Total Pageviews

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Walk 158 Hayle to Portreath (Cornwall)

Walk 158 Hayle to Portreath (Cornwall)

(Third leg of English coastal walk – Lands End to Bristol)

Map: L/R 203
Distance: 13 miles or 22km.
Difficulty: Moderate with a few challenging bits
Terrain: mainly coastal cliff paths
Access: Parking at both ends.
Public transport: Two possibilities, both involving changes. Train from Hayle to Redruth and change to a bus or bus to Camborne and change to another bus to Portreath – (and vice-versa).Takes about an hour all in. Check with Traveline to see the best option for time of leaving.

Leaving Hayle follow the path northwards out towards The Towans. The walk out through Blackcliff can be along the dunes or across the sands. The flat walk goes on for two or three miles until Godrevy Towans. Here there is an old mining chimney and The Sandsurfer Restaurant.

About a half mile north of here is the picturesque Godrevy Island and lighthouse which look splendid from Godrevy point. The 1857 built lighthouse was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's novel, 'To The Lighthouse'. She spent some time in Cornwall but set the book location on the Scottish Coast. Supposedly, it was on the rocks here that the ship carrying the personal possessions of Charles 1st was wrecked while trying to reach the continent. The island is now owned by The National Trust.

After rounding Navax Point the path continues to Fishing Cove and Hell's Mouth. This is a popular viewing point with scary rumours of paranormal activity. Suicidal screams and a ghostly man falling in the water have been reported. For those who prefer a scary challenge in a bottle there is a powerful Cornish chilli sauce called Hells Mouth!

The walk to Portreath is fairly easy compared to many others on this coast and has some spectacular views. A National Trust notice near to the path asks if you would like to become a pony checker (monitoring their well being in the wild etc.)

The sandy Portreath (means sandy cove) beach is very popular with surfers. Copper and tin mining have taken place nearby in the last 500 years and the village was used as a port for these metals. Evidence for this activity exists in the 18th century quays and capped mine shafts on the hills.

The legendary Cornish giant Wrath supposedly lived in a huge seashore cavern near Portreath. He would lie in wait for passing ships, rope them to his girdle and eat them one by one! Look out for (and maybe go in) the Portreath Arms. The anchor outside is from a coal carrying ship called The Escuriat which sank off nearby Gull Rock in 1895. Eight lives were lost but this would have been many more without the bravery of the villagers.

Photos show: Godrevy Island; a view on the walk near Portreath.

No comments:

Post a Comment