Walk - Pendra Loweth - Rosemullion

5.3 miles (8.5 km)

Maenporth Beach Car Park - TR11 5HN Maenporth Beach Car Park

Moderate - None of the ascent or descent is steep, and the paths, though narrow, are along mostly easy terrain

Starting as a headland walk with wide-ranging coastal views and banks of vivid wildflowers, this route sweeps into the inland waterways of the Helford River, where the Secret Intelligence Service based a flotilla for night-time missions across the Channel to France. None of the ascent or descent is steep, and the paths, though narrow, are along mostly easy terrain.


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.

Trevarn B&B

Comfortable B&B. Convenient to Coast Path and excellent village amenities. A warm welcome awaits.

Budock Vean Hotel

On a quiet bend of the Helford River, you will find the award winning 4 star Budock Vean Hotel. 49 hotel rooms, contemporary holiday homes and self catering cottages.

On the Helford River B&B

Comfortable, stylish accommodation close to the Path with beautiful views & garden, breakfast and nearby local pub.. Email [email protected]

Menaver B&B

Comfortable and welcoming B & B with double rooms and garden, close to Gillan beach and Path. Ideal for walkers.

Sail Loft B & B

Twin ensuite in quirky converted sail loft in Helford village. 3 mins from the ferry and local pub. Spectacular view of Helford river. Directly on the Path.

Falmouth Lodge

Falmouth Lodge is a simple home with two rooms available for short stays. You are welcome to prepare your own breakfast in our kitchen

Tresooth Cottages

16 Cornish stone cottages with pool, sauna & hot tubs

Braganza B&B

Stunning views of the harbour and bay from our Regency home. The perfect base to explore locally. Ample parking, free wifi, style and elegance.
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.

Flapjackery Falmouth

Stop off and treat yourself or stock up for your trip along the Path with these delicious, award winning, gluten free flapjacks in a variety of flavours.

Royal Castle

Individually decorated rooms in a riverside 17th-century hotel with a grill restaurant.

Fat Apples Cafe

Fat Apples Cafe ,B&B and camping . Located minutes from Porthallow beach and the SWCP halfway marker. Breakfast , Lunch afternoon tea ,packed lunches , luggage transfer .

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.

Glendurgan Garden, National Trust

Stroll down through the peaceful, exotic and playful valley to a sheltered beach at the bottom. This distinctive garden was created by Alfred and Sarah Fox in the 1820s.

Helford River Boats

Cross Helford Passage on this 1,000 year old ferry trip. Boat/Kayak hire also available..

Koru Kayaking - Helford River and creeks

2 hour Stunning Guided Kayak and Paddleboard Adventures along the Helford River and Frenchman's Creek from the Budock Vean Hotel foreshore. All equipment provided.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Nestled by Falmouth’s deep-water harbour discover National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Across 15 galleries, explore the overwhelming influence of the sea on our history and culture.

Fal River Visitor Information Centre

Find all the information you need to enjoy the beautiful Fal river section of the SW Coast Path and buy boat tickets tickets t

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

By car or on foot Leave Pendra Loweth by the Bickland Water Road entrance and turn right. Follow the road down Pennance Hill, straight on down Maenporth Road until you reach Maenporth beach. The car park is on your left. The 500 bus stops at Pendra Loweth's entrance and goes to Maenporth Beach

  1. From the car park at Maenporth, with your back to the sea turn left and walk a little way uphill to pick up the South West Coast Path on your left. Follow it around the headland above the beach, dropping down towards Bream Cove as it passes houses and a hotel on your right and private moorings on your left.

The first written reference to Rosemulllion was in 1318, when it was called 'rosemylian'. The name is thought to come from the Cornish word 'melhyonen', meaning 'clover', and as you round the first corner towards the headland there are swathes of pink clover in the summer. The path is a riot of colour at this time of year: purple heather, vetch, wild thyme and thistles, yellow trefoil, buttercups, dandelions and tomentil, blue bugloss and sheep's bit, red campions and speckled white sea campions, white and purple daisies.

