Walk - Falmouth to Portloe

13.6 miles (21.9 km)

Falmouth Portloe

Challenging - Easy to strenuous

Leaving Falmouth harbour, reputed to be the third largest natural harbour in the world and once the second busiest port of the British Empire, you set off across the Fal to another of Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: The Roseland Peninsula.

There are magnificent views back to Falmouth and the River Fal from the windswept stretches around Carricknath Point and St Anthony Head. The Path offers fairly easy walking until the approach to Nare Head and Portloe beyond, where you will find several steep ascents and descents and walking becomes a lot more strenuous. The Path twists and plummets in places through wooded areas and across high open fields until the welcome descent into Portloe.

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.

Portscatho Holidays Ltd

Properties from converted stables to large luxury homes, including properties with sea views, Wi-Fi, parking, fires and wood burning stoves, many accepting pets.

Braganza B&B

Stunning views of the harbour and bay from our Regency home. The perfect base to explore locally. Ample parking, free wifi, style and elegance.

The Hut at Well Cottage

Cosy shepherd's hut for two with log burner, kitchenette and separate private shower room between Veryan and Portloe on the Roseland Peninsula.

Falmouth Lodge

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

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.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Nestled by Falmouth’s deep-water harbour discover National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Across 15 galleries, explore the overwhelming influence of the sea on our history and culture.

Fal River Visitor Information Centre

Find all the information you need to enjoy the beautiful Fal river section of the SW Coast Path and buy boat tickets tickets t

Interactive Elevation


  • Exploring the shops and art galleries of Falmouth and maybe visiting The National Maritime Museum. Open daily from 10.00-17.00.
  • The ferry trips to St Mawes and then to Place. The second ferry from St Mawes to Place only operates from Good Friday until the end of October. See the Fal River Links website for more information. There may be an out of season water taxi available, otherwise, you will need to take a bus for part of the journey or walk an additional 8 miles around the head of the Percuil River.
  • St Mawes Castle: built in 1538 and now owned by English Heritage, the castle was another of Henry VIII’s defences against a possible invasion from the combined forces of the Pope, Spain and France. Built in the form of a clover leaf, the castle retains much of its Tudor design. For admission details tel: 01326 270526.
  • St Anthony’s Lighthouse: built in 1835, the lighthouse once had the largest bell in Cornwall until it was replaced by a foghorn in 1954.
  • The birds of St Anthony Head and Zone Point. You may see kittewakes, gannets, fulmars, shags and cormorants.
  • Fantastic views to Nare Head and the Dodman from Zone Point. You may also see grey seals from here and at Killigerran.
  • Rock-pooling on Porthbeor Beach at low tide.
  • Views back to the west from Porthmellin Head.
  • Spotting the Dartmoor ponies at Treluggan Cliff (between Porthcurnick Beach and Pendower and Carne). They have been brought here to graze in order to keep the scrub and bracken down and therefore encourage other plants and wildlife.
  • Enjoying refreshments in the little village of Portscatho, once famous for its pilchard fishing and more recently seen as the location for the filming of the television series The Chamomile Lawn. Now attached to the village of Gerrans, with its landmark medieval church spire, there are a number of refreshment options available between the two villages.
  • The beautiful sands of Porthcurnick Beach.
  • The National Trust beaches of Pendower and Carne, which join to make one beautiful expanse of sand at low tide. There are two Second World War pillboxes near the car park behind the beach.
  • Watching the birds of Gull Rock from the crags of Nare Head.
  • Views on the approach to the unspoilt fishing village of Portloe and its tiny harbour.

Shorter option

Portscatho (6.2 miles, 10 km).

Longer option

It is not easy to lengthen this walk, due to a lack of accommodation close to the Path.

Public transport

Falmouth is the termimus of the scenic Maritime railway line (change off the mainline at Truro). Regular buses run between Truro and Portloe.  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 ferries across from Falmouth to Place at the start of the walk check our Ferry & Estuaries page.




Falmouth (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR11 3HX), St Mawes, St Anthony Head, above Towan Beach, Gerrans, Portscatho, Porthcurnick, Pendower Beach, Carne Beach, inland from Kiberick Cove, just before Manare Point and Portloe.

Nearby Events

  • Lucy Daniel Guide - Walks & Tours For All

    Various Dates Available  |  Organised by Lucy Daniel Guide

    Join award-winning walker and guide Lucy Daniel for pre-organised or bespoke tours in Cornwall. Whether you're an individual looking for someone to join you on a walk to help you gain confidence, a family on holiday looking for a fascinating insight into local life, or even a group of friends looking for insights into local TV filming locations, Lucy is committed to providing memorable experiences for all.

  • Macmillan Mighty Hikes - Cornwall Coast

    31 August 2024  |  Organised by Threshold Sports on behalf of Macmillan

    Hike a full or half marathon Mighty Hike through the fishing port of Padstow, passing spectacular coastlines and beaches finishing in Newquay

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