Walking Lelant Saltings to Hayle Towans
Distance 3.7 miles (5.9 km).
Duration: 1hr 15min.
Grid reference SW547372 to SW554388.
Starting your walk at Lelant Saltings head out of the car park past the former Merlin's Magic Land Leisure Park and out to meet the main Hayle - Lelant - St.Ives road (the A3074). Take great care here as there are no pavements and traffic can be quite busy. Turn left and walk towards the Old Quay House Inn and the dual carriageway along the causeway. An excellent guidebook for this whole area is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam.
On meeting the main road look for a suitable crossing place to enable you to use the pavement on the far side of the road. Continue walking alongside the road on this rather uninspiring stretch of road. Shortly the pavement on this side peters out and you need to cross the busy carriageways once again. Once safely across, walk along the pavement for a few minutes but look out all the while for a small 'public footpath' sign on your left that will lead you to Carnsew Pool. Follow the narrow path towards the pool turning right to skirt along its side. Swans and other wading birds can be seen at certain states of the tide. This pool is remarkably quiet considering its proximity to the traffic, affording some relief from the drumming of car tyres on tarmac. Several R.S.P.B. posts along your way confirm that this area is frequented by birds and bird watchers and this oasis of nature so near the buzzing traffic is a little unreal. Walk alongside the pool for about 10 minutes, making use of the seats if required. Near the end of the walk look for another footpath leading you away to your right. Incidentally, if you continued straight on you would end up at 'The Weir'. Take this narrow footpath right to meet the road once again near the 'Jewsons' showroom. Make use of the grassy shortcut here under the viaduct to cut off the walk around Hayle roundabout and continue walking between the river and the road on a slightly prettier grass path. Flowers arranged in beds help to lift what is after all a rather dull town centre. Keep on this path for another 10 minutes or so until you reach Philp's Bakery - who sell lovely pastys! Look out for a road bridge just ahead of you. Crossing this will lead you away to your left towards the sandy dunes of Harvey's Towans and eventually Mexico Towans. Take care here as the road bridge IS used by traffic and is really not wide enough for cars and pedestrians at the same time.
Walk along the rather scruffy delapidated industrial scenery passing defunct buildings and general rubble. Head towards the dunes taking either the lower route down on to the beach - tide permitting - or the upper route up through the chalets towards Black Cliff. Make your way up from either route to the Bluff Inn for a well earned break, refreshments and the end of this particular walk.
Avoid swimming in the Hayle Estuary due to strong undercurrents!
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: