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.

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.

Come-to-Good Farm

Luxury shepherd's hut, campsite and ensuite barn available to rent on our idyllic sheep farm in between Truro and Falmouth. Pub within walking distance.

Falmouth Lodge

Falmouth Lodge is a simple home with two rooms available for short stays. You are welcome to prepare your own breakfast in our kitchen
You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

The Boathouse

Licenced cafe in the centre of Portscatho, serving locally sourced home cooked food.

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.

Nearwater Walking Holidays

Based on the coast in Cornwall, we use our intimate knowledge of the path to organise bespoke self-guided walking holidays.

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.


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