Walk - The Cove - Boskenna & St Loy

5.6 miles (9.0 km)

The Cove Cornwall - TR19 6XH The Cove Cornwall

Challenging -  A strenuous walk, with plenty of ascent and descent.

A strenuous walk, with plenty of ascent and descent, travelling around the coast to St Loy's before heading inland through woods and pastureland, passing a number of ancient monuments along the way. From Boscawen Point there are fine views from the Logan Rock headland to the Lizard Point and Porthleven. In the spring the stunted oak and sycamore coastal woodland around St Loy's is bright with wildflowers. Its boulder beach is of national geological importance. 

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.

The Dairy Barn

We offer self-catering accommodation in the centre of the Land's End peninsular, with multiple properties including 3 barn conversions (sleep 2). Single and 2 night stays available call to find out availability.

Lamorna Pottery B&B

We offer an en-suite Twin or King Size rooms. Evening meal by arrangement. Seating area and outlook onto patio and woods.

The Studio

The architect designed Studio is located on the west side of Penberth valley in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 8 mins walk from the Path.

Porthcurno Barns Holiday Rentals

Family run holiday homes nestled in the peaceful seaside hamlet of Trendrennen, within walking distance of the stunning Porthcurno, Pedn Vounder and the Minack Theatre

Sunnyside B & B

Bed and breakfast budget accommodation. Contact Sue at on [email protected]

Land's End Hostel and B&B , Trevescan

Family run boutique Hostel and B&B, 1/2mile from Lands End. Great for walkers, cyclists, Lejog. Close to The Minack, St Just Airport & Sennen.

Caravan in the Meadow

Cosy caravan with all mod cons, located in meadow with beautiful views. Discounts and lifts for SWCP walkers.

YHA Penzance

Shared and private rooms, bell tents, landpods and pitch-up camping. Dogs welcome at campsite.

Keigwin House

Popular 'home from home', 5 minutes from the Path and town centre. Great breakfasts and a warm welcome awaits. 1 x standard single and 2 x family ensuite rooms

The Tremont Hotel

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

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.

Porthgwarra Cove Cafe

A welcome stop off on the Path for coffee, light lunches and cream teas. Open 10 am - 3pm 7 days a week (check facebook). so£pmip
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.

The Minack Theatre

Built on the cliffs above Porthcurno, the Minack is a Cornish landmark. Visitors can explore the theatre and enjoy performances in an iconic space.

PK Porthcurno - Museum of Global Communications

Discover a museum experience that explores the story of our interconnected world, and how a tranquil valley in Cornwall became host to the past, present and future.

Western Discoveries Walking Holidays

Unbeatable walking holidays in Cornwall provided by the local experts

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

The Cove Cornwall

The Cove at Lamorna provides walkers with afternoon teas, lunches, dinners and free car parking. The House itself is of historical interest as it was built in 1854 for John Freeman, who owned the quarry in the cove. In the late 1800s it  became a temperance hotel and in the early 1900's was home to Alfred Munnings. The book “Summer in February” by Jonathan Smith details the story of Munnings and other famous Newlyn artists when they used Lamorna as base for painting and partying. The book has been made into a film with Dan Stevens.

  1. From The Cove Cornwall take the path through the grounds towards Lamorna Cove, turning right on the road to walk to the quay.

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.
All around the district you will see the remains of extensive granite quarries. 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, the steps to the National Gallery, the Embankment and the obelisk for the Great Exhibition were all built using local granite. The quarries to the west of the cove were owned by Col Thomas Paynter, of Boskenna, who was responsible for the construction of the quay in the nineteenth century. Flat-bottomed boats would dock here to take the stone out to ships with a larger draught, anchored in the bay, to be transported to London and elsewhere.

  1. Carry on through the car park above the quay to pick up the South West Coast Path at the end. The path carries on around the bottom of Tregurnow Cliff before climbing Rosemodress Cliff above Carn Barges and continuing high as it passes the lighthouse on Tater Du.

The small cross overlooking the cove is a memorial to a student who fell to his death here in 1873.
The Tater Du Lighthouse was the last lighthouse to be built in Cornwall, in 1965,and it was never manned. It was constructed to warn sailors of the Runnelstone Reef, just offshore, after the Spanish coaster, the Juan Ferrer, went down with all hands at Boscawen Point two years before. 'Tater Du' comes from the Cornish 'torthel du', meaning 'black loaf'. 'Boscawen' means 'house by the elder trees'.