Carrying on along the path, clumps of monbretia in the gardens bordering the path add to the red of the fuchsias and the pink, white and blue of the hydrangeas, while moths and butterflies flit between them.

When you reach the cove, and Gatamala Cove beyond it, tiny paths lead down to equally miniature beaches, including Woodlands Beach, part of the National Trust's land at Nansidwell. There are elm trees above the path, and a collection of oaks from all over the world in a little walled garden, as well as an abundance of wild garlic and three-cornered leek in the spring for the wild-food gourmet.

  1. Carry on along the Coast Path signposted Durgan, ignoring the footpaths inland to your right until the coastline starts curving around towards Rosemullion Head. Here the left-hand fork will take you around the headland on the Coast Path, while the right-hand fork cuts across the headland and returns to the Coast Path on the other side. (Here either fork will lead you to the Coast Path).

It is thought that there was once an Iron Age cliff castle on Rosemullion Head, defended by a massive rock-cut ditch with a bank some 10 feet higher. Within it were two Bronze Age barrows, although there is no trace of them now.

The headland was similarly used for defence much more recently, when it hosted a gun emplacement for anti-aircraft guns in the Second World War, although all that remains now are the concrete bases of these and the searchlight emplacements which were part of the station.

On the point there is a nineteenth century boundary stone, marking the limits of the Falmouth Borough's area of jurisdiction. This was painted red and renewed every three or four years in a festival known as 'beating the bounds'.

There are two wrecks on the seabed off the headland: the Endeavour, which went down in 1804, and the wooden cargo sloop the Alma, which sank in 1895. Both are below the low water mark and so not visible from the land.

  1. Continue on the Coast Path along the northern edge of the mouth of the Helford River, ignoring the footpaths heading inland on your right, for a little over a mile. Dropping downhill past the beach at Porthallack, ('willows cove' in Cornish), carry on ahead to Porth Saxon.

In 1940, the Secret Intelligence Service based its Helford Flotilla at Ridifarne, near Porth Saxon, to maintain clandestine contact with its networks in Brittany. Using traditional Breton fishing boats as well as fast motor launches, the flotilla ran regular night-time missions to remote French beaches, infliltrating agents and collecting airmen. There was a forward base in the Scilly Isles, and operations continued until after D-Day. Many of the troops involved in the D-Day landings left from Trebah, upriver at Durgan (see the Durgan & Helford Passage Walk). The concrete jetty remains.

The Helford River is a voluntary marine conservation area with European designation. As well as the oysters for which it is famous, sea slugs, anemones, cuttlefish and seahorses live in the estuary's beds of the rare eelgrass, Britain’s only marine flowering plant.

  1. At Porth Saxon, find the footpath behind the boathouse and follow it uphill through the woods towards Mawnan Smith. There are a number of paths through the woods, but if you keep heading uphill you will reach the lane at the top of Carwinion.

The main footpath up through the woods appears on nineteenth century maps as a trackway leading up to the eighteenth-century stone manor house at Carwinion. Like their neighbours the Foxes at nearby Glendurgan, Carwinion's owners, the Rogers family, were Victorian plant-hunters, and there are many exotic species to be seen in the gardens, which are open to the public.

  1. At the end of the lane turn left on the road and turn right onto the small path about two hundred yards ahead. This leads through three fields to some farm buildings.
  2. At the farm buildings, before you reach the gate to the road, there is another footpath signed through fields to your left. Take this path and follow it downhill to the trees at the bottom, turning right in front of the hedge to follow the path into some woodland. Emerging a short while later, the path starts to climb gently before dropping downhill again to come out on the road at Maenporth. Turn left here to return to the beach car park.

Public transport

The Western Greyhound 500 bus service travels frequently from Truro to Falmouth via Maenporth Beach. For details visit www.travelinesw.com or phone 0871 200 22 33


Maenporth Beach


Walk Finder


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


Length (miles)



Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do


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

Interactive Map


Latest news