Walk - Polmanter - Clodgy Point
Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2021. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.
From Easter to September there is a dedicated bus service from our park to Royal Square in St Ives. This is up to hourly in the peak season dropping to a few times a day towards the end of the season. The First Kernow Bus route 16 also runs between Halsetown and Royal Square, St Ives with a journey time of less than 10 minutes all year round.
This walk can be immediately extended by forsaking the bus ride into St Ives and following these alternative directions to St Ives:
From the bottom corner of Consols field negotiate 2 stiles into Steeple Lane. Turn left and follow the quiet country lane downhill until it reaches Belyars Lane.
Keep on Belyars Lane until you meet a crossroads. Turn right into Talland Road. At the end of the road turn right into Porthminster Terrace before turning left into Pendover Terrace which quickly twists right before coming out onto the main road, The Terrace.
Follow The Terrace before turning sharp right immediately at and before the Catholic Church into Skidden Hill before turning right into Westcotts Quay. At the end turn left onto the South West Coast Path.
For those wishing to take the seasonal bus into St Ives start at our touring park entrance. The bus takes you into the centre of St Ives to Royal Square. Walk eastwards along Gabriel Street towards the sea. Cross over the road into the narrow Street-an-Pol. After crossing over the next junction into Westcotts Quay, you will reach the sea. Turn left onto the South West Coast Path.
At this point, both options join together!
- Walk along Pendola Walk and then Market Strand. From the lifeboat station continue around the harbour, along Wharf Road.
The original lifeboat station on Market Strand was built in 1867 and rebuilt in 1911. The first motor lifeboat was introduced in 1938, but tragically 2 lifeboats and 12 men were lost in separate rescues in heavy seas within a year of its first launch. In 1994 a new boathouse and slipway were built and the old lifeboat house was converted to the Alba restaurant. Before the construction of this slipway the lifeboat was towed along The Wharf by carriage to be launched on the old slipway by the Sloop Inn.
The Sloop Inn is said to date from 1312 and became known as 'the artists' pub', because some of its patrons paid in kind and the walls were hung with their paintings.
- Towards the end of Wharf Road, turn left into the alleyway just beyond the chapel, crossing Fore Street and carrying on ahead along the cobbles of Bailey's Lane to where Rose Lane leads off to the left, a short distance beyond. Turn left here and then right a moment later, onto The Digey.
- At the end of The Digey bear left past Digey Flats to come out on the road alongside the golden sands of Porthmeor Beach, a popular place for surfing.
While the whole of St Ives is famous for its art and artists, Porthmeor is particularly rich in art history. As well as the Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Gallery, there are the Porthmeor Studios. Originally fishermen's net lofts, fish cellars and salt houses for curing the pilchards which for many centuries provided the town's main livelihood, four of the cellars in the Porthmeor Studios are still used by fishermen. The others are occupied by artists, a tradition which began at the end of the nineteenth century when the new London-Penzance railway brought many artists, drawn by the famous quality of light around Penwith.
Another feature for which the area is famous is its wealth of ancient monuments, and West Penwith has one of the highest concentrations of holy wells in the whole of Britain. At the foot of Barnoon Cemetery is St Ia's well, dating from medieval times, when St Ives was known as 'Porthia' - Ia's Cove - after the fifth- or sixth- century Celtic saint Ia (or Eia), who was said to have washed up here on a leaf (thought to be a coracle).
- When Porthmeor Hill turns left after Barnoon Cemetery carry on ahead along Beach Road to pick up the South West Coast Path along the footpath to your right, waymarked by the bowling green. The path passes behind the small headland at Carrick Du and heads out to Clodgy Point.
'Clodgy' comes from the Cornish 'klav' and 'ji', meaning 'sick house', and the remoteness of the point would have been considered ideal for the leper colony that was established here.
This whole area is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wide range of unusual animals, birds and plants, some of which are nationally rare species. Look out for colonies of seabirds nesting on the exposed granite cliffs, including fulmar, shag and kittiwakes. Hardy wildflowers such as thrift and sea aster flourish in the crevices in the rock despite the salt air, and wild carrot, sea campion and ox-eye daisy thrive on the grassy slopes, with wild thyme and bird's-foot trefoil in the heathland above. Rare beetles and snails scuttle through the undergrowth, and nationally scarce butterflies such as silver-studded blue and pearl-bordered fritillary are sometimes seen.
These are good nesting grounds for birds such as stonechat, whitethroat and sedge warbler, while peregrines and ravens wheel overhead and the disused mines are the perfect habitat for bats and owls. Choughs have even been spotted here, Cornwall's national bird now making a comeback since a nesting pair appeared on The Lizard in 2001, more than half a century after the last pair had successfully bred in Cornwall.
- On the far side of Clodgy Point, the Coast Path carries on around the inlet, while a footpath to your left heads inland. Fork left, inland, and follow the path through fields to Higher Burthallan.
West Penwith has also been designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area for its ancient landscape. The patchwork system of tiny fields bordered by granite walls goes back to prehistoric times, considered to be among the world's oldest man-made structures still in continuous use, and a network of miners' paths runs through the area, crossing these boundaries by means of granite stiles. Local farmers receive grants to help them maintain and enhance the landscape, with its heritage and wildlife, by rebuilding Cornish hedges, restoring traditional buildings, protecting the many archaeological sites and preserving its rare habitats of coastal heathland and maritime grassland.
- Picking up Burthallan Lane beyond the farm buildings, carry on along it to where a road leads to the right.
- Ignore the right-hand fork, carrying on ahead to come out on Alexandra Road.
- Turn left here to walk through the Ayr district of the town, following the road around to the right at the entrance to Ayr Holiday Park.
- Turn right on Bullan's Lane and carry on along it to the roundabout on The Stennack. Turn left here and follow the main B3306 road back to Royal Square.
- From Royal Square you can catch the Polmanter bus or First Kernow 16 back to the touring site.
In St Ives