  1. As you head towards Boscawen Point, you pass above Zawn Gamper and Chough Zawn. Bear right to stay high as the path starts to round Boscawen Point and then drops into the stunted oak and sycamore trees on Boskenna Cliff above Paynter's Cove and St Loy's Cove.

Paynter's Cove is named after the Paynter family, who owned Boskenna for many generations before it was sold in 1957. Author Mary Wesley lived in Boskenna for a number of years, setting several of her novels here, including 'The Camomile Lawn', which was televised in 1992. 

St Loy's Beach is part of the Boscawen Site of Special Scientific Interest, and is a nationally important geological site. It is what is known as a 'boulder storm beach', with rounded boulders on a raised platform, overlain by angular rocks that have fallen from the cliffs above. The rounded boulders were worn smooth by the action of the sea after they had fallen into it from the cliff face, some time before the last Ice Age. When sea levels dropped during the Ice Age, water was formed into ice sheets, and the rocks on the beach were left high and dry on a raised beach. Debris from the surrounding hills was packed in around them as a result of freezing and thawing processes. Angular rocks continued to fall on them from the cliffs above. When the ice sheets melted at the end of the Ice Age, the sea level rose once more and waves cut back into the cliffs, releasing the boulders.

  1. At St Loys Cove the path heads inland towards St Loy. Cross the small bridge to carry on uphill, crossing a track, to the stile at the top.
  2. Turn immediately right after the stile to take another one, then cross the stream on stepping stones, turning left on the far bank. Turn right on the lane as the path opens out through the trees.
  3. Carry on along the lane beside Boskenna, taking the footpath to the right on the left-hand bend, crossing the field diagonally to come out onto a layby on the B3315 at the far right-hand corner.

Beside you is the Boskenna Cross, one of many ancient stone crosses in West Penwith. The base is modern, but the head mounted on it was found buried in the hedge during roadworks in 1869 and is very old. There is a figure with outstretched arms and feet on the front, and a four-armed wheel cross on the rear. In its original position the monument marked the churchway between St Buryan and Boscawen-Rose. In a field a short way to the east is the Tregurnow Cross, a stone slab with a cross in relief on front and back, although little remains of the latter. It also dates from sometime in the medieval period. There are many ancient monuments around the area from prehistoric times, some of them as old as the Neolithic (Late Stone Age) period (see the Merry Maidens Walk).

  1. Cross the stile in a corner of the Boskenna Cross layby and take the footpath along the right-hand hedge, carrying on ahead to the stile when the hedge turns to the right.

In the middle of the next field is one of the Boscawen-Ros menhirs, one of a pair of standing stones thought to date from the Bronze Age, around 3000-4000 years ago. Its seven-foot partner is in the hedge to the west, but is thought to have been moved from its original position sometime in the past when the field was ploughed. Many of West Penwith's ancient monuments were moved in this way, sometimes even being reused in the construction of a barn or a stone wall. In 1861 a local farmer decided to convert the famous Zennor Quoit into a cattle-shed. He had already removed one of its pillars and drilled holes into the capstone by the time a shocked archaeologist offered him five shillings to build his shed elsewhere.
The footpath crosses the north-eastern corner of the standing-stone field to a stile. Follow it alongside the hedge of the next field and into the long field beyond. Cross to the far left-hand corner and cross the stile beside the gate. Turn left and cross the next stile by a gate, onto the road. Turn right past the farm buildings and take the stile into the field on the left at the end of the track. Cross the field to come out onto the road beyond.

  1. On the road turn right and walk past Tregiffian Farm, carrying on along the track by the barns. Pick up the footpath into the field just past the farm and follow it along the left-hand hedge, carrying on along the track ahead.
  2. Reaching Rosemodress Farm turn left in front of the farm and then turn right beyond the buildings, passing behind the farm and coming out into the field to the north east of it. Carry on along the left-hand hedge to Tregurnow. Going through to Tregurnow Farm, ignore the farm drive on your left and the lane on your right to take the lane ahead, running roughly north east to Lamorna. Turn left on Well Lane to return to The Cove Cornwall.

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