Walk - Looe Bay Holiday Park - Talland Bay Circular

7.0 miles (11.3 km)

Looe Bay Hoilday Park Looe Bay Hoilday Park

Challenging -

An inspirational walk for those who don't mind a challenge, this route takes in an important ancient boundary wall, thought to be 1200 years old, through an old oak woodland teeming with wildlife. Dropping down into Talland Bay, whose secluded beaches were a haven for smugglers but a hazard for ships in south-westerly gales, the path hugs the shoreline as it returns to Looe. There is a lot of ascent and descent, some of which is quite steep.

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.

Treargel Retreats,near Looe

Treargel is the Cornish name for 'a home of retreat' and provides a sanctuary in nature for those needing to get away from it all.

Hendersick Farm House

Traditional farmhouse B&B hospitality. Sea views, rambling gardens, footpath to the coast. All day kitchen facilities. Muddy boots welcome.

House On The Props B&B

B&B & Restaurant.16th Century timber building 'propped' up over the river on old ships timbers. On the Path overlooking Polperro Harbour & Quay

Great Kellow Farm Caravan & Campsite

Great Kellow Farm is situated above the beautiful village of Polperro. We are a quiet family & dog friendly campsite. The campsite has sea views and easy access to country and coastal walks.

Camping Caradon Touring Park

Located halfway between the harbour towns of Looe and Polperro. 3.5 acres of level ground with excellent facilities. Open all year. Free wifi. Local bus service.

Woodlands B&B

WOODLANDS is a lovely Victorian country house set on the edge of secluded woodland, overlooking the peaceful Looe river estuary.Within easy walking distance of Looe.

Riverview Farm

Relax amongst nature and wildlife – Riverview Farm is a small, working farm overlooking the East Looe River valley. Self catering – sleeps 4

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

From Looe Bay Holiday Park take the Western Greyhound 572 into Station Road in East Looe. The journey usually takes no more than 15 minutes.

  1. From the bus stop walk towards (but not across) the bridge. Cross the road.
  2. Dropping right onto the path around the amusement arcade, go through the big car park beyond (Millpool car park) and make your way to the water's edge.
  3. Turn left (west) and carry on along the path by the river until you come to the gate at Kilminorth Woods.

Kilminorth Woods is a local nature reserve and is a haven for wildlife. It is an ancient oak woodland. It has been continuously wooded for more than 400 years, thanks to the practice of coppicing. This has prolonged the life of individual trees throughout the woods.
Many species of birds nest here, including birds of prey such as the buzzard and peregrine, waterbirds like herons and shelducks, and songbirds such as mistle thrushes and goldfinches. Spring flowers include primroses and bluebells, followed by dog violets and wood anemones. Many different species of moths and butterflies flutter through the woods. In summer woodpeckers drill in the trees for bugs. In autumn squirrels collect nuts and a wide assortment of fungi provides food and shelter for an equally diverse range of insects and invertebrates. In winter you may glimpse a shy roe deer through the trees.

  1. Turn left, uphill, (signed to Giant's Hedge as well as Watergate), following the waymarkers along the top path until you reach a small footpath signed through the trees on your left.
  2. Take this path and follow it steeply uphill, carrying on up through the holloway beyond to the fields at the top. Follow the signs through fields to come out on a track which leads to the road.

Holloway is a sunken road or 'harrowed path' - the word comes from the Anglo-Saxon hola weg.
The holloway, or sunken track, running up from Kilminorth Woods to Kilminorth itself has been worn into the hillside by the passage of many feet, hooves and wheels over the centuries, but this is likely to be from more recent times than the Giant's Hedge. The remains of the ancient earthwork known as "Giant's Hedge" can be seen, here and there, as you walk along the path through the woods.
The board at the Millpool entrance explains how this came to be:
"Jack the Giant having nothing to do built a hedge from Lerryn to Looe!"
Other versions attribute it to the Devil, who also found himself with nothing to do one day.
The bank stretches some nine miles, from the Fowey Estuary to the Looe Estuary, and it is one of the largest ancient earth banks in the UK. In places it is up to 15 feet high and 24 feet wide, and parts of it are stone-faced. It represents the northern boundary of a territory defined by south flowing rivers on its eastern and western sides, and by the ocean on its southern side.
It is thought to date from the Dark Ages. Historians think that it was probably the boundary of a tribal chief's petty kingdom (one of many small kingdoms around Britain before the tenth century creation of the kingdom of England). Another theory is that it may have been a "last-ditch" defence of the Cornish against the Saxon incursions of the ninth and tenth centuries.
1930s archaeologist C.K.Croft Andrew suggested that the Giant's Hedge originally ran from the Lammana Chapel, above the Coast Path as you come into Looe, but no evidence has been found to prove this.

  1. Turn left on the road and walk about half a mile to the main A387 Polperro Road. Cross the road to carry on in the same direction on the small road beyond, past Waylands Farm, to the sharp left-hand bend at Tencreek.

Take the footpath through the caravan site and follow the waymarkers downhill through fields, keeping the hedges on your right, past the tower to the road.
The pair of towers on the hillside are identified on the map as landmarks. They have a matching pair on the hillside above Hannfore, as you approach Looe. This is a nautical measured mile, which the navy uses to measure a ship's speed.

  1. Turn right and follow the road down into Talland.

Talland Bay has been the scene of many a shipwreck, three of which still lie on the seabed and are frequently visited by divers. In 1922 a French trawler, the Marguerite, was driven onto the rocks by a south-westerly gale. Her boiler is still visible on the shore at low tide.
Talland's two tiny and secluded shingle beaches were much loved in the past by smugglers. Tales abound of the men who brought their goods ashore in the donkey carts (which carried seaweed up to the fields for fertiliser), or even, in one legend, in a hearse.
Other people who have spent time here in more legitimate pursuits include Dame Judi Dench, who enjoyed many a childhood holiday in Talland, and TV's Richard and Judy, who have a home here.

  1. In the car park turn left onto the South West Coast Path and follow it around the coast and back to West Looe. From the bus stop by the Fire Station catch the Western Greyhound 572 bus back to Looe Bay Holiday Park.

Public transport

The Western Greyhound bus number 572 runs frequently between Looe Bay Holiday Park and West Looe, stopping at the fire station. For details visit www.travelinesw.com  or phone 0871 200 22 33

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