This winter we’ve had time to explore the glorious slopes of Mounts Bay. Our latest walk has covered the stretch of coastline between Prussia cove and Porthleven. You can find our walk from Perranuthnoe to Cudden Point and Prussia cove Here
Three short (ish) walks
I have to admit we divided this West Cornwall Walk into three expeditions. So here’s a “there and back to the car” – short or long! But For a day’s holiday adventure, leave Perranuthnoe after Breakfast (and we hope you’re staying at Ednovean Farm) and you should arrive in Porthleven at about 3.30(ish)..There’s a handy bus service all the way back to Perranuthnoe.
Prussia cove to Praa Sands
Follow the drive eastwards and walk through the circular courtyard between the romantic Arts and Crafts Porth-en-alls House and Lodge.
Building work started in 1907 on the footprint of John Carters (King of Prussia) home although subsequent revision place the architecture firmly between 1910 – 1914 .
For listing details and to read more about the architecture click here.
We lingered discreetly as we always do to admire the leaded mullion windows and imposing oak doorways before cross the stream above the cove overlooked by the row of Coastguard cottages. The House almost touches the sea here straddled between cliff face to rocky foreshore
The only viable access to the sands of Kennegy Cove at low tide is here too, from the pebbly cove beside the stream. At very low tide it’s possible to walk across the sands and rock ledges and emerge at the slipway to Pestreath Cove. (Take care though; Kennegy Beach and Pestreath Cove are cut off at high tide)
However we took the coastal path up passed the Coastguard cottages and skirted the bewitchingly empty sands of Kennegy Cove. As a teenager I used to sneak along this route with my pony.
It would be impassable now for her now, at the passage of years and coastal erosion sends the path up steep steps and along board walks. Alas, I still had to surreptitiously pluck a few gorse prickles from my derriere after sliding into the furze!
We stopped to explore the rocky slipway to Pestreath Cove with its tiny stream and waterfall, sea caves and mine adits but again take care. A mine adit for Wheel Speed leads deep into the cliffs here but beware, Cornish mine tunnels can suddenly drop with only rotting timbers over the path.
Finally we clambered across the stream to continue our journey and the path grows wider and much easier to navigate as it reaches Praa Sands. At Hoe Point look out for a tiny islet – Lazy bank pierced by two arches. There is access to the foreshore here but the cliffs are very unstable.
You will see a sign for Sidney Cove. Traditionally the first part of the beach was known as Sidney Cove and from the stream onwards it is Hendra beach. Praa sands are so much simpler!
There is all of the frippery of a traditional seaside resort at Praa Sands a traditional beach. And on the day we walked there it was surprisingly busy with locals on a lockdown Sunday. We found quiet spot to watch dogs gallop by with ears flying, trailing owners and children. There were even a few brave souls taking a winter dip in the chilly sea. Dipping I regard is bikini clad – surfers in full combat gear don’t count!
We finished our walk here that day and ambled back to Prussia cove. But to continue, walk along the Praa beach for about a mile. There are steps up from the beach beside a second stream at the Hendra end.
Directions to Prussia cove
- In Rosudgeon, Turn off of the A394 just beside the Fish and chip shop.
- Follow the country lane across Rosudgeon, thorough the hamlet and down at the end of the end of the tarmac road.
- There is a tiny free car park at Prussia Cove owned by the Porth-en Alls Estate.
Hendra to Rinsey
Hendra is the rather more sophisticated end of Praa beach, with a Mediterranean feel about the view through the pine trees. Look out for Lesceave cliff house rumoured to have been built by the same architect as the famous Burr Island Hotel.
We found a spot on the verge to park, amongst the bustle of surfers and set off!
Our path led down through the dunes and we watched the surfers for a while before continuing up across the heathland. Take care just before Rinsey as the path continues left but there is a tempting steep short cut down through the gorse. There’s even a very old public footpath sign hidden just around the corner. (That’s the sign just after the big one warning to keep to the designated coastal footpath!) Downhill skiers will have no difficulty with this route. But let’s just say I chose the other route on the way home!
We settled down on a secluded bench under the lowering form of Wheal Prosper.
This is where we stared our walk last time walking from Rinsey to Wheal Trewavas. It was a perfect place to watch the waves rolling to the beach below us, break out a thermos of coffee and a mince pie.
Directions to Hendra
- Take the A394 towards Helston
- Take the second turn seawards after the final Praa sands turn just before Ashton.
- Sign post Hendra.
- This is a popular surfer’s route and the lane is no more that a single track so take care. There are few verge side parking slots amongst the drainage ditches and a minuscule car park at the end. (Think four possibly five cars)
Wheal Trewavas to Porthleven
I must admit the next viable parking spot and footpath to join the cliff top walk was in Porthlevan but for the sake of continuity I’ll try to reverse the experience!
I was intrigued by inaccessible beaches glinting beguilingly beyond Wheal Trewavas the other day and hoped for a better look.
Porth Sulinces – Nichols Cove
This beach was voted the best secret beach apparently, although the ordinance survey map calls it Porth Sulinces and Google maps Nichols Cove. On the day I peered over the edge I couldn’t image how it was possible to clamber down but work in progress!
The Google satellite view did clearly show that at low tide it is possible to walk along to the deep mysterious Parc Trammel cove (but the near vertical cliffs make this a dangerous place to linger as the tide comes in.)
Parc Trammel Cove
Only the seabirds have access to Parc Trammel Cove for most of the time
The path high on the cliffs twisted and turned passed these two beaches interspersed by deep zawns. I should mention that they can be very slippery particularly for Wellies! I clung nervously to the post and rail fence to circumnavigate Parc Trammel cove.
The geology changed as we walked, giving way to the darker rocks and I would glance back every now and then to see the sunlight probing the honeyed rocks along the route that we had just trodden.
As Porthleven came nearer the path narrowed, until at times it is necessary to walk like a catwalk model, placing one foot directly in front of the other. One passing local ambling passed solved the problem by walking on top of the bank. I peaked over the edge later – maybe I’m a wimp!
There’s a cross very near to Porthleven commemorating those lost at sea. It also celebrates the act that ensured dead mariners, had to be buried in consecrated ground. Old “Porthleveners” used to refer to Breage side and grave side (Sithney side), I’m told. A memory of the old practise of burying the dead in the dunes and also acknowledging change of the parish
Parking in Porthleven
- There is harbour side parking and several large car parks.
- We turned off in Ashton (as for Rinsey) but continued along Beckon Road and parked near the junction above Ocean view.
Winter days on the Cornish cliffs can be lovely of course and yet I dream of a summer day laced with wild flowers!
A walk around Mounts Bay – a perfect way of exploring the rich and diverse history of West Cornwall and The Lizard.
If you can’t be in West Cornwall right now I hope this walk will cheer you up. Borrow our winter days in Cornwall and make a plan for the spring and summer to come!
A very Happy Christmas to you all.