Walking Rame Head to Cawsand
Distance 3.3 miles (5.3 km).
Grid reference SX418483 to SX434502.
This walk was undertaken in reverse.
From The Barbican in Plymouth, cross to the Mayflower Steps and take the 'Weston Maid' ferry to Cawsand. The boat trip should take roughly 30 minutes, passing Drake's Island and Picklecombe Point on its way southwest. Arrive at the shingle beach of Cawsand and don't be surprised if you are asked to wade the last few metres to the beach if it is low tide! Once on dry land proceed right to Kingsand to meet the endpoint of the previous walk, that is Kingsand to Cremyll. Now the walk begins in earnest. Head back to Cawsand along the road taking care as it narrows. Look out for the old county border marker on a house in Garrett Street.
Few people realise that until 1844 Cawsand was in Cornwall and Kingsand was in Devon! Kingsand being given to that county by the Saxons in an effort to control both banks of the Tamar estuary some thousand years earlier. See also my map of the surrounding area for more details.
Now in Cawsand walk along the back of the beach and head up through the village passing the tiled Cawsand Ferry shelter and the Rame Gig Club Boathouse with its gigs Penlee Point and Minadhu normally in residence. Head left following the route signed 'Penlee Point 1¼ miles, Rame Head 3 miles'. Proceed up the tarmac lane until it levels out as it enters shady woods - just what's needed on a hot June day. Pass the cottages and continue on the level path as it continues through woodland. Pass the waymark post, meeting a junction with a narrow tarmac lane. Walk to the left of Bayfield Cottage bearing half right up into more woods. The path continues to climb gradually passing another waymark post and a bench seat about 15 minutes after setting out. Below lies Pier Cove. Follow the road as it wends its way through the woods for another ten minutes or so to arrive at Penlee Point. If you wish you can take the footpath that descends to the Fog Signal Station with its tiny beach passing the unusual cliffside Grotto built in 1827 [Grid reference SX442487] about halfway down. There are fine sea views across Plymouth Sound to The Breakwater and Wembury from here making this a good place to stop for photographs or a 'bite to eat'. It also marks roughly the midway point of the journey from Kingsand.
Obey the signed route at a bend in the road to climb a stile with a gate. The narrow hedged path continues west heading onward to Rame Head for another 15 minutes or so. Ignore the small path leading off right to Penlee Point Car Park this area is known as Watch House Field. Pause to read the green Public Footpath sign that states you have just walked 1 mile from Penlee Point, that it is 2 miles from Cawsand and a further ¾ mile to Rame Head. Climb the stile and proceed quickly on the level path above Lillery's Cove. The ruined chapel atop Rame Head soon fills your view. Cross the wooden footbridge to cross the neck of the headland at Eastern Gear and proceed up the steps to St. Michael's Chapel on the headland. The viewpoint is 97 metres (320 feet) above sea level. Pause a while at the top to look left to Plymouth, The Breakwater and Wembury. Turn and look below right to see Polhawn Cove and also west across Whitsand Bay to Freathy, Tregonhawke and Sharrow Point. Arrange your pick-up vehicle or conversely return to Cawsand using an inland return. A round trip, about 5 miles in total, can be made by following the circular Walk 59 in 'Classic Walks Cornwall Book 1' entitled 'Cawsand, Penlee Point and Rame Head'
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: