extra dimension to this spectacular section of coast. In wet weather care is needed on some sections as a slip could be fatal.

Continue on the main footpath always staying as near as you can to the sea. Most of the minor headlands are worth visiting even though a short diversion from the path is necessary. Leaving Gwennap Head Land's End seems a short walk away but remember coastal walking always take longer. Continuing west, Nanjizal is the next highlight being a beautiful bay edged with rocky cliffs and shortly after the buildings on Land's End start to become more obvious.

Despite the large numbers of visitors to this most westerly point of the English mainland, few venture very far from their transport and you can walk undisturbed to within a half of a mile of the theme park. Notices abound warning visitors of the dangers of getting too close to the cliffs. Passing Dr Syntax's Head (the true most westerly point) the number of people suddenly decreases and you are back to typical Cornish coastal walking for the remaining stretch to Sennen Cove.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 102Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 102Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 203Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 203Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in Cornwall

Walking in CornwallThis guidebook includes routes to 40 day walks in Cornwall. From short, easy strolls to longer, wilder routes, there is plenty to appeal to both families and experienced walkers. The walks explore the interior and coasts, including walks through picturesque villages, old tin-mining areas and the Lizard and Land's End Peninsulas.
More information

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - Minehead to St Ives

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - Minehead to St IvesMap of the northern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from Minehead to St Ives along the north Devon and Cornish coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.