Falmouth to Looe
Coves and Castles
Falmouth to Looe: 57 miles in 3 days for the supremely fit
Between Falmouth and Looe the Coast Path travels high through a variety of landscapes, from remote farmland through the china clay country around St Austell and on to Fowey, whose deep water harbour has made it a key port throughout history, as the many remnants of its defences against continental raiders show. Mevagissey and Polperro are whitewashed fishing villages with pilchard cellars and a net loft, and the bustling market and fishing town of Looe has had trading links with the Mediterranean since prehistoric times. This is romantic Daphne du Maurier country, alive with tales of ghosts and smugglers and alight with wildflowers and butterflies.
From the lighthouse at St Anthony's Head the path soars and plunges around the edges of farmland, with a few beaches between here and Gorran Haven but very few settlements of any size. There are wide-ranging views across land and sea and they say you can hear Cornwall's ghostly Jan Tregagle in the whistling wind on Nare Head, while at Dodman Point a huge granite cross guides sailors into the safer waters around Gorran Haven.
Approaching the fishing village of Mevagissey you head into china clay country, and the remnants of the associated tramways and quays are visible around the harbours around the bay. There is a long sandy beach Pentewan, making it a popular holiday spot, before you round Black Head, with its prehistoric fort, and pass through the wooded nature reserve at Ropehaven and on to St Austell Bay. After the tall ships at Charlestown and the wildfowl at Par you are into Daphne du Maurier country, passing Polridmouth after the Gribbin Tower and on to the deep-water harbour at Fowey.
Taking the ferry across the creek to Polruan, here you enter a breathtakingly beautiful section of Coast Path, travelling high above smugglers' beaches at Lantic Bay and Lantivet Bay, divided by the wonderful heathland wilderness of Pencarrow Head. The abundance of wildflowers beyond attracts many moths and butterflies before you arrive on Chapel Cliff above Polperro, dropping into the picturesque fishing village before travelling through tiny Talland and on into the busy resort at Looe.
Day 1: Falmouth to Gorran Haven – 21.53 miles (34.6 km)
Day 2: Gorran Haven to Fowey – 20.48 miles (33 km)
Day 3: Fowey to Looe – 14.78 miles (23.8 km)