Day 052: Prussia Cove to Porthgwarra

Distance: 21.80 miles

Ascent: 5179 feet

Weather: Sunny

Accommodation: Stobbs Family House


I left a little later than normal, and on leaving the coastguard cottage returned to the modern world (or as modern as it is around these parts.) The first part of the walk was simpler than I had expected with the ascents and descents being more gradual and I soon made it to Perranuthnoe.

I was being joined by a guest walker today Tim Stobbs, who had said he would meet me between Marazion and Perranuthnoe. Like clockwork we bumped into each other about half way between the two and carried on with the walk.

We could see St Michael’s Mount in the bay. It is over 20 years since I was last here and my memory of the Mount was that it was much smaller than it is. It may not be as big or grand as it’s twin Mont St Michel in France, but it is still very impressive and sits well within the bay.

We soon reached Marazion, which seemed to be a massive bottleneck for cars and then followed the beach and promenade to Penzance. Penzance was a lovely town, with lots of winding streets and a recently refurbished large art deco salt water lido.

Penzance and Newlyn sort of merge together and just shy of Newlyn we went into a Lidl. This may not sound exciting but having not passed any proper shops for a couple of days it was very exciting to me. I bought far too much and could hardly fit it in my bag. In Newlyn itself we got some hot drinks which Tim kindly bought. Rather than mentioning Lidl and the coffee I should probably mention that Newlyn has one of the largest fishing fleets in the country.

A couple of kilometres later after rounding Penlee Point we reached Mousehole. This was a beautiful little village, with a small harbour, and was our last place to get food till almost the end of the day. We bought a couple of things for a picnic as was a bit early for lunch and headed off steeply out of the village. After a short section through a fir woodland we emerged at Carn-du, a rocky outcrop, where we found a perfect spot nested behind some of the rocks out of the wind and with views towards Lamorna and Tater-du lighthouse. I think this was my best lunch spot of the walk so far.

From this point the path got rockier and more concentration was required to stop any stupid trips, as well as it being more tiring. After heading around a couple of headlands and passed Tater-du lighthouse, we dropped down to Paynter’s Cove and to my surprise and sudden worry we had reached a beach that appeared to be a giant boulder field (see photo below.) I was very tentative about heading across this. But once we had started, it was actually much simpler than I had expected.

After a bit more climbing we arrived in Penberth which was very quaint, and interestingly had an original man driven capstan winch, though this is not actually used anymore as an electric winch is used instead.

At the top of the next cove was the Minack Theatre, and unfortunately there was lots of work going on around it meaning I could not get a good look at it. This had been something I was looking forward to seeing, so was a bit of a shame. For those who do not know it is an open air theatre clinging to the cliffs and over looking the sea and was the vision of one woman Rowena Cade.

We reached Porthgwarra the end point of the day, and Tim & his wife kindly offered to put me up for the night.

A lovely sunny day, and it was great to have Tim join for the day.

charles compton