Walking Trenarren to Carlyon Bay
Distance 4.5 miles (7.2 km).
Duration: 2hr 20min.
Grid reference SX038481 to SX056521.
Park your car at the large car park at Porthpean, paying the tariff into the honesty box as you leave. Our route followed Walk 9 in Bob Acton's excellent guidebook 'From the Roseland to St. Austell Bay: 18 Round Walks from Portscatho to Par'. It may be a little dated but is very informative, please be aware though that it is quite hard to track down.
Cross the road heading towards the coast. Look below left to see the fine yellow-grey shingle, so common of this area of Cornwall, that is Porthpean beach (pronounced Porth Pee-ann). Bear right to climb some wooden steps to a stile and cross into a field. Pass through a kissing gate and head up the sloping field watching out for the odd badger sett or three dotting the path. Head towards another stile looking ahead to Phoebe's Point.
Now about 15 minutes into your walk head down a few steps into a bluebell glade coming to a small stream cross by a twin-plank footbridge. Climb into another field via a stile and make your way up the steep slope to another pair of stiles over a tall hedge. Drop down to another sloping field and look ahead to the steps of Silvermine Point. As you continue you will see that the steps lead down to a wooden footbridge over a gully before leading up the other side into the Ropehaven Cliffs Nature Reserve under the stewardship of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Cross the footbridge on the half hour mark of your walk and make your way up to the end point of your previous walk near Trenarren, Grid ref. SX038481. Retrace your steps to Porthpean, arriving just after an hour after you set out.
The second part of the walk now begins. Drop down the slipway and cross the promenade heading in a generally north-east direction above the beach. Make use of the toilets if you need them. Walk to the end of the promenade and then up some almost hidden steps to a metalled path. Pass an old lookout tower? as you near the rise of Carrickowel Point. The houses of Duporth (Du Porth = Black Cove) come into view. Cross above the beach and enter a shady glade at the end of the houses gardens. Look back through a gap in the hedge to see DuPorth beach through the bushes. Pass through a metal kissing gate and meet the castellated wall of the Crinnis Cliff Battery (also known as the Charlestown Gun Battery) built in about 1793 to protect the port of Charlestown below. Drop down through a wooden kissing gate and steps leading to another metal kissing gate as you view Charlestown harbour for the first time. Take care and heed the signs here about 'keeping to the path due to Cliff Erosion'. Meet the Pier House Hotel behind the harbour noting that you have just walked 1 mile from Porthpean - although due to the undulating path it may have felt further. Keep walking down to the right of the harbour and onto the coarse shingle beach. This should be about 30 minutes after leaving the Porthpean slipway.
We now took 40 minutes out for a picnic lunch under the eyes of some watchful seagulls. We also overheard that the television series 'Hornblower' was set here in June 2002. Refreshed, cross the harbour and follow the road around as it curves away turning right to pass a house called 'Salamander'. Go through a kissing gate climbing steadily to another kissing gate into a wooded area after about 5 minutes. At the path fork with the two kissing gates take the right fork as signed into a field. Yet another kissing gate leads back into the woods. Meet the road at the Porth Avallen Hotel overlooking Appletree Point and Bay, before bearing right where signed to pass a coastguard lookout currently under refurbishment. The gravelly path running at the foot of gardens once more. Progress is good on the level path. Enter a large grassy area, some 20 minutes after leaving Charlestown, passing the rear of the Carlyon Bay Hotel - recently used by former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Look to your right in fine weather to see the red and white stripes of the daymark tower at The Gribbin near Fowey shining in the sunlight. Pass through a kissing gate and drop down into a car park area just above the site of the former Cornwall Coliseum entertainment venue. Look for some uneven concrete steps leading down to the lower car park and beach arriving some 40 minutes after leaving Charlestown and just over an hour after leaving Porthpean.
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: