Walk - Coverack to Helford

12.9 miles (20.8 km)

Coverack Car Park - TR12 6TQ Helford

Moderate - Moderate

This walk follows the South West Coast Path through a huge variety of different landscapes, involving dramatic cliffs, fishing villages by the sea, lush woodland, beaches, heathland, a working quarry, pastures and a creek crossing. As you leave Coverack the Path crosses fairly flat heathland which is not much above sea level, as this is in fact a raised beach and the original cliffs are a few hundred yards inland.

Easy walking leads you around the edge of the Bronze Age field systems of Lowland Point. It is important to follow the signs from here as you will be passing through active quarry workings between Lowland Point and Dean Point. A steep climb out of Porthoustock begins the inland route to Porthallow, where you then join the sea again and walk round Nare Point to the beautiful Gillan Creek. At Gillan Creek there is a feeling of shelter and peace in contrast to the exposed cliffs of the Lizard peninsula. From here on some sections of the Path are wooded and others offer fine views ahead extending to the lighthouse at St. Anthony Head, the Roseland and the headland of Dodman Point.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Menaver B & B

Comfortable and welcoming B & B with double rooms and garden, close to beach and Path.

The Five Pilchards Inn

Situated at the halfway point of the Path, a great place to stop for a bite to eat whilst enjoying the picturesque village. Delicious home cooked food and B&B and great pub atmosphere

Trevarn B&B

Comfortable B/B. Convenient to coastal path and excellent village amenities. A warm welcome awaits.

Cedarwood Holidays

Cedarwood offers small, yet perfectly formed luxury camping pods with own en-suite, kitchenette and very comfy double bed.

Penmarth House

We overlook Coverack Harbour & Bay, 200m from the Path. Home produced bread,eggs,honey & preserves. Pocket sprung beds. All Coverack facilities with 10 min walk.

Falmouth Lodge Backpackers

Convenient, comfortable and friendly only 2 mins from the Coast Path and 5 mins from the town for supper and train station

Little Trevothan Holiday Park

After your fabulous day on the Coast Path, pitch your tent/tourer, or rest in one of our holiday caravans. You will be assured of the warmest welcome.

What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Trebah Gardens

Sub-tropical garden leading to its own private beach. Adventure Play area & Children's Trails.1st class, award winning destination Cafe.

Telstar Taxi & Private Hire

The Lizard peninsula is a remote part of Cornwall, public transport can be sparse. Ideally located to assist with one way South West Coast Path walkers.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • Views of The Manacles: this area of granite reef, close to a major shipping route, extends from Porthoustock to Lowland Point and has been responsible for hundreds of shipwrecks in the past. In 1809 two naval ships, the HMS Primrose and the HMS Dispatch were wrecked here on the same night. Many lives were also lost when two ships transporting emmigrants to America, the John in 1855 and the Mohegan in 1898, were wrecked by these vicious rocks. The Manacles are now very popular with scuba divers who come especially to explore the wrecks and spectacular marine life.
  • The fantastic names, including Snail’s Creep, Batty’s Point and Nelly’s Cove.
  • The gentle sweep of Godrevy Cove: a beach actually made from quarry waste. The Manacles Reef is just a mile offshore.
  • Giant’s Quoits: this stack of stones stood at Manacles Point for hundreds of years, but was moved from the coast to a field between Rosenithon and Porthoustock in order to protect them from possible quarrying damage.
  • Parc-an-tidno, Porthallow Vineyard: planted in 1987, the vineyard specialises in liqueurs and fruity wines. The ancient farm buildings surround an impressive herb sundial.
  • Reaching the sculpture marking the half-way point of the Coast Path at Porthallow, and having your photo taken beside it.
  • Porthallow is a small, and once thriving fishing village. You can learn more about the history of the village from the fantastic relics and photographs in The Five Pilchards Inn.
  • Nare Head and Nare Point with views over Falmouth Bay and the Helford River. The redundant concrete MOD observation post is a remnant of the Cold War, so securing its survival. Note the change in geology here as you leave the serpentine and schists of
    The Lizard and cross on to Devonian slate.
  • Gillan Creek: protected from the sea by Dennis Point, there is a sense of calm and a slowness of pace here. You can either paddle across at low water (it's best to avoid using the ancient stepping stones as they are slippery), or walk along the narrow road to the head of the creek and round, enjoying watching the small boats and many birds feeding in the mud. A ferry may also be available, tel: 01326 231357 for information.
  • Walking out to Dennis Head: from the Cornish ‘Dinas’ meaning castle, this is the site of prehistoric earthworks, an early celtic fortress and a Royalist fortification.
  • The hamlet of St Anthony-in-Meneage: the church, said to have been built by shipwrecked Normans, was rebuilt in the 15th century and has examples of features from a number of periods. There are carved bosses on the wagon roof, 13th century early Gothic architecture in the nave and a 15th century German carving of The Last Supper. At times of high water, the church is almost level with the sea.
  • Views of the beautiful Helford Estuary spied through the trees as the path wanders through Boshahan Woods. The river supports many types of fish, sea anemones and shellfish, and a thriving birdlife, such as ducks, egrets, herons, ospreys, kingfishers and fulmers, to name just a few.
  • Helford: owned by the National Trust, Helford is a beautiful riverside village with a few good places to find refreshment and rest at the end of a long day walking.

Shorter option

Porthallow (4.9 miles, 7.9 km).

Longer option

There isn’t a great deal of accommodation near the Path between Helford and Falmouth, although you may find more options inland in Mawnan Smith.

Public transport

The nearest mainline station is Truro, from where you can catch buses to Coverack and Helford by changing at Helston.  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.

For information about availability of the Gillan Creek & Helford ferries check our Ferry & Estuaries page.

Parking

Coverack (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR12 6TB), Porthoustock, Porthkerris Cove, Porthallow, St Anthony-in-Meneage and Helford.

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