St Agnes to Porth Towan, December

Walk details

  • Route Trevaunance Cove – St Agnes Beacon – Wheal Coates – Chapelporth – Porth Towan
  • Distance 6.65m, although as previously mentioned I think ViewRanger underestimates slightly when polling at intervals.
  • Duration 4 hrs 30
  • Getting there Family taxi service!
  • Weather Cornish: cool, blowy, with a squall just as we reached the Beacon.

Why this route?

  • While down here I wanted to cover the range of terrain on this peninsula. We’d ambled along the gentle Roseland, inspected the mining heartlands, and now it was time for some crashing Atlantic seas.

What did we learn?

  • If you’re wearing gaiters and backpacks people think you’re a serious walker.
  • The north Cornish Coast has areas of absolutely zero phone signal. Fortunately it does also have pay phones.
  • Hay-fever is a year round issue in Cornwall.

Walk highlights

  • Trevaunance Cove:  this is the real Atlantic Coast. Steep cliffs, rolling waves and tiny coves. They tried for 400 years to build a harbour here but the sea destroyed all five attempts.
  • St Agnes Beacon. At this point a squall blew in so we didn’t actually get to see much, but it was a fine demonstration of Cornish weather and would normally have spectacular views.
  • Gorse and heather. Areas of heathland are much more restricted than upcountry due to Cornwall being a small and densely inhabited peninsular, but the Gulf Stream means that they are still in flower even in December. The toxic soil from centuries of mining also means that they often have few competitors.
  • The Poldark mine. Not the one you pay to go into further inland, but the one used in the current BBC adaptation.
  • Chapelporth. It is almost impossible to imagine this much-loved beach 100 years ago: full of rotting wooden structures, pools of toxic water, and reverberating with the clash and clatter of mining equipment. Fortunately it is much cleaned-up and is now a favourite of dogwalkers and families, with an excellent cafe.
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