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Walk - Portreath to Hayle

3D Fly Through

View a 3D fly through of the route using the Google Earth plugin

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Highlights

  • The views from the top of Western Hill down to the harbour of Portreath and to Western Cove and the cliff paths ahead.
  • The contorted rock strata of Greenbank Cove.
  • Crane Castle: standing on the site of an Iron Age cliff castle, almost entirely lost to erosion, you look out to Crane Islands and to the Path ahead along the Reskajaege Downs, which are covered in swathes of wildflowers and heather in spring and summer.
  • The overwhelming mass of cliff and sheer drop to the sea at Hell’s Mouth.
  • Seal spotting from Navax Point, which is covered in wild flowers, pink heather and gorse in the summer months.
  • The National Trust have brought in a small herd of Shetland ponies to graze at the Knavocks and help maintain the habitat favoured by small birds and butterflies.
  • Godrevy Island and octagonal lighthouse (now solar-powered) is three and a half miles across St Ives Bay, and is thought to have been the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel `To The Lighthouse'. The island is covered in bright flowers in springtime.
  • Spotting the guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and cormorants from the North Cliffs.
  • The Red River which once carried the red iron oxide residue from the tin mines up the valley out to the sea at Gwithian.
  • Gwithian and Hayle Towans: the second largest dune system in Cornwall is home to hundreds of different species of plants, butterflies, moths and glow-worms. Apparently, St Gothian's Chapel has been buried three times under the shifting sands.
  • The 100 year-old swing bridge at the entrance to Hayle harbour.
  • The birds of Hayle Estuary.

Places of interest

  • There are 250 acres of woodland and lakes to explore in Tehidy Country Park.

Shorter option

Walk to Gwithian (7.6 miles, 12.2 km).

Longer option

Continue to Carbis Bay (an additional 4.5 miles, 7 km) or St Ives (an additional 6.1 miles, 9.8 km).

Nearby refreshments

Portreath has a small selection of shops and cafes. There are cafes at Hell’s Mouth and Gwithian as well as a selection of pubs, shops, restaurants and cafes in Hayle.

Public transport

The nearest train stations are Hayle and Redruth, and from both you can catch buses to Portreath. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the train station and bus stop symbols, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Portreath (Postcode for Sat Navs: TR16 4LN), Crane Castle, North Cliffs, Godrevy Point, Gwithian, The Towans and Hayle.

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Nearby Walks

Nearby accommodation

SWCP Association list

This list is provided by the SWCP Association in partnership with Luggage Transfers Ltd (who move walker's bags along the whole path), and these places are used to taking walkers for a single night.

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Latest News

Latest Events

  • Coastal Combes & Heather Highs

    Coastal Combes & Heather Highs   28th Aug 2014 11:00am-2:30pm

    Meet a National Park Ranger for a walk across the scented heather moorland, down to cool woodland before a steady climb up to join the South West Coast Path and its fine views across the sea.

    Meet Holdstone Down car park (with overhead barrier). SS623474.

    11am for 3.5hrs/5miles.

    Bring a picnic and walking boots.

    More details here

  • Axe Vale & District Conservation Society Bird Watch

    Axe Vale & District Conservation Society Bird Watch - Monday 8th September

    Axe Estuary and Surrounding Area

    Join Ian Waite for a fascinating morning of birdwatching.           

    Date:               Monday 8th September 2014

    Time:               09.30 onwards

    Venue:             Meet at Axmouth Bridge lay by

  • Ocean City Festival

    Plymouth’s annual Ocean City Festival (8th – 28th September) returns bigger and better in 2014. The festival is designed to offer a fun and engaging way for families and visitors to enjoy the city, taste great food, see fascinating marine life, experience inspiring art and music and learn about a world beneath the waves. The event also aims to raise awareness, nationally and internationally, of Plymouth’s role as a leading UK marine city, for research, leisure, heritage and local produce. 

  • Big night out on the beach!

    Big night out on the beach! 

    Sat 13th Sep

    National Trust and South Devon AONB

    South Milton Sands

    Join us for our annual evening of fun and activities on the beach! Watersports taster sessions, rockpooling, bird walks, star gazing, children’s activities, refreshments in the Beach House café and more! (Bring a clean jam jar if you want to make a lantern.) Free (small charges for watersports sessions and car park).

    No need to book - just turn up!

    6pm until late.

    Meet at South Milton Sands, South Milton SX 677414

  • Earth's Studio- Art Workshops II

    Lynmouth Pavilion
    Saturday 13th September
    11am - 4pm


    Join us for an inspirational walk in the woods and use soil and plant pigments to create printed collages of magical mosses, fabulous ferns and lovely lichens. Prepare to get messy as you get up close and personal with these hidden gems!


    Please bring a packed lunch and stout footwear. Also wear suitable clothing as the session may get a bit messy. You may also with to bring a camera. Meet at the Pavilion.


    Booking is essential for these free workshops. Visit www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/events to book your place.

  • Minehead Summertime Tasters

    Minhead Events will be organising a Food & Drink event called Minehead Summertime Tasters that ties in with the CAMRA Real Ale Festival at the West Somerset Railway on 13-14 Sept. 

    This will include local food producers based in the Beach Hotel offering taster sessions, also they hope to have the YMCA doing taster sessions and creative menus.

  • Inside Out on the South Dorset Ridgeway

    This September, from Friday 19th – Sunday 21st inclusive, 9 new artistic commissions will animate the stunning South Dorset Ridgeway, easily explored via the South West Coast Path. Inside Out Dorset Festival is presenting free outdoor events and artworks, will be situated in the village of Littlebredy, Black Down, Ashley Chase and the spaces between.

  • Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival

    The Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival

    Saturday 20th - Sunday 28th September 2014

    The beautiful Isle of Purbeck is a walker’s paradise. From coast to country, the variety is unsurpassed.  go to the Walking Festival website for more details

  • Guided Walk - Moonfleet

    Join a guided walk around Moonfleet exploring the literature and history of this atmospheric place nestling in the shadow of the South Dorset Ridgeway.  In association with the South West Coast Path's 'Great South West Walks'

  • Seafood Festival

    As part of the Ocean City Festival Plymouth’s Seafood Festival (Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th September) will showcase the fantastic quality of seafood available in Plymouth, both local and celebrity chefs will create a range of mouth-watering dishes from the catch of the day.