Walking Land's End to Porthgwarra
Distance 3.8 miles (6.1 km).
Duration: 2hr 55min.
Grid reference SW342253 to SW371216.
Next walk: Porthgwarra to Penberth >>
Park your car at Land's End or any of the nearby car parks. Walk down towards the coast and your start point of Dr. Syntax's Head. An excellent guidebook is the West Cornwall & Land's End Peninsula Guidebook (Friendly Guide) Facing the sea, walk left (south) crossing either the suspension bridge over Dollar Cove or the inland path above it. Continue southwards passing between Dr. Johnson's Head and the Longships Restaurant. The path now leads downhill for a short while before climbing up a small nip onto Carn Greeb, the buildings below you are part of 'The Land Of Greeb Farm'- visitor attraction. Now some 10 minutes - grid ref. SW344245 into your walk look to your right to see the much photographed rock of Enys Dodnan with the Armed Knight rock behind it.
You now have a choice of paths over Pordenack Point, I prefer to take an inland route as there seems to be quite a bit of erosion here and some paths terminate at the cliff edge! Follow the steps down, passing Zawn Trevilley, a narrow chasm to your right. Proceed up towards Carn Lês Boel - grid ref. SW357233, once again taking the inland path unless you want to explore seaward. Incidentally, for those with an interest in such things, Carn Les Boel is thought to mark the western edge or start of the St. Michael's Ley Line - connecting ancient sites throughout Britain. As you cross the grassy top, the wide bay of Nanjizal Bay (Mill Bay) opens up before you with the startling chasm of Zawn Peggy directly opposite you on the cliffs at Higher Bosistow. As you pass Zawn Reeth - grid reference SW353239, take time out to watch the seals 'bottling' (nose up) in the water. This point was the original landfall of the mainland to St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly telegraph cable. It was laid by the cable laying ship the Fusilier in October 1869, the cable was subsequently moved to nearby Porthcurno and little now remains to catch the eye of the casual walker.
Restart your walk, taking care as the route runs close to the cliff edge on several occasions. Pass several mine adits before climbing down to cross the footbridge above Nanjizal Beach. You should now have been walking for about an hour. After climbing away from the beach look carefully for the coastal footpath marker. This indicates that the true coast path runs diagonally up Higher Bosistow Cliff - the steep climb made easier by a series of steps. DO NOT take the faint path that clings to the cliff edge as this leads directly into the jaws of Zawn Peggy!
You have just climbed Carn Lês Boel. The path generally becomes a lot easier now, as it runs over the wide grassy plateau leading to Pendower Cove - grid reference SW361229, with routes to please all types of walker, from expert to beginner. We stopped here for about 30 minutes for our picnic lunch. Look over your right shoulder to see the whitewashed buildings at Land's End come into view. Refreshed, continue towards the Coastguard Lookout at Gwennap Head, through a ramshackle hedge of granite. Take the inland path over Black Carn before doubling back on yourself, dropping down to the seaward path above Porth Loe. The structure seen in the water in the distance is Wolf Rock Lighthouse some 9 miles away. Passing the Lookout about 2½ hours into the walk, stop to look at the brightly painted shipping beacons, the Runnel Stone Daymarks - grid reference SW368217.
The faint groaning noise you can hear is the bell of the Runnel Stone Buoy ringing in the swell - Position 50deg 01.186N 005deg 40.359W. The cliffs above Porthchapel and Porthcurno lie ahead of you, with the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula possibly visible beyond them. Drop down the clearly marked path from Hella Point into Porthgwarra for a well earned rest and maybe an ice cream (if in season).
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: