Walk - Perranuthnoe Circular from Marazion seafront
Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2020. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.
- From the Station car park on Long Rock Road drop down onto the beach and turn left to walk towards Marazion. Alternatively, follow the pavement alongside the road to where the seawall stops and the dunes begin. Carry on ahead along the South West Coast Path as it meanders through the dunes, crossing the Red River on the footbridge. Continue through the seafront car park into Marazion, following the road past the Godolphin Arms and on along the road to the Square.
Even as recently as the eleventh century much of Mount's Bay was forest, and chronicler John of Worcester wrote then that St Michael's Mount was some five or six miles from the sea.
The dramatic winter storms at the beginning of 2014 scoured unusual amounts of sand from Mounts Bay, revealing evidence of this ancient forest (see the Perranuthnoe From Marazion Walk).
The island was a busy maritime centre as long ago as 350 BC, when trading ships exported Cornish tin to other European countries. In 495, the Archangel St Michael is said to have appeared to some fishermen on the island, and within a few years it had become a thriving religious centre. After the Norman invasion of 1066 it was granted to the French Benedictine abbey of Mont St Michel, and the chapel on its summit was built in 1135. Throughout the medieval period, and later, the island was the scene of a number of alleged miracles, as well as being involved in several battles (see the St Michael's Mount Walk).
Marazion is the oldest chartered town in Cornwall, after Henry III granted royal permission for markets and fairs to be held here from 1257 (see the Perranuthnoe From Marazion Walk).
- Carry on past the King's Arms and on along the Market Place and then Fore Street beyond it. Ignore School Lane on the left to continue along Higher Fore Street and then Turnpike Road.
- When Trevenner Lane leaves on the left, on the opposite side the Coast Path leaves the road to return to the shoreline. Turn right here and follow the acorn waymarker, taking the footpath to the left at the bottom of the lane. Stay on the Coast Path as it hugs the shoreline past Venton Farm, ignoring the footpath inland past the farm to walk around Trenow Cove.
- Follow the Coast Path around the old mine workings at Trenow, carrying on above the shoreline around Basore Point. Ignore the path inland to continue around two more small headlands. As you approach Perranuthnoe the Coast Path heads a little way inland, coming out in the car park above the beach cafe at Perran Sands. Leave the Coast Path here, walking up through the car park and continuing up the lane to the junction.
The mine workings above Trenow Cove were part of Trenow Consols, which started producing copper in the middle of the nineteenth century (see the Perranuthnoe Walk).
At Maen-Du Point there are the remains of a platform and a pillbox from the Second World War, designed to help defend the Bay in the event of a German invasion. The field above appears on old maps as 'The Carns', suggesting that it is the site of a prehistoric cairn cemetery.
The Tithe maps also record a former vineyard in this area, where grapes grown on sheltered terraces were used for wine-making, probably a century or two ago.
- Turn left opposite The Mews, bearing left beyond to walk to the church. Turn right in front of the church and take the lane on the left just afterwards, passing the cemetery and carrying on to the T-junction.
Perranuthnoe church was first recorded in 1348, when transepts with pointed arches were added, but the earliest part is thought to date back to the twelfth or thirteenth century, when it was probably a two-cell building with just a chancel and nave (see the Perranuthnoe Walk).
Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) tools more than 6000 years old have been found around Dubban, including a scraper and a chert blade. The whole Perranuthnoe area is rich in archaeological findings covering several millennia. Trenow Quarry is known to have been used in later Stone Age times to provide stone for a nearby axe factory. There are cairns and barrows from the Bronze Age that followed it, as well as the remains of round houses, settlements and field systems from Iron Age and Roman times. In the medieval period new settlements and field systems were built around the old ones, and crosses marked the paths to small chapels.
Near Dubban there is also a field recorded on the Tithe maps as 'Meer Perran', which archaeologists believe may have signified a standing stone dedicated to St Piran, who was associated with the Manor of Uthnoe (see the Perranuthnoe From Marazion Walk). Nothing remains of it today.
- At the T-junction turn left and continue ahead at the end of the lane, carrying on alongside the hedge as it bears right and crossing the last field before Trenow Farm to come out on the corner of the farm drive just above the buildings.
- Cross the farm drive to take the green lane opposite, bearing slightly left after the first field to continue ahead along the lane. Follow it around to the right at the T-junction, cornering left with it a moment later to come out on the road beside the cemetery. Bear right here to walk back up to Turnpike Road.
- Turn left on the road to return to 3. From here retrace your steps through Marazion to Station car park at the start of the walk.
In Station car park, Marazion and Perranuthnoe.