Portloe to St Mawes
Macs Adventure Partenaire certifié Explorers Choice
Portloe HarbourCrédit : Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
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.
Note de l'auteur
The café by Porthcurnick Beach, just before Portscatho, is the perfect stop for lunch!
Type de cheminAfficher le profil altimétrique
Lieux où se restaurerVictory Inn
St Mawes Bakery
Idle Rocks Restaurant
Mr Scorse Gourmet Deli
The Watch House Fish and Chips
Consignes de sécurité
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.
Conseils et recommandations supplémentaires
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
*** To help you follow the route with confidence, we have provided full written turn-by-turns to aid you on your walk from Portloe to St Mawes. Whilst part of Cornwall is waymarked (it is normal for the South West Coast Path, but local towns and villages are usually also signposted). At sections, the trail can be featureless and off the beaten path, so we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example, coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).
0.00km – Start at the Portloe Harbour. Head up the slipway and onto the road. After 50 metres, with the church ahead, TURN LEFT and walk on the road. Walk on the right side, facing the oncoming traffic.
0.45km – TURN RIGHT to leave the road and cross the small stream, and immediately BEAR LEFT following the public footpath signs to Veryan. It feels like you are walking on a driveway, but continue passing the cottages on your right and after 80 metres continue through the gate with a yellow arrow on it.
0.55km – After passing the gate, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, walking on the grassy path through the centre of the field. There is a single telegraph pole in this field and 20 metres right of this are stone steps over a wall which you must cross.
0.72km – After crossing the stone steps TURN LEFT, keep the hedge and wall on your left, and walk to the farm gates at the end of the field. After 170 metres proceed through the left gate and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON down the farm lane, passing between barns and through a further two gates.
1.00km – Once you reach the narrow road, TURN RIGHT and walk along it. Ignore all turn-offs, even where there is a public footpath sign.
1.60km – When you reach a T-junction TURN LEFT onto the main road. After 20 metres, TURN RIGHT onto the minor lane. After 100 metres the paved lane ends. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the grassy path and through the gate into the field.
1.80km – Once in the field, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON directly through the middle and towards the trees that are slightly downhill. You might be able to see a wooden post with a yellow arrow.
2.00km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, through the gate and into the wooded section. After 20 metres, as the path forks, BEAR RIGHT to head out of the woods through the small gate. Once in the field, BEAR LEFT onto the grassy path through the centre of the field and towards the church steeple visible above the trees.
2.20km – Ignore the gate on your left two-thirds of the way down the field, and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON towards the playpark. At the playpark, BEAR LEFT out of the field using the small stone steps and then after crossing the stream twice, BEAR LEFT again to walk towards the church.
2.40km – BEAR LEFT through the church grounds and to the wooden entrance archway. You are in Veryan; you can see the famous thatched roundhouses here. (See points of interest section).
2.50km – At the stone World War Memorial, TURN LEFT onto the road, and then after 200 metres, TURN RIGHT down the second road on the right, following the signs to Portscatho, St Mawes and the Veryan Sports Centre. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic. Continue for 1.2km.
3.90km – Shortly after crossing the river and passing an old watermill on your right, TURN LEFT onto a public footpath as the road makes a sweeping right-hand bend. Don’t go through the gate, but over the stone step.
4.40km – Cross the wooden bridge over the stream, and then CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the paved section for 80 metres, before you BEAR RIGHT onto a downhill footpath towards a gate, as the road turns sharply left. Continue along the footpath for 600 metres.
5.20km – Once you reach the car park, proceed through the gap in the wall beside the parking metre, and immediately TURN RIGHT. After 100 metres, BEAR RIGHT to cross the concrete bridge and continue along a sandy path which leads onto a paved road. Continue along the road for 500 metres.
5.80km – After passing seven garages on your left, TURN LEFT onto the coast path as the road makes a sweeping right-hand turn. There is a wooden sign to Portscatho. After passing through a wooden gate, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON headed downhill and towards the sea.
5.90km – As you emerge into a field, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, keeping close to the fence on your left and walking parallel to the coast. Ignore all major paths that split off and continue for 1.7km, proceeding through one gate, over two wooden stiles (steps) and one bridge.
