Walking Carlyon Bay to Polkerris
Distance 4.3 miles (6.9 km).
Duration: 2hr 10min.
Grid reference SX056521 to SX092521.
Park your car safely near the site of the former Cornwall Coliseum at Carlyon Bay. Head away from the sea up the slope looking to your right for the coast path sign. Climb up along grassy path passing the start of the Golf Course. Head towards the cove in the distant cliffs opposite - this is Polkerris, your end-point. The path undulates as it wends its way between the holes and the bushes on the cliff edge. Look across the bay to see the striped Gribbin Daymark. Pass the 3rd hole (Shorthorn) and continue along the wide path skirting the course. Bear right where signed. The path climbs gently. As you crest a rise beside the 9th hole (Quarry), look left to see the steam rising from the Imerys (ECC) Works. Look ahead to see Polkerris and half-right to see the Daymark once again. Drop down gradually ignoring the minor path running seaward to your right. Our path now drops leaving the golf course temporarily as it continues to drop to a fenced gully and down to disused buildings and a small beach at Spit Point.
The throbbing, steaming, Clay Works filling your view now. Ignore the sandy path leading off right down to Spit Beach. When you near the disused building look left for a waymark post indicating your route through a fenced area along a tarmac path leading to a metal bridge above the Works. Enter an area almost tunnel-like in nature due to the vigorous plants growing over the narrow twin fences. Continue to meet the main road. Pass two waymark posts just before the hour and bear right to pass a security cabin at the Works entrance. Remain heading east bearing right after a railway bridge. Pass another railway bridge and Crowle's Butchers heading straight on along Par Green. Shortly you should pass the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Post Office. Ignore public footpath signs but pass the customary waymark posts as you leave Par Green and enter Polmear Road. Climb the hill. Drop down to the hamlet of Polmear with its Ship Inn Free House. Bear left to continue on the coast path to Polkerris. If you wish you can turn right and head down to Par Sands for a break or picnic lunch. [We stopped for 30 mins.]
Refreshed head back to the Ship Inn and follow the signed route. Please note: this section is also part of 'The Saints Way' with its orange cross markers. Proceed uphill to a path fork and bear right for the coastal footpath. Follow the sometimes narrow path as it leads above the car park and beach heading south now on its way to Polkerris. Walk between fields and the cliff edge as you climb gradually. Pass the fenced gully of Little Hell about 15 minutes after leaving the Ship Inn and drop down to round a small headland. Pass a waymark post and climb again quite steeply around a cove to Polkerris - spotted through a gap in the cliffs. Stop at another waymark post for photographs before dropping down the slightly overgrown path as it steepens. Take Care in wet weather!! Pass a bench seat and drop down to the harbour. The beach is grey rather than yellow due to the predominance of slate in the cliffs - to confirm this just peek over the harbour wall at the southern end of the beach. Refreshments are available at the picturesque Rashleigh Inn at the head of the beach. Did you spot the old wartime pill box near the harbour wall? Two excellent guidebooks for the area are 'Around the River Fowey - Landfall Walks Book No.7' and 'From the Roseland to St. Austell Bay: 18 Round Walks from Portscatho to Par'. They may be a little dated but are very informative, please be aware though that they are quite hard to track down.
It is possible to combine trips to the ports of Fowey and Mevagissey by boarding the Fowey-Mevagissey Passenger Ferry. The 35 minute trip on the 'Bessie James' leaves Fowey from Whitehouse Quay and passes the Blockhouse and Readymoney Cove on its way west. For more information try www.mevagissey-ferries.co.uk. The seating is limited to 35 people so arrive early.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: