Walk - Praa Sands HP - Kenneggy Walk

4.7 miles (7.5 km)

Praa Sands Holiday Park - TR20 9TB Praa Sands Holiday Park

Easy - The majority of this walk is on country lanes and tracks, and on footpaths through fields and around the coastline, without too much steep ascent or descent.

A walk around the rocky headland of Hoe Point, past the secluded sandy beach at Kenneggy Sands (access to the beach is challenging, and sometimes it is completely inaccessible). The route circles inland to return over Greenberry Downs, where the tumbledown ruins of an old mine sett are now filled with wildlife. Look out for buzzards and kestrels overhead, hunting rabbits in the gorse.

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.

Boscrege Villa Holiday Cottages

Two lets located two miles from the SWCP near Praa sands, the Lizard and Lands End. Garden, parking, dog friendly, WiFi, rural quiet location.

Dropped Anchor Sea View Campsite

Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty a quiet and uncomplicated site with amazing sea views over mounts bay, close to the south west coastal path.

Wheal Rodney Holiday Park Ltd

Small, family run holiday park in Marazion, free-to-use warm pool and free power showers. Camping and self-catering!

Kota Restaurant and Rooms

Rated 4* by the AA, Kota has 3 en-suite rooms, all beautifully furnished and extremely comfortable (à la carte breakfast provided) Award winning restaurant on site offering an evening Tasting Menu.

Porthgwarra Holiday Cottages

Six holiday cottages in and around Porthgwarra. Porthgwarra Cove Cafe open 10-3pm daily.

Mill Lane Campsite

Family Campsite located 500 meters from the centre of Porthleven, dog-friendly with generous-sized, level pitches and plenty of space

Tolroy Manor Holiday Park

With an Old Cornish Manor at its heart, the Park is a haven for wildlife & nature and a charming base for your walking holiday. Stay in a cottage or house and eat out in our conservatory style restaurant. Just 1 mile from Hayle Towans beach

Penrose Bunkhouse

On the Coast Path this bunkhouse is ideal for groups. Simple, but with all basic facilities, heated by a wood burning stove. Spectacular sea views,
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 Godolphin

Located on the beachfront. Large restaurant with sea view terrace and 10 x en-suite rooms.

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.

St Michael's Mount

A tidal island, castle, family home, sub-tropical garden. History and adventure in every step

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the front of Praa Sands Holiday Park turn left and walk up Pengersick Pane to the A394, about half a mile beyond.
  2. On the main road turn right and walk past the houses, crossing the road to pick up the footpath on the opposite side of the road after the last house.
  3. Follow this path along the field boundaries to the road beyond, where you turn right.
  4. Fork left a moment later, to walk to St Germoe's church.

The original church, dedicated to St Germoe, was begun in the twelfth century. Take time to check out St Germoe's Chair, in the churchyard behind (see the Pengersick Walk).

From the front gate of the churchyard, carry on along the road in the same direction, forking left a moment later as you pass the well and continuing until you come to the track beyond it, on your left.

  1. Turn left onto the track and left again over the stile in the wall a little later, onto the footpath, to follow the waymarkers through the fields to the road beside the houses. Turn left on the road and follow it down to the A394.
  2. Turning right on the main road, pick up the lane on your right a moment later, and follow it along behind the houses, ignoring the footpaths to your right and the lane past the houses on your left. A short while after these houses, you come to Greenberry Downs.

The mineral wealth of the whole district made it a highly profitable place for mining, and in the 1850s and 60s there were numerous mines around Kenneggy.

At the height of production in the 1850s, Cornwall produced something like eighty percent of Britain's copper and was said to be the world's most important copper-mining region. However, new mines being constructed in North and South America were able to produce the metal at a much lower cost, since they didn't need the extensive pumping required by the wet Cornish mines, and when the value of ore slumped dramatically as a result, many of the local mines slowed production or even stopped operating altogether. A further slump in the value of lead, zinc and tin in the 1860s compounded the situation.

Wheal Grylls, here on Greenberry Downs, however, was working on a rich vein of tin which provided some protection against this downturn in fortune. The Great Western Mine sett, of which it was a part, actually reached its peak in 1871, when it was producing something like £10,000 of tin a year.

Following further extensive prospecting in the early part of the twentieth century, a plant and mill were built and an underground venture set up at Wheal Boxer, but hopes proved to be unfounded and before long this mine closed too.

Now the downs are registered as common land and are rich in wildlife. Rare butterflies thrive here, as well as ferns, orchids and other flowers; while birds to be seen here include yellow wagtails, barn owls and skylarks, with the occasional buzzard or peregrine hunting overhead. If you venture in to explore, take care, as there are still many open mine shafts dotted around.

  1. Carry on along the lane, until you run out of lane and come to a footpath. Follow this, in the same direction of travel, along the edge of the downs, to the road at the end.
  2. Turn left here and return to the main road. Cross the road and carry on down the road opposite, heading southwards towards the coast.
  3. Approaching Higher Kenneggy, keep track past Kenneggy Cove Holiday Park and continuing past the campsite to the end of the track.

Take the footpath straight ahead, carrying on in the same direction, and follow it down to Kenneggy Cliff, forking left towards the bottom to meet up with the South West Coast Path.

  1. Turn left onto the Coast Path above Kenneggy Sands.

For those intrepid souls who might make the difficult descent to Kenneggy Sands (but be aware that the path is hazardous and there is a danger of being cut off by the tide), there is plenty of evidence of the richness of the mineral deposits. The copper lode which made Wheal Grylls's fortune is exposed here, and the green staining on the beach is due to copper.

Just around the headland to the west is Prussia Cove, originally named Porthleah but renamed after its most famous smuggler, John Carter, who called himself the King of Prussia.

John Carter and his two brothers, Harry and Charles, ran a very lucrative contraband business, using the inlets at Piskies Cove and Bessy's Cove as well as Porthleah for their exploits. The natural seclusion of the cove, as well as the shape of the cliffs above, made this the perfect landing place for an illegitimate cargo, and the many caves in the rock were ideal for its storage. Secret passages were said to lead from these to the house above.

Despite the illegal nature of his trade, however, John Carter was scrupulously honest. After customs officers confiscated a cargo of tea, Carter broke into their stores at the dead of night and reclaimed his goods - but he didn't touch a single item which he didn't consider to be rightfully his. (It seems that the customs men knew from this just exactly who had plundered their stores, such was his reputation for straight dealing!)

Carry on along the Coast Path, around Hoe Point and past Sydney Cove, to the steps by the café at Praa Sands.

  1. Going through the car park at the top of the steps, pick up the footpath on the right-hand side at the bottom, heading along the coast, until you come to another path which turns inland, to your left.
  2. Follow this path to the road and carry on up Pengersick Lane in the same direction, to return to Praa Sands Holiday Park and the start of the walk.

Public transport

The First 2 or 2B bus runs regularly between Penzance and Helston, stopping at Germoe Cross, on this walk route and about half a mile from the Praa Sands Holiday Park. For details visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


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