Walking Perranporth Beach to Ligger Point, Perranporth
Distance 2.5 miles (4.0 km).
Duration: 1hr 10min.
Grid reference SW754546 to SW758580.
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Park your car at the car park overlooking the beach. Proceed down the steps and onto the beach. Check the state of the tides. TIDE TIME TABLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ABOUT £1 AT ALL GOOD STORES & NEWSAGENTS LOCALLY. A good guidebook for the area is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam. The sand at low tide extends over a large area and is extremely flat: great for walking but this also means that the tide comes in very quickly!. Head towards the sea - the large rock ahead of you is Chapel Rock, our starting point.
Turn right and look north-northeast. In the distance it is usually possible to see the cliffs at Ligger Point. Allow approximately 1 hour to walk the beach - more time is obviously required if the tide is already coming in, as it is now necessary to walk up onto the low cliffs over Reen Cliff. On the day we chose, we started the walk 90 minutes before Low Water - we could walk the 2 miles or so to Ligger Point safe in the knowledge that the tide was still going out. The sand is firm and flat and makes walking very easy. Leaving Chapel Rock behind you, walk in a general north-northeast direction towards the distant cliffs.
Initially you need to walk around the protrusion of Reen Cliff at Cotty's Point. If you are wondering where the High Water level would be, just take a casual look at the seaweed and barnacle line left on the cliffs about 6 feet (2m) above your head. Shortly, you come across a zig-zagging set of wooden and metal steps leading down from the cliffs - this is the north-eastern end of the high water route. Now, some 1 mile from your car, you meet a little stream at Carn Haut - actually a water pipe coming from the Perran Sands Holiday Centre above you on the cliffs. Cross the stream near the foot of the cliffs as some flat rocks enable you to span the water with just a little hop. As you continue on your way the cliffs to your right gradually become lower and soon fade out into steep sand dunes. The better your timing, the further to seaward you can advance, this should be done with care, but can offer a tantalising view of Carter's (Gull) Rocks, off Penhale Point, nestling just behind Ligger. Walking up one of the larger dunes here will lead you up to the remains of St. Piran's Oratory and St. Piran's Church. Look right here and search for a large sign. This indicates your proximity to the Penhale Military Training Area...A very weathered large RED sign requires your attention here!
You can just make out some words warning you about the Penhale Military Training Area and the arduous nature of the path ahead. It also warns you to keep to the track marked by white posts and NOT to attempt shortcuts. READ THIS CAREFULLY AND REMEMBER IT. You now have TWO choices: the first to return along the beach (tide permitting) or the cliff footpath back to Perranporth; the second to head up onto Ligger Point and walk past Penhale Camp to Holywell Bay, if so be sure to remember your earlier warnings
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: