Walk - Land's End Hostel - Porthcurno to Penzance

11.3 miles (18.2 km)

Porthcurno, Main Valley Car Park Penzance Station main car park

Challenging -

A tour of history ancient and modern, with breathtaking scenery that has inspired many artists, this walk also passes through spectacular rock formations, some fishing hamlets and a nature reserve. It features a giant, a Stone Age residence, some Romans and some highspirited sailors charged with restoring the 80-ton rock they dislodged.

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.

Number Nine, Penzance

Number Nine offers extremely comfortable accommodation in a lovely Georgian house in central Penzance. Conveniently situated for the South West Coast Path. 

Honeydew Guesthouse, Penzance

5 mins from the Coast Path, bus/train stations, town centre, pubs, and restaurants.  Ideal location. We aim to make your stay a comfortable and memorable one. Dog friendly.

Cornerways Guest House

Close to the Path & bus/rail stations, Silver/Breakfast/Rose Awards. All rooms ensuite. Ideal touring base.

Tremont, Penzance

The Tremont is approx. 300 metres from the South West Coast Path offering quality bed & breakfast, packed lunches and drying facilities. Walkers welcome.

Bosula House, Lamorna

Bosula House, set in a peaceful location. Val & Paul offer a warm, friendly welcome, comfortable night’s sleep, ensuite rooms and a good breakfast to start your day.

Lamorna House Homestay

Charming king-size room in lovely home with exclusive use of family sized bathroom and light, healthy breakfast.

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.

Explore In Cornwall

We provide guided day and half day walks on the South West Coast Path across Cornwall and other parts of the Trail. These are guided by Steve Crummay who has 30+ years experience of working in Cornwall's amazing coast and countryside.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

To reach Porthcurno from Land’s End Hostel in Trevescan take either the 501 or 504 Western Greyhound bus or the 1A First in Devon and Cornwall bus. The journey takes no more than 20 minutes. The walk from Trevescan to Porthcurno is available separately.

  1. From the bus stop at Porthcurno car park walk down towards the sea. Before reaching the beach turn left onto the South West Coast Path. Head eastwards above the sandy beaches towards Treryn Dinas.

People have occupied the impressive rocky promontory at Treryn Dinas since early prehistoric times. Flint tools have been found dating back to the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, period, and the local eighteenth-century antiquarian William Borlase mentions a Neolithic stone circle, although there is little to be seen of it now.
The ramparts and ditches of the Iron Age promontory fort are visible, however, defending the landward part of the headland, as are the remains of stone houses within. Coins and a copper brooch from Roman times have also been found here.
At the end of the promontory is the famous Logan Rock, or rocking stone. Logan (pronounced 'loggan') is derived from an English dialect word meaning 'to rock', and it is thought that the original word was the Norse name for 'wagging the tail'. Some 80 tons in weight, nonetheless the Logan Rock was dislodged in 1824 by a group of high-spirited British seamen, led by the nephew of poet Oliver Goldsmith. It had become a popular tourist feature, and local residents insisted that the Admiralty should make the men restore the stone. This they did, with the help of 60 men using 13 capstans with blocks and chains from the dock yard at Plymouth, at a cost of £130 8s 6d.
Local legend says that a giant and his wife once lived here, and there is a smaller logan rock nearby known as the Lady Logan Rock, supposedly the form of the giantess after she was turned to rock by the curses of the husband she had just murdered.
The path carries on around the back of Logan Rock and Treryn Dinas towards Cribba Head. From here it descends steeply to Penberth.
At one time the tiny hamlet of Penberth had a fleet of some fifteen fishing boats, and it is still a working cove, but only a handful of boats fish from here now. An electric winch is used to draw the boats up the granite slipway, instead of the massive man-powered capstan which still has pride of place above the water.
In 1957 Penberth was transferred to the National Trust through the National Heritage Fund, in memory of those who died in the Second World War.

  1. The path ascends out of Penberth staying close to the cliffs. It forks right and right again and carries on around Le Scathe Cove passing the Gazells. There is a descent down to the stream at Porthguarnon from where it ascends steeply towards the heights of Trevedran Cliff and Coffin Rock. Continue around Merthen Point, through the trees towards St Loy. Fork right at the top as the path heads inland. Continue through the trees onto Boskenna Cliff above St Loy's Cove and Paynter's Cove.

