Walk - Gribbin Head and the Saints Way

6.6 miles (10.6 km)

Polkerris Car Park - PL24 2LT Polkerris

Moderate - The route is gently undulating along the cliff tops, with moderately steep climbs, one of which can be slippery underfoot when wet.

A fascinating walk with historical and literary associations as well as spectacular views. In springtime celandines, primroses and campion decorate the hedges and the thorn bushes among the vivid gorse on the heathland are decked in delicate blossom. In the autumn the heather adds its colour to the heathland as the trees in the woods are beginning to turn and birds and small mammals feast on the seeds, nuts and fungi and start stockpiling for the winter. Children will love the tower at Gribbin Head and the sandy cove at Polridmouth.

    Interactive Elevation

    Route Description

    1. Starting at Polkerris Car Park walk down to the beach where you join the Coast Path passing seaward of the Lifeboat Café. From here turn left up a slipway and after 50 metres take the path on the right. After zigzagging up through the woods the Path then runs along the cliffs, to the ‘Daymark’, an 84ft (26m) red and white tower erected in 1832 to enable sailors to distinguish Gribbin Head.

    From here you have great views across St Austell Bay, and eastwards along the coast to Rame Head, and on a clear day across to South Devon. The tower is open on selected summer Sundays, when if you’re feeling brave, you can climb to the top for an even better view.

    1. Moving on from the Daymark, you descend to the two sandy coves and lake at Poldridmouth (pronounced Pridmuth).

    Menabilly Barton in the valley behind was for many years the home of Daphne du Maurier, and the house and beach house at Polridmouth took centre stage in Rebecca.

    1. Cross the stream via stepping stones and take the right hand path to continue along the coast. When you enter Covington Woods, take the seaward path that takes you past St Catherine’s Castle built in 1540 to guard the mouth of the Fowey Estuary.
    2. From the castle take the higher, slightly rising Path back into the woods and continue straight along this track ignoring the various paths joining on both sides. After 200m the Path forks, with the Saint’s Way (waymarked with a stylised Celtic cross) which leads us back to Polkerris being straight on, whereas the Coast Path continues downhill to Readymoney.
    3. The Saints’ Way is well waymarked and you should have no problem following it along quiet lanes, across fields and woods back across the peninsula. When you reach Tregaminion, turn right and follow the road for 100m, and then take the footpath on your left, going across a field to rejoin the Coast Path just above Polkerris, from where you retrace your steps back to the car park.

    As an alternative this walk can be shortened by omitting the Saints Way and taking the bus from either Par to Fowey, or Fowey to Par and following the Coast Path back to your starting point.

    Nearby refreshments

    Polkerris, Readymoney, Fowey.

    Public transport

    Par and Fowey are linked with a regular bus service No. 24 - in summer every ½ hour.

    For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

    Parking

    Polkerris (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL24 2LT), Readymoney (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL23 1JD), Fowey, Lankelly Farm (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL23 1HN).

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