Walking Chapel Porth to Newdowns Head
Distance 2.1 miles (3.4 km).
Grid reference SW697495 to SW708517.
A good guidebook for the area is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth by John Macadam. Walk out of the cove and onto the road - taking great care of the traffic, Keep left. After about 50 metres look for a couple of steps cut into the hillside on your left, this is your route. Passing several seats continue climbing gently, turning occasionally to enjoy a splendid vista of coves and beaches (dependent on tides) stretching from Chapel Porth below you, westwards to Porthtowan, Tobban Horse, Sally's Bottom, Portreath, Navax, the lighthouse at Godrevy Point, and on into the distance Carbis Bay and the island at St. Ives Head. Indeed on the day we walked to Newdowns Head, it was low tide at Chapel Porth and we could not resist walking to the waters edge and looking west towards Porthtowan and being mildly surprised to see walkers coming towards us along the beach. There are also some caves here to explore. PLEASE NOTE: BE VERY SURE OF THE STATE OF THE TIDES IF YOU WISH TO RISK THIS - TIDE TABLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ABOUT £1 AT ALL GOOD STORES AND NEWSAGENTS LOCALLY.
As you near the top of the climb - which can be quite windy - you can choose the coastpath 'proper' or turn inland for a wider slightly less steep path, we chose the inland path. About 10 minutes after setting off, the engine houses of the mines at Wheal Coates come into view. To your right is the outcrop of St. Agnes Beacon - well worth a visit in its own right - and above you gliders can frequently be seen (from the nearby Trevellas Airfield). The path remains relatively level now and once again you have a choice of TRUE coast path (seaward, narrower) and the wider, busier inland paths. Stop awhile to inspect the ruins of Wheal Coates, with the restored engine house of the Towanroath shaft below you.
After about a further 30 minutes of relatively flat walking due north you meet a tarmac road and small car park above St. Agnes Head. Turn northeasterly now, walking parallel to the coast towards the white Coastguard lookout ahead of you. The coves, beaches and headlands of North Cornwall come into view. On a clear day the lighthouse at Trevose Head, near Padstow, some 27 miles away can be seen. Seaward to your left, two rather striking rocks now known as the Bawden Rocks or 'Man and his man' - although formerly known as 'Cow and Calf' - can be seen in the sea. Walk past a couple of picnic tables on your right at this frequently windswept area and begin to turn easterly towards the National Trust sign at Newdowns Head. This last section is very flat and can be quite busy in the summer due to its easy-going terrain.
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: