South Cornwall

A charming, tranquil and sheltered stretch of Coast Path that boasts impressive headlands, secluded sandy bays and shows nature at its best.

This section of the Coast Path is a true hidden gem. Not only does it benefit from being more sheltered than other parts, it is also known for being a little quieter making it the perfect place to head to when you want to get away from the stresses of modern life. A place where the pace is a little slower, and for good reason!

The section starts with the impressive Fal estuary, one of the largest natural harbours in the world and home to an award-winning ferry service. After crossing the Fal you’ll arrive on the Roseland Peninsula, which is a designated part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), an area that continues for much of this stretch. Here you’ll be welcomed by the distinctive St Mawes castle, one of the best-preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses.

St Austell Bay makes up the central part of this section, which brings with it the delights of Mevagissey, an attractive harbourside village once the centre of Cornwall’s pilchard fishery; the historic town of Charlestown, an unspoilt example of a late Georgian working port and the popular beach at Par Sands. Also, just a few miles in land is the iconic Eden Project, which sits in a former china clay pit – another fascinating strand of this area’s industrial history.

After rounding Gribbin Head, you’ll come across the charismatic town of Fowey and its sister village of Polruan, followed by the popular holiday destination of Looe. Later, the great sweep of Whitsand Bay then leads you to Cornwall’s ‘forgotten corner’ otherwise known as the Rame Peninsula. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty boasts tidal creeks, sandy beaches, rolling fields and outstanding country parks. All that’s left if to then cross the border into Devon and catch the ferry over to explore the next section which you pick up across the water in Plymouth.

On the path between Pendower beach and Nare Head. Gillian MacLeod.

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Tourist Information Centres 

To find even more free information about visiting this area, check out the local Tourist Information Centres.