penzance to porthleven

south west coast path

7th june 2014

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday dear me
Happy birthday to me!

Today's weather forecast looks to be a lovely, early summer's day. Perfect for walking. Woop!

Penzance high tide 12:34

Penzance low tide 06:34

I start the day at Jubilee Pool, Penzance's lido and the UK's largest remaining seawater lido. The lido suffered significant damage in this winter's storms and won't open this year. The place looks in a bit of a mess so I'm not sure that it will open again full stop. 

penzance lido

the dolphin inn

I continue along the coast path around the harbour and pass the Isles of Scilly Travel Centre (@IOSTRAVEL). I've visited the beautiful St Mary's twice but won't have time on this visit. Along the way I pass the Dolphin Inn and the Dock Inn. The Scillonian III is moored on the harbour and people are boarding it ready to cross over to St Mary's.


I pass Penzance railway station and then join the cycleway, passing what was once the heliport for catching the helicopter to the Isles of Scilly but which is sadly now a Sainsbury's superstore. At a level crossing I join the beach and trudge towards St Michael's Mount (@ntmichaelsmount), collecting shells and pebbles on the beach.

At the causeway leading to St Michael's Mount I head off of the beach, following the path next to Folly Field.

st michael's mount

st michael's mount

I head towards Marazion and walk along Fore Street and then Turnpike Hill, passing the Godolphin Arms (@godolphinarms), the King's Arms and the Fire Engine Inn. Beside the Godolphin Arms is Maypole Gardens which suffered damage in the winter storms and is awaiting repairs.

maypole gardens

On Turnpike Road I pass the Mount Haven Hotel and turn right down a road to leave Marazion behind and head towards Chymoryah East. Here I temporarily regain the shore and clamber over rocks before climbing up a metal stairway to walk along the low cliffs.

I reach Trenow Cove and look back over the beach towards St Michael's Mount before heading along the path to Boat Cove. I encounter my first orchids of the day here (southern marsh orchids I think) and then suddenly runners start to appear..

Not any old runners though. These are equipped with on board hydration tanks and stick on numbers. As I reach Perranuthnoe (@PerranTweets) the mystery becomes clear as there is a check point here for an endurance running race. The place is heaving. In this village can be found the Victoria Inn (@victoriaperran).

I escape the crowds and enjoy the relatively quiet Perran Sands just down the road before bravely facing the crowds again.

perran sands

endurance race check point

I amble back along the coast path below Acton Castle to reach Cudden Point and then Prussia Cove. Prussia Cove is actually made up of three distinct coves, Piskies CoveBessy's Cove and King's Cove but the tide is high and I can barely make them out.

prussia cove

prussia cove

I come across a research project investigating aspects of plant diversity in Cornwall. There are wild cabbages everywhere. 

research project

wild cabbage

I continue my ambling to reach Kennegy Sands. The beach seems to be permanently closed here. It used to be difficult to access by climbing down two chain ladders but it's now fenced off. Even so, I'm sure I can spot footprints in the sand below!

There's plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy and I manage to catch a fleeting photograph of a red admiral butterfly as well as a much more obliging speckled wood.

I then head on towards Praa Sands. Here can be found the Sandbar and the Welloe Rock Inn. Despite being slightly sheltered, Praa Sands took a battering in the winter storms but the 'sand' in Praa Sands has returned so I walk along the beach. It's a bit rough for paddling and I suspect it's freezing, despite it being June.

praa sands

praa sands

Half way across the beach I climb back on to the low cliffs, passing a memorial honouring the crew of a Sunderland Flying Boat which crash landed on Praa Sands in 1943. 


I head through the Sea Meads holiday homes passing massive echiums and leave the holiday homes behind, climbing to reach Rinsey Head where I come across Wheal Prosper tin mine, a rubbish mine which was only open for six years.

wheal prosper tin mine

The path then starts to ramble aimlessly along the cliffs. The coast path is heaving again as I pass a large group of walkers stretched out for miles, presumably walking for the Alzheimer's Society, before finally entering Porthleven. I pass the Ship Inn (@TheShip_levy) on the outskirts of Porthleven and head around the harbour. Time for some chips and and some pints of St Austell Brewery's Tribute Ale at the Harbour Inn.





Flora and fauna encountered on the walk today includes :-

  • rabbits
  • seagulls
  • rooks
  • red valerian
  • echiums
  • nigella
  • speckled woods
  • a tortoiseshell
  • southern marsh orchids
  • stinging nettles
  • chaffinches
  • sea thrift
  • the last of the bluebells
  • a wren
  • wild cabbage
  • buttercups
  • cow parsley
  • a red admiral
  • a thrush


The podcast of today's walk is now available.  You can subscribe via the iTunes store or listen using the player below.


According to my phone I've walked 17.1 miles today which amounts to 36190 steps. I've never seen the coast path so busy, had gorgeous sunny weather all day long. It's been a beautiful early summer's day and the walking has been fantastic. 9 out of 10.

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