Walk - Polperro to Portwrinkle

12.7 miles (20.4 km)

Polperro Portwrinkle

Challenging - Moderate to strenuous

The South West Coast Path leads you along a fantastically varied journey of high cliff paths, urban landscapes, shady woodland, passing rocky coves and through wide open fields, resulting in a mixture of easy strolling and some more strenuous walking.

After Looe, the Path passes through the holiday village of Millendreath and opens up again on Bodigga Cliffs, where the views open out to the Path ahead and Rame Head in the distance. In some places the Path twists and climbs to heights with spectacular views, especially on the approach to Battern Cliffs, which is one of the highest points on the south coast of Cornwall at 462 ft (141 m). From here you enjoy some truly fantastic cliff walking to the fishing village of Portwrinkle with views of the 4 mile expanse of Whitsand Bay beyond.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • The First World War granite cross memorial at Downend Point.
  • Talland Bay, with its dramatically positioned, ancient church dedicated to St Tallanus.
  • Views from Hendersick, above the Hore Stone, out to St George’s Island (also known as Looe Island).
  • The fantastic names, such as Aesop’s Bed, Samphire Beach, Chimney Rock, and Eglarooze Cliff.
  • West and East Looe. You can easily travel between the two halves of Looe by keeping to the quayside and crossing the river over the arched bridge, or if you are walking in peak summer season and particularly enjoy boats you can take a ferry across the mouth of the harbour. West Looe is comparatively sleepy and has a good selection of inns around the harbour. There are plenty of refreshments, galleries and shops in East Looe, which can be very busy, and the Old Guildhall Gaol and Museum on Higher Market Street contains a wealth of information about Looe’s fishing and shipbuilding history. Tel: 01503 263709.
  • Exploring the many rock pools of Downderry Beach exposed at low tide.
  • Battern Cliffs and views of the seabirds around the Long Stone stack.
  • Views of the tiny harbour of Portwrinkle from Britain Point.
  • The walls of the 17th century pilchard fishing cellars still standing above Portwrinkle harbour.

Places of interest

  • Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing. Open 10.30-17.30 from March to October. Tel: 01503 272423.
  • Taking a trip to St George’s Island. A Benedictine chapel once stood here and local legend tells of Joseph of Arimethea landing here with Jesus as a child.
  • Walking up the river valley from Seaton. The Seaton Valley Countryside Park was once a derelict caravan park, but has been transformed into a nature reserve, home to wildlife such as otters, fritillary butterflies and kingfishers.

Shorter option

Seaton (8.8 miles, 14.2 km) and Downderry (9.9 miles, 15.9 km).

Longer option

The next village on the path with accommodation is Kingsand (9.8 miles, 15.8 km) beyond Portwrinkle.

Nearby refreshments

After Polperro you may find seasonal refreshments in Talland. Further on there are refreshments available in Millendreath, Looe, Seaton and Downderry. Looe has a wide range of shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes.  There are a few facilities at the end of the day in Portwrinkle and a good inn half a mile inland at Crafthole.

Public transport

The easiest way to reach Polperro is to catch a train to Looe and then a bus. From West Looe buses go to Shortacross on the A387 where you can change for a bus to Portwrinkle. 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

Polperro (Post code for Sat Navs: PL13 2QR), Talland Bay, inland near Hendersick Farm, Looe, above Millendreath Beach, Seaton, Downderry and Portwrinkle.

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