Walk - Zennor

5.0 miles (8.0 km)

Zennor - TR26 3BY Zennor

Challenging - A rugged walk over sometimes difficult ground.

A challenging but very rewarding walk, with magnificent views and rich wildlife and historical interest. A fine wildflower walk in spring, when the squill and dog violet in the coastal grasslands are followed by orchids and tormentil. The thorn bushes rising from the freshly-unfurled bracken are alight with blossom, and wheatears and stonechats call from their black branches. In autumn it's a great place for birdwatching, as the flocks of kittiwakes and terns flying past can sometimes include storm petrels, even a rare and dainty Sabine's gull.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. Walk past the Tinners Arms and Zennor Church with its famous mermaid wooden bench end. Follow the inland footpath between the church and the village hall out through the prehistoric field systems that characterise the coastal landscape along this part of the Cornish coast.

The Tinners Arms is the only pub in Zennor. It was built in 1271 to accommodate the masons who constructed St. Senara's Church. The Norman church dating from 1150 stands on the site of a sixth century Celtic church. It is famous for its carved medieval bench-end depicting the Mermaid of Zennor. In good mermaid tradition she enticed a local parish singer called Mathey Trewella into the sea. He was never seen again. The bronze dial on the south side of the church tower shows her with an inscription dated 1737.

On the windswept moorland above the village are the Zennor and Sperris Quoits, two Neolithic (Late Stone Age) chambered tombs topped by massive granite slabs. These are just a couple of the thousands of prehistoric mouments which litter the peninsula among the rocky outcrops. They are of international importance.

As we walk look out for any magnificent buzzards soaring overhead.

  1. Walk across the fields and past the four farmsteads of Tremedda, Tregerthen, Wicca and Boscubben. At Boscubben follow the track to the left to walk down the Iron Age lane to Treveal Farm.
  2. Bear right on the track past Treveal farmhouse and down to a cattle grid above Treveal Mill (also spelt Trevail). Here turn left immediately before the grid and take the footpath to River Cove.

Treveal Mill (also known as Trevail Mill) is a seventeenth-century corn mill which is a listed buildingAlthough a mining area the valley has returned to nature. It is rich in ferns and lichens and is a good spot to watch birds.

  1. Walk out on to the maritime grassland and heathland cliffs. When you reach the South West Coast Path turn left. Head west back towards Zennor passing The Carracks a rocky island outcrop and also a known home of grey seals.

The name Carracks comes from the Cornish meaning rocks. In 1916, the Enrico Parodi, a 339-foot-long (103 m), 3,800-ton steel vessel, struck Gurnard's Head during thick fog. While being towed, it sank off The Carracks and remains there, 28 metres below the surface as a diving attraction

The coast path takes you through a great variety of maritime grassland and heathland with a spectacular view of the rugged granite cliffs of the Zennor coastline from Mussel Point. Look out for stonechats, shags and diving gannets along this section of the walk.

  1. Keep walking west past Wicca Pool and Tregerthen Cliff, past the amazing geology running in to the sea and on towards Zennor Head.

Zennor Head's granite cliffs rise over 200 feet from the sea, reaching 314 feet at its point on the headland. Zennor Head was mined for copper and tin in the Victorian Era. The headland is bordered by Cornish granite hedges (see the Bedruthan Easy Access walk), and the farming system dates from about 4000 BC - the Bronze Age. According to the Cornish Hedge website the typical Cornish hedge is a stone-faced earth hedgebank with bushes or trees growing along the top. It is called a "hedge", never a "hedgerow" or "wall".

  1. Here take the left fork and head inland across Zennor Cliff with great views of Zennor Hill to the south. Alternatively, fork right here to follow the Coast Path around Zennor Head.
  2. At the end of the inland path, turn left and walk over a granite stile along the track past Carn Cobba, the old Coastguard cottage. (If using the Zennor Head route, this path will also arrive at Carn Cobba.) Continue on the path towards Zennor village past the farm and back to the church.

Nearby refreshments

Pub and cafe at Zennor.

Public transport

There are regular buses to Zennor from St Ives and Penzance and, in summer, St Just and Land’s End.  For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Zennor (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR26 3BZ).


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