Walking Porthallow to Gillan Creek
Distance 3.5 miles (5.6 km).
Duration: 2hr 15min.
Grid reference SW797231 to SW786251.
Park your vehicle on the back of the beach at Porthallow. Out of season car parking fees are discretionary with an 'honesty box' near the car park exits. Walk towards the back of the beach heading right up the clearly defined path. Pass above Nelly's Cove as you continue due north. A stout stick may be handy along this stretch as we found parts of the path extremely muddy after recent rain. Pause at suitable places to look northeast along the South Cornwall coast to see shipping in Carrick Roads awaiting pilotage into Falmouth. On a fine day the lighthouse at St. Anthony Head, the Roseland and beyond that the imposing headland of Dodman Point may be clearly seen. Take care where the path narrows as you approach Fletching's Cove. This area is known as Snail's Creep and the muddy path certainly did slow our progress to a crawl. The footpath continues heading north towards Nare Cove and onto the grassy slopes of Nare Head. Take care around Polnare Cove and cross the stile onto Nare Point. The path now follows the contours around Nare Point with its disused Observation Post. Proceed along the grassy path towards Parbean Cove.
Cross the wooden footbridge and continue along Lestowder Cliff passing above Mên-aver Beach and Mên-aver Point heading through the woodland down into the village of Gillan. The wooden signpost here informs you that you have just walked 3¼ miles from Porthallow, with ¾ mile or 2½ miles to St. Anthony. Check your watch and the Tide Time Tables and decide what you are going to do. In any event, continue westwards passing the picturesque private beach at Flushing Cove. Now make your choice: If the tide is out, or within 1 hour of low tide, use the signed coast path route and wade across the river. TAKE EXTREME CARE AS LOW WATER HERE IS 15 MINUTES EARLIER THAN PREDICTED IN THE TIDE TIME TABLES AND THE ROCKS OR STEPPING STONES MAY BE EXTREMELY SLIPPERY!!. If the tide is in or you don't feel that adventurous then you will have to walk around the shoreline of the creek to St. Anthony. This enforced walk adds about 2¼ miles (3.5 km) to your route and although easy largely involves walking on quite narrow tarmac roads. This area is quite popular all year round so please take care with the traffic!