Walk - Gribbin Head and the Saints Way
Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2023. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.
- Starting at Polkerris Car Park walk down to the beach where you join the Coast Path passing seaward of the Lifeboat Café. From here turn left up a slipway and after 50 metres take the path on the right. After zigzagging up through the woods the Path then runs along the cliffs, to the ‘Daymark’, an 84ft (26m) red and white tower erected in 1832 to enable sailors to distinguish Gribbin Head.
From here you have great views across St Austell Bay, and eastwards along the coast to Rame Head, and on a clear day across to South Devon. The tower is open on selected summer Sundays, when if you’re feeling brave, you can climb to the top for an even better view.
- Moving on from the Daymark, you descend to the two sandy coves and lake at Poldridmouth (pronounced Pridmuth).
Menabilly Barton in the valley behind was for many years the home of Daphne du Maurier, and the house and beach house at Polridmouth took centre stage in Rebecca.
- Cross the stream via stepping stones and take the right hand path to continue along the coast. When you enter Covington Woods, take the seaward path that takes you past St Catherine’s Castle built in 1540 to guard the mouth of the Fowey Estuary.
- From the castle take the higher, slightly rising Path back into the woods and continue straight along this track ignoring the various paths joining on both sides. After 200m the Path forks, with the Saint’s Way (waymarked with a stylised Celtic cross) which leads us back to Polkerris being straight on, whereas the Coast Path continues downhill to Readymoney.
- The Saints’ Way is well waymarked and you should have no problem following it along quiet lanes, across fields and woods back across the peninsula. When you reach Tregaminion, turn right and follow the road for 100m, and then take the footpath on your left, going across a field to rejoin the Coast Path just above Polkerris, from where you retrace your steps back to the car park.
As an alternative this walk can be shortened by omitting the Saints Way and taking the bus from either Par to Fowey, or Fowey to Par and following the Coast Path back to your starting point.
Polkerris, Readymoney, Fowey.