Walk - Penzance from Marazion

Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2018. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.

Route Description

  1. The walk starts at the Station car park at the edge of Marazion. Pick up the South West Coast Path at the Penzance end of the car park, behind the cafe, turning right in front of the beach to head towards Penzance. The Coast Path heads west into Penzance along a footway shared with the National Cycle Network, continuing alongside the sea wall.

In the winter, thousands of starlings roost in Marazion Marsh, and at dusk you can watch the spectacle of huge flocks swooping across the sky as they gather for the night.

Marazion itself is an attractive small town that is well worth exploring, with an active community of artsts who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the numerous art galleries.

The famous St Michael’s Mount, managed by the National Trust, is linked to Marazion by a natural causeway passable at low tide.

In Cornish St Michael's Mount is Carrack Looz en Cooz, which translates as "the grey rock in the wood" and this may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount's Bay was flooded. Certainly, the Cornish name would be an accurate description of the Mount set in woodland. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse talks of land being inundated by the sea, and there is strong evidence of sea levels being much lower in the past, with the channels between the nearby Isles of Scillies only being inundated around 400–500 AD (see the Lost Land of Lyonesse Walk). Remains of trees have also been seen during low tides following storms on the beach at Perranuthnoe, just a few miles further along the coast from here.

  1. At the level crossing carry on ahead along the Coast Path, continuing through the car park beside the railway line.

 During summer the boulders forming the sea defences are full of wild flowers such as the pink mallow whose waxy leaves help conserve moisture in the harsh dry, salty conditions, that would kill most other plants. There are regular paths off the sea wall down onto Long Rock Beach, and dogs are allowed on this beach all year.

  1. As you arrive at the outskirts of Penzance carry on past the railway line footbridge.

Approaching Penzance station car park, you reach the Albert Pier, built in 1845-7 to provide shelter from south easterly gales. During a visit to Cornwall in September 1846, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Cornwall and landed at Penzance on the new pier, which was then still uncompleted.

  1. From Penzance Station car park you can either divert right, into the town, or carry on along the harbour towards Newlyn. There are further walks from here, either carrying on along the Coast Path towards Newlyn or following the Penzance Town Trail. To return to Marazion, either retrace your steps along the seawall or take a bus from Penzance Station.

Penzance is the most westerly and southerly railway station in England and was opened by the West Cornwall Railway in 1852 as the terminus of its line from Redruth, but was subsequently incorporated into Brunel’s Great Western Railway linking through to Paddington. The arch that is blocked up in the wall retaining the hillside behind the platforms was used by the railway as a coal store. Freight traffic, especially for the busy fish trade, was handled in a goods yard where the cars are now parked adjacent to the bus station.

Nearby refreshments

In the Station car park, or in Penzance and Marazion.

In Marazion the King's Arms are recommended by users of www.doggiepubs.org.uk as serving good food and being dog-friendly, and in Penzance, the Dolphin Inn and Navy Inn are recommended too.

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