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Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna

Cornwall AONB Walk

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

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

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Penzance to Porthcurno via Mousehole and Lamorna
Click image to visit gallery of 4 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 strolleasy1.5 miles
Walk 2205 Newlyn - a village traileasy1.0 miles
Walk 2208 Marazion - a town strolleasy1.0 miles
Walk 1224 Men-an-tol & Ding Dong Mineeasy3.0 miles
Walk 2354 Merry Maidens & Lamorna Coveeasy4.1 miles
Walk 2614 St Loy's Cove & Logan Rockmoderate8.5 miles
Walk 1081 Zennor & St Ives coast pathmod/hard11.0 miles
Walk 1223 Morvah to Zennor coastmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 3325 Chun Quoit & Carn Kenidjack easy4.0 miles
Walk 1028 Chun Quoit and Botallackmoderate8.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

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.
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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.
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