7.60km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON down the wooden steps ahead, and then uphill across the field to the stile.
8.00km – The path comes out onto the sandy beach. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over the sand for 20 metres, and then TURN RIGHT to go up the wooden steps. At the top of the steps, BEAR LEFT to avoid the ‘private’ section.
8.10km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, through the gate and then along the well-worn path, passing a Coastwatch hut after 700 metres.
9.00km – When you reach the road, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross over and resume the footpath on the other side. There is a nice café with good views here. Pass the café on your right and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, along the mud path.
9.20km – After coming down a flight of stone steps, cross the path and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON up the set of stone steps opposite. At the top, go through a gate. After 200 metres, go through another gate and immediately BEAR LEFT as the road forks. After 200 metres, the road forks again; BEAR LEFT down the steps.
9.70km – After reaching the road, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, down the road and over the crossroads after 200 metres. 50 metres after the crossroads, TURN LEFT onto the road with ‘No Through Road’ signs, and with the sea on your left.
10.10km – BEAR LEFT, again passing between the ‘No Through Road’ signs, and following the coast path signpost towards St Anthony Head.
10.20km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON up the steps. After 100 metres proceed through two gates and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON hugging the hedge closely on your left and ignoring all side paths. Continue for 2.7km. The cliffs along this section can be exposed and unfenced so take care.
13.00km – At the crossroads, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, following the wooden footpath sign to St Anthony Head. After 200 metres you will pass the ‘Wreck Post’, which was used by the coastguard as a ship’s mast for training exercises.
14.30km – After passing through a gate with a bench shortly afterwards, can you spot the natural archway in the cliffs?
14.70km – Ignore the path on your right, and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, following the signs to St Anthony’s Head.
16.50km – As the path forks near a fenced area, BEAR LEFT to pass through the gate with an acorn on it.
16.70km – The path forks again near St Anthony’s Battery which you can walk around and explore. BEAR LEFT to continue around St Anthony’s Head. You can see why the battery was installed here; there are expansive views of Falmouth across the River Fal estuary, and also to St Mawes.
16.80km – BEAR LEFT onto the road and after 50 metres, just before you reach the car park, TURN LEFT onto the coast path to take the steps downhill. Follow the wooden coast path signs to Place. The sea is on your right, and it will feel like you are heading in the wrong direction.
17.00km – With the lighthouse ahead, and metal railings on your right, TURN RIGHT sharply to leave the paved path and go onto the mud track, with the sea on your left once again.
17.30km – At the small dam, TURN LEFT to cross the wooden boardwalk and then continue through the gate.
17.90km – Ignore the minor paths on your right side; CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the well-established path
18.30km – As the path becomes grass CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON uphill and towards the gates. Once you are at the top of the hill and in the corner of the field, BEAR RIGHT through the footpath gate rather than the vehicular one, and then CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON downhill keeping the wall on your left.
18.70km – At the bottom of the field, BEAR RIGHT onto the gravel road for 300 metres.
19.00km – As the road forks with the left side becoming a private road, TURN RIGHT onto the gravel road heading uphill. Admire the views down to the impressive ‘Place House’ on your left.
19.20km – As the gravel road again becomes a private road, TURN LEFT, then immediately BEAR LEFT down the steps and follow the ‘To the Church and Ferry’ sign. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, passing the church on your left. You can go inside the church to admire the gorgeous stained-glass windows.
19.40km – As you reach the road, TURN LEFT towards Place Quay, and continue along the road for 300 metres.
19.70km – When the lane ends, TURN RIGHT through the gate and then immediately TURN LEFT, towards the Place Ferry.
20.20km – Reach the Place Ferry floating pontoon. From here, you can travel back to St Mawes and finish your day in St Mawes Harbour. Why not grab a coffee in one of the cafes that overlook the harbour?
More information about the Place Ferry is available here: https://www.falriver.co.uk/getting-about/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.
*** This is the end of our Trelissick Gardens to St Mawes route. ***
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 Points d’intérêt
- 12 Points d’intérêt
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