logo Walking Britain

Cornwall AONB Walk
Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna

Region - Cornwall AONB

County/Area - Cornwall

Author - Paul Deane

Length - 11.0 miles / 17.9 km    Ascent - 2100 feet / 636 metres

Time - 7 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SW476304
Lat 50.119891 // Long -5.532266
Postcode TR18 2LL (approx. location only)
what3words start congratulations.culminate.broom

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.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna Photo from the walk - Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna Photo from the walk - Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna Photo from the walk - Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This Cornwall walk from Penzance to Porthcurno offers a good impression of the section of the South West Coast Path (SWCP) that runs from Penzance around the north coast of Cornwall to St.Ives. Starting in the relatively flat and exceedingly picturesque towns of Penznace, Newlyn and Mousehole, the route enters more rugged countryside with the stunning sea views that make coast path walking such a superb experience. This route finishes in Porthcurno which, in my opinion, at high water on a sunny day, is one of the most beautiful spots in the country.

Start at the car park outside Penzance railway and bus stations (Grid ref. SW476304) and walk southwards past the harbour and, on the road, over the bridge to the boatyards and docks. Follow the road past the lido and join the promenade along the sea front for a mile or so to Newlyn. Rejoin the road as it passes Newlyn Harbour and the powerfully fragrant fish market. Continue along the road as it leaves Newlyn in a south-east direction.

The waymarked path leaves the road and turns left to follow a concrete causeway that skirts the sea. Unfortunately this causeway has been washed away by the sea near Penlee Point leaving you to scramble up a very steep bank to rejoin the road. I suspect this would be nearly impossible if the bank was wet and slippery so, if in doubt, keep to the road from Newlyn to Penlee Point.

At Penlee point it is worth pausing for a while at the memorial to the crew of the Penlee lifeboat 'Solomon Browne' which commemorates the incredible bravery of those men. From Penlee point descend into Mousehole, skirt the harbour and climb out again through the quaintly pretty back streets. Leaving the road at grid ref. SW467256, the route finally enters the countryside at the same time becoming more arduous. Some easy scrambling is required as you traverse the steep foreshore to the gorgeous Lamorna Cove. A look at the storm-damaged quay gives a good impression of the power of the sea.

Leaving Lamorna the path becomes more rugged still with lots of rocky sections. As you pass the Tater-du lighthouse the path joins its service track for a while before dropping down Cough Zawn, back up Boskenna Cliff and across the rocky beach at St. Loy's Cove. Leaving the beach the path climbs through some woodland. This small patch of trees seems to emphasise the almost complete lack of them elsewhere on this section. Next there's a flat (ish) stage for almost half a mile before a steep drop into, and a steep climb out of, Porthguarnon.The route then skirts Le Scath Cove and drops steeply into Penberth, ascends over Cribba Head before descending into Porthcurno and the finish.

There is a good bus service linking Penzance with Porthcurno. Enquire locally for details. The same route also continues west towards Land's End and St.Just.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2207 Penzance - a town stroll - easy - 1.5 miles/2.4 km

Walk 2205 Newlyn - a village trail - easy - 1.0 miles/1.6 km

Walk 2208 Marazion - a town stroll - easy - 1.0 miles/1.6 km

Walk 1224 Men-an-tol & Ding Dong Mine from Bosullow - easy - 3.0 miles/4.9 km

Walk 2614 St Loy's Cove & Logan Rock - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 1081 St Ives and Coastal Path from Zennor - mod/hard - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 1223 Morvah to Zennor using the Coastal Path - moderate - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3325 Chun Quoit & Carn Kenidjack - easy - 4.0 miles/6.5 km

Walk 1028 Chun Quoit and Botallack from Carnyorth - moderate - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 2206 St. Ives - a town stroll - easy - 1.5 miles/2.4 km

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

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast PathGuidebook to walking the entire South West Coast Path National Trail. The route runs for 630 miles from Minehead to Poole along the north Devon, Cornish, south Devon and Dorset coastline. Divided into 45 stages, this long-distance coastal trek could be completed within 4 weeks, or walked in sections. Guide includes maps and essential information.
More information

Map and Compass

Map and CompassAn instructive guidebook explaining map and compass techniques, to help readers enhance their outdoor experiences. Whether you are experienced in map-reading, or have never used a compass before, this guidebook will sharpen your skills and have you exploring new areas in no time. There are also tips for GPS and digital mapping technologies.
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.