Walk - Pendeen to Sennen Cove

9.1 miles (14.7 km)

Pendeen Sennen Cove

Moderate - Moderate, apart from a short section near Aire Point where you have to clamber over a rock outcrop.

The Coast Path takes you from the remote, gleaming lighthouse at Pendeen Watch along the rugged paths of the Granite Coast to the beautiful sweep of golden sand at Sennen Cove. Taking in part of Cornwall’s oldest mining district and leading around Cape Cornwall where the Atlantic currents split, the path is a mixture of easy open walking along the high cliff tops and short, rough ascents and descents.

There are many attractive spots for a picnic with spectacular views, especially as you approach Whitesand Bay. You may spot seals, as well as a variety of seabirds, as you walk beside the banks of seasonal pink thrift and carpets of purple heather and look out to the Atlantic crashing on the rocks below.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • Pendeen Lighthouse opened in 1900 to aid ships along what was said to be one of the most dangerous stretches of coast in Britain. Part of the lighthouse can be rented as holiday accommodation through Trinity House and Rural Retreats.
  • National Trust - Levant Mine and Beam Engine: built in 1840 by Harvey and Co. of Hayle, the mine is one of Cornwall's oldest and is now part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. After extensive restoration it is now steaming again and is open to the public. For more information tel: 01736 786156.
  • The ruined engine houses of Botallack, once used for extracting copper and tin, perch on the cliffs and the tunnels even extend under the sea. There is a visitor centre at Botallack Counthouse just slightly inland or you can find more information at www.cornish-mining.org.uk.
  • Kenidjack Castle and Arsenic Works: this historic headland is the site of an Iron Age fortification and a Bronze Age cairn circle, as well as being another important mining site.
  • Cape Cornwall and the tiny Priest’s Cove: the cape is owned by the National Trust and was once thought to be the most westerly point in England. It is the only cape in England and is the point at which the Atlantic currents split and flow south up the English Channel or north into the Bristol Channel and Irish Sea.
  • Views out to The Brisons: two small rocky islets about a mile off Cape Cornwall.
  • Ballowall Barrow or Carn Gluze: a Bronze Age burial chamber with two concentric inner walls. It faces west towards the setting sun.
  • Porth Nanven: a rocky beach of geological and scientific interest due to the wave-cut platforms in the cliff and extraordinary large, round stones. It is sometimes called the ‘dinosaur egg’ beach and is now legally protected by the National Trust.
  • Aire Point: a great place for a picnic overlooking Whitesand Bay.
  • Gwenver Beach: a wide, windswept sandy beach popular with surfers. Gwenver's name is apparently derived from Gwynevere of Authurian legend. On a clear day you have fantastic views from the beach out to the Longships lighthouse, the Scilly Isles and the nearby Brisons Rocks off the coast of Cape Cornwall.
  • Spotting the many birds who inhabit these cliffs and offshore rocks, such as peregrine falcons, shags, herring gulls and rock pipits.
  • Enjoying refreshments in the pubs and cafes of Sennen Cove. The The Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station is open daily to visitors.

Places of interest

  • Geevor Tin Mine and Heritage Centre is open daily except Saturdays and conducts underground tours.
  • The beautiful subtropical Cot Valley, which runs from just south of St Just to Porth Nanven beach.
  • St Just: Britain’s most westerly town offers a history of farming and mining, painters and potters, some great cafes and pubs and a fifteenth century church which still has part of the 1336 building and a fascinating high pillar called the Selus Stone which has a Roman inscription.

Shorter option

Cape Cornwall (4 miles, 6.4 km).

Longer option

Continue to Porthcurno (an additional 6.3 miles, 10.1 km).

Nearby refreshments

There are a few facilities inland at Pendeen and many more further inland at St Just. You may also find seasonal refreshments at Cape Cornwall. Sennen Cove has a good selection of pubs, shops and cafes. If you prefer local produce you could try the traditional Cornish pub and Taste of the West member The Queens Arms which is inland in Botallack.

Public transport

From Penzance, which has a mainline train station, you can take the regular bus service to Pendeen, Sennen, Botallack, St Just and Carn Towan and Land’s End. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station and bus stop symbols, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Pendeen (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR19 7DN), Levant Engine House, Cape Cornwall, Porthnanven and Sennen Cove.

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