Boskenna Cliff was the home of author Derek Tangye, who wrote a number of books about Cornwall, including 'The Minack Chronicles'. His land here has been turned into a nature reserve.
As you head towards Boscawen Point, you ascend out of the trees. After rounding Boscawen Point the path stays high above Chough Zawn and Zawn Gamper. It continues high as it passes the lighthouse on Tater-du. After Rosemodress Cliff above Carn Barges the path descends to the bottom of Tregurnow Cliff before continuing around the quay at Lamorna.
Lamorna Cove was popular with artists of the Newlyn School, being particularly associated with S. J. "Lamorna" Birch who lived here, as well as Alfred Munnings, and Laura and Harold Knight. There is still an active association of artists and craftspeople living and working in Lamorna today, and an Arts Festival is held here every Autumn.
Lamorna has long been a source of granite for construction work, and buildings using the stone include the docks at Dover and Devonport, lighthouses at Bishop Rock and Wolf Rock, and breakwaters at Alderney and Portland. In London, Lloyds Bank, the New Zealand Bank, New Scotland Yard, steps to the National Gallery, the Embankment and the obelisk for the Great Exhibition were all built using local granite.

  1. Climbing out of Lamorna Cove, the path stays low as it heads around Carn-du and Kemyel Point.

The conifer plantation sloping down to the sea is the Kemyel Crease Nature Reserve, managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Although not a native species, Monterey pine was planted to provide shelter on this exposed part of the coast, thanks to its rapid growth and salt tolerance. Another fast-growing evergreen, Monterey cypress, was also introduced as a windbreak.
In the late nineteenth century, fuchsia hedges were planted to create small flower and potato gardens, which flourished in the south-facing, well-drained cliffs. At one time Kemyel Crease had over a hundred of these gardens, or 'quillets' as they were known, using donkeys to work the land and carry up seaweed as a fertiliser. Early potatoes and flowers were taken to London by train, and the gardens were still being cultivated in the 1930s.
After the Nature Reserve the path carries on above the rock before rising to Penzer Point.
Point Spaniard, just beyond, is where Carlos de Amesquita landed with 400 men in 1595 during the Anglo-Spanish War (15851604). Despite outnumbering the Spanish, the English militias posted here turned tail and fled, leaving just 12 men under the leadership of Francis Godolphin, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall. He strategically withdrew.
Penzance was bombarded by the Spanish fleet and 400 houses were destroyed and three ships sunk. Settlements were burnt down, and the Spanish seized the cannon from Henry VIII's forts along the coastline and mounted them on their own ships.

  1. At Point Spaniard, The path joins the road from Raginnis, before heading down Raginnis Hill towards Mousehole. Passing St Clements Terrace on your right, head straight as the road becomes Chapel Street before turning right onto Portland Place. Follow around the harbour on Quay Street towards the car park.

Mousehole (pronounced 'mowzel') is named after a small cave of that name, and it is famous for its tiny harbour, the landing place for the Knights of St John on their return from the Holy Land, its 'starry gazy' fish pie, its Christmas lights and its narrow granite streets. Poet Dylan Thomas called it the prettiest village in England, and there is speculation that it was the inspiration for Llaregub, the village at the centre of his 'Under Milk Wood'. St Clement's Isle, just off the coast, was once a hermit's home.
Follow the Coast Path past Penlee Point and the memorial.
Although the lifeboat provision is now in Newlyn, the old lifeboat house in Penlee was kept as a memorial to the crew lost in the 1981 tragedy, when the boat went to the rescue of the Union Star coaster in gale-force winds.

  1. Follow Cliff Road until the cycleway/South West Coast Path on your right. Walk along it between the rocks and the trees until you rejoin Cliff Road. The cycleway/South West Coast Path continues above the rocks until meeting with Fore Street at a layby. Continue along Fore Street as it heads into Newlyn, forking right into Lower Green street, past the South Pier onto the Strand.

Newlyn was home to a post-Impressionist art movement, the Newlyn School. When the Great Western Railway was extended to West Cornwall in 1877, a number of artists settled here, 'drawn by the beauty of the scenery, quality of light, simplicity of life and drama of the sea', according to the Tate Gallery. Led by artists Stanhope Forbes and Frank Bramley, who both moved here in the 1880s, the Newlyn School adopted the Impressionist style of working directly from the subject, to depict scenes from rural life, often that of fishermen.

  1. Carry on around the harbour and then turn right on to Jack Lane, crossing the stream by the Fishermans Mission. Turn right to follow to carry on along the lane ahead and bear right onto the promenade
  2. Follow Cornwall's only promenade, beside Western Promenade Road to the Jubilee Pool. Continue along Battery Road, then cross the Abbey Basin on the Ross Bridge walkway passing the old lifeboat house and on to Wharf Road.
  3. The main car park, bus station and railway station await you.

Take either the 501 or 504 Western Greyhound bus or the number 1 First in Devon and Cornwall bus from Penzance to the Land’s End Hostel at Trevescan. The journey should take about 1 hour.

Public transport

For bus details visit www.travelinesw.com or phone 0871 200 22 33

close
close

Walk Finder

Find...

Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location

Difficulty

Length (miles)

Themes

close

Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do

Find...

Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location
close

Interactive Map