Walking Stanbury Mouth to Marsland Mouth
Distance 3.2 miles (5.1 km).
Duration: 1hr 45min.
Grid reference SS200134 to SS212175.
<< Previous walk: Sandy Mouth to Stanbury Mouth
We decided to park the car beside Morwenstow Church. An excellent guidebook is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Minehead to Padstow by Roland Tarr. There are the Rectory Farm Tea Rooms here serving excellent snacks and cream teas which shouldn't be missed. Walk back up the road a short distance to the Bush Inn at Crosstown before following the footpath south to Eastaway Manor via Tonacombe and Stanbury. This mile long route allows you to warm up gradually for the hard work later on! As you meet the road at Eastaway Manor bear right to head towards the coast along the footpath for about half a mile to Stanbury Mouth.This will be your start point.
If you are lucky enough to arrive at low tide, take your photographs of the sandstone ridges running seawards like fingers through the beach at Stanbury Mouth before turning north (right) to climb up to the clifftop. Pass Hippa Rock and the rocky Caunter Beach and Greenway Beach as the path levels out running parallel to the 125m (410 foot) contour. The path remains quite flat for the next kilometre or so before dropping down steeply just north of Higher Sharpnose Point. TAKE CARE HERE AS THIS AREA IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED! Pass the waterfall known as Tidna Shute as you descend into the valley crossing the stream along its floor known as The Tidna. Climb out of the steep valley heading now up onto the NT owned Vicarage Cliff as you pass Lucky Hole - grid reference SX199152.
Shortly as you approach Cotton Beach look around for the ramshackle driftwood hut of Reverend R.S. Hawker (Vicar of Morwenstow 1834-75), he spent many hours here writing poetry but may be best known for writing the words to the Cornish Anthem 'Trelawny'. St. Morwenna's Well is marked on the OS maps here but don't try looking for it. It lay to seaward of the present path and was probably lost in a cliff fall! Cross the footbridge and then climb steeply up onto Henna Cliff 143m (470 feet). Immediately after a stile pause to catch your breath, for the view and photographs - grid reference SX200158. The route now passes the strangely named Westcott Wattle as it falls gradually on its way north towards the Yeol Mouth. Negotiate another stile and drop sharply down into Yeol Mouth. Cross the footbridge over the stream and climb up onto Yeolmouth Cliff. After your ascent, take a couple of stiles pausing once more at the second one for the view.
Take the time to look north up the coast to see Devils Hole and Gull Rock (one of several along the SW coastpath) lying below Marsland Cliff. You are now walking along Cornakey Cliff. The path continues north over a few more stiles before dropping sharply down into Litter Mouth. An equally hard climb follows the footbridge and again it is wise to pause at the stile to catch your breath, for the view and photographs. Continue north along the 122m (400 feet) high Marsland Cliff before dropping down steeply into the valley at Marsland Mouth.
The footbridge over the stream marks the Cornwall-Devon border where you may wish to congratulate yourselves on completing the section or indeed even the whole Cornish coast path! It is now simply a case of returning to your vehicle or pick-up point. We decided to do an inland return up through the Marsland Nature Reserve passing the old mill of West Mill before heading south back through the fields to Morwenstow Church.
The path passes the medieval St. John's Well (1296AD) near Morwenstow Vicarage but please be aware that it is on private property. The round trip of just under 8 miles should take about 5½ hours. This is the end of the North Cornwall Coastal Footpath. NOTE: It may be more convenient for some people to be picked up, or to start their walk, at Welcombe Mouth in Devon - grid reference SX214179 and then do a circular walk
THE CLIFFS BETWEEN BUDE AND MARSLAND MOUTH ARE EXTREMELY FRACTURED AND CRUMBLING. DO NOT LEAVE THE PATHS OR SIT BELOW THE CLIFFS IF YOU ARE VISITING THE BEACHES AS ROCKFALLS CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME. KEEP CHILDREN AND ANIMALS UNDER CLOSE SUPERVISION.
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: