Starting from Portloe Harbour it’s a fairly long walk (20km) down a remote and isolated peninsular to reach Place, from where you can take a ferry back to the centre of St Mawes.
‘The thing about this area,’ my taxi driver said as he drove me to Portloe, ‘is that no one has ever just been passing through. A glance at a map, and I saw what he meant; I would be walking down a remote peninsula, one of England’s most south-westerly points.
It doesn’t just look isolated, it feels isolated. Today’s walk involves narrow, winding country lanes where even in a car, progress is slow and the road is too thin for two vehicles to pass each other. You will hop onto a small boat that can squeeze 12 people in, and slowly ferry across to the other side of the estuary, saving a 7-mile walk to the nearest bridge.
And you will walk along craggy cliff-tops with endless views of the open sea, and through native woodland where wildflowers grow and birds sing uninterrupted. You will pass small villages such as Portloe and Veryan whose isolation has ensured they develop slowly and have retained a slow and tranquil nature lost elsewhere in England.
Finish in St Mawes, and laugh to yourself as you are plunged into a small village, littered with cafes and pubs and people, seemingly a world away from where you have walked.
The café by Porthcurnick Beach, just before Portscatho, is the perfect stop for lunch!
Rest stopsVictory Inn
St Mawes Bakery
Idle Rocks Restaurant
Mr Scorse Gourmet Deli
The Watch House Fish and Chips
Much of the cliff line is unfenced. Be sure to keep away from the edge, stay out of fenced-off areas, and take extra caution when there is a steep slope beside the path.
Some of today’s route is on roads with no pavement. Walk on the right-hand side facing the oncoming traffic, unless there is a sharp corner in which case you should cross to the outside edge, to give the drivers the maximum time to see you.
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and cafe stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
At the end of the day’s walk, you will need to take the ferry from Place Creek to St Mawes. Operating times: https://www.falriver.co.uk/ferries/place-ferry
At certain times of the year, the Place Ferry runs 'on demand, and when you get to the jetty, you must call to request it to pick you up. This is simple, and it only takes about 10 minutes for the ferry to arrive.
Food and Drink
There are plenty of food and drink opportunities throughout most of this walk. There are pubs and cafes in Portloe, Veryan and Portscatho. After Portscatho, there is nowhere to buy food or drink close to the trail until St Mawes. There are lots of benches along the way where you can stop and have a picnic overlooking the coast if you bring your own food.
A transfer is included to take you to Portloe. If you do not wish to do this walk today, you can simply stay in the taxi and go directly to your accommodation in St Mawes.
If you wish to cut the day walk early, you can catch a bus from Pendower, Trewithian or Portscatho to St Mawes rather than walk down to the Place ferry terminal. The 50 bus by Go Cornwall operates this service, and you can find up-to-date timetables here: https://www.gocornwallbus.co.uk/
Recommended Local Taxi Services
Castle Cars (St Mawes): +44 (0) 7581 721 881
Book recommendations for this region:
Good comfortable boots or walking shoes are recommended. The ground can be quite soft, and the paths are well-used by walkers. Whilst the terrain is not particularly difficult, it can be muddy, with some waterlogged stretches after heavy rain. Walking poles are an option if preferred. The British weather is changeable, so waterproofs should also be carried just in case.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike/or if you have an older phone, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank as a backup.
There are opportunities on today's walk to buy food and drink; however, ensure you bring enough snacks and fluids with you.
- 12 Waypoints
- 12 Waypoints