Walk - Cawsand to Whitsand Bay

5.2 miles (8.4 km)

Cawsand - PL10 1PQ Bus Stop near Whitsand Bay Battery

Challenging - Fairly level and easy from Cawsand to Rame Head, but with some steep descents and climbs between Rame Head and Whitsand Bay.

A varied walk taking in both sides of the Rame peninsula - from the shelter of Plymouth Sound, around rugged Rame Head to the vast sandy sweep of Whitsand Bay. Children will love the chapel, where the Armade was first spotted, and the Napoleonic fort at Polhawn, as well as the remains of the Iron Age promontory. Rame Head is a good place in spring and autumn, when migrant birds to be spotted include gannets, divers and skuas on the water, with harriers and sometimes even honey buzzards hunting the warblers and swallows gathering ready to leave.

This walk is particularly good for dogs as it passes a beach and pubs where dogs are welcome. Have a look at our Top Dog Walks on the South West Coast Path for more dog friendly beaches and pubs. 

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.

Coombe House, Cawsand

Coombe House B&B - Beautifully renovated farmhouse with stunning sea views and ample carparking.  Just 15 minutes from the Coast Path and 5 minutes from Kingsand/Cawsand offering 4 pubs for dinner. Spacious and immaculate. Highly recommended on Trip Advisor.

The Edgcumbe Arms, Cremyll

The Edgcumbe Arms is situated on the Coast Path where Cornwall meets Devon. We have 4 recently refurbished B&B rooms and are open all day for food & drinks.

Rusty Anchor, Plymouth

A classic Victorian townhouse adjacent to Plymouth's bustling harbour. This elegant six bedroomed property has been modernised to provide a chic, eclectic look whilst maintaining much of its originality. Locally sourced organic food. Accommodation is flexible, from long term stays, special offers, weekend deals etc.  Small short haired dogs welcome.

Edgcumbe Guest House, Plymouth

Highly recommended guest house offering quality accommodation and fabulous breakfasts using top quality produce. Long established, clean and extremely comfortable, family run.  Perfect base for your walking holiday.  Ideally located a few yards from the sea front.  En suite rooms, free wifi, digital tvs, hairdryers, generous beverage trays. Special diets catered for.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From Cawsand follow the Coast Path through Penlee Woods.

You may be lucky enough to glimpse fallow deer within the woods or along the rest of the walk. You will certainly see views of the deer park of Mount Edgcumbe and Fort Picklecombe behind you and across Plymouth Sound and Breakwater to the Great Mew Stone and Staddon Heights on the Devon side of the water.

  1. As you leave the woods you find yourself facing the sea at Penlee Point.

The Eddystone Lighthouse some nine miles away can be seen from here on a clear day. Just below you is Queen Adelaide’s Grotto and in front is Rame Head, the half-way point of the walk.

When you reach it, it is worth making the short detour to the headland itself.

The chapel here is where the Spanish Armada were first spotted and you will also find a bank across the neck of the promontory marking the ramparts of an Iron Age Fort.

  1. From the Head continue westward towards Whitsand Bay, which you can see laying ahead of you.

As you continue along the path you will pass Polhawn Fort, which was one of a ring of forts (Palmerston Follies) built to defend Plymouth.

  1. From here, follow the Coast Path for rather more than a mile until it meets a road junction.

Here you are overlooking the artificial reef deliberately created in 2003 by the sinking of the ex-navy frigate HMS Scylla and you will often see dive boats offshore. There are also two cafes here, as well as a post box and bus stop where you can catch the bus back to Cawsand or Cremyll.

This walk can be extended by combining it with the Cremyll to Kingsand and Cawsand short walk.

Whitsand Bay Beach is dog-friendly throughout the year.

Public transport

Bus service from Torpoint to Cawsand or ferry from Admiral's Hard, Stonehouse, Plymouth to Cremyll and then  bus from Cremyll to Cawsand. There is also a summer boat service from Plymouth Barbican to Cawsand Beach. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Cawsand (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL10 1PQ).


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