16. South West Coast Path (South Cornwall)

154. Mevagissey to West Portholland

Tuesday 18th April 2017

Left The Old Parsonage B&B which was very good if a little overpowering and walked down Church Street to the centre of Mevagissey and then round the harbour wall.

Mevagissey (GR015448)

Went up the stone steps at the end of the harbour to reach the road and continued up the road for a couple of hundred yards. Took a footpath off to the left overlooking the harbour.

Mevagissey (GR015448)
Mevagissey (GR015448)

The weather today, first thing anyway, is very slightly cloudy, quite sunny, not too hot yet but looks like it might be through the day and very light winds. The path returns to the road at the top of the hill. Large attractive houses here with great views overlooking the harbour and the bay. Many are B&Bs and hotels.

Mevagissey (GR016446)
Mevagissey (GR016446)

At the road junction turned left down Portmellon Lane (GR016443). Passed the Rising Sun pub in Portmellon (GR015440) and continued on the road round the cove which begins to climb out of the village.

Portmellon Cove (GR016440)

A short way up the road a signpost points off down Chapel Point Lane to Gorran Haven 2½ miles. At the end of the road took the private drive up on to the cliffs. At the top of the asphalt drive went through a wooden kissing gate onto a path. Wide open views here across the bay and again looking at the many headlands talked about yesterday but it is a bit misty for taking photographs. Strayed off the official path here as the track was actually higher above Chapel Point but soon turned down to rejoin it at Chapel Point (GR025433).

Chapel Point (GR027430)

Chapel Point was visible much of yesterday because of the distinctive tress but it is not until getting this close that you see that there is actually an old chapel and some houses. The track goes to a little boathouse near a slipway and then over a stile to become a path up through a kissing gate into National Trust Bodrugan’s Leap.

The path climbed up quite steeply through gorse bushes to Pabyer Point (GR025427) and Gorran Haven came into view. The path continued to climb gently and then began to descend ultimately a bit more steeply to arrive at a stile, a wooden footbridge and a kissing gate only to climb up the hill the other side of the gate. At the top of the field dropped down to a wooden gate and a wooden kissing gate and carried on slightly down and then up through a gorse bush area. A bench seat marks the start of the descent into Gorran Haven. At the bottom of the field climbed a stile to reach a small road. Follow the road between quite modern houses and new ones being built to the end where a coast path sign pointed down Cliff Road to the left. Followed the roads down through the narrow streets past the tiny church to reach the cove at the Mermaid Café where stopped for a cup of tea (GR013416).

Mermaid Cafe, Gorran Haven (GR013416)

Walked up the road to the fish and chip shop a few yards up and then turned left at a signpost up some steps and out onto the cliff path. Having climbed high out of Gorran Haven the path then drops steeply down some stone steps right down almost to water level to go round Maenease Point (GR017412).

Gorran Haven (GR014415)

The path climbed up to reach a wooden kissing gate above Bow Beach. Quite a number of people about, as it’s a lovely day, walking down to the beach which is some distance from the car park. The path climbed gently up towards Dodman Point which could be seen about a mile distant.

Bow Beach and Dodman Point (014410)

It was sunny a quite warm for the middle of April now and so at each opportunity as there seems was a number of benches along here used each one as a resting stop and to take on some water.

Reached Dodman Point with its large stone cross built in 1896 (GR001393). Had lunch on the steps of the cross: energy bar, banana cake fresh from the B&B (very good) and water. Dodman Point feels like a real landmark on the walk round this bit of the coast, leaving behind all the headlands of the last day or two. The new bay opens up towards the Roseland Peninsula, Nare Head and the Lizard. And of course beyond The Lizard is Land’s End. Also memorable as while eating my lunch I got a text from Lyn (my wife) saying that a General Election had been called for June 8th. It felt like a bit of an intrusion even though I enjoy all the psephological aspects of general elections.

Veryan Bay from Dodman Point (GR0013993)
Stone Cross at Dodman Point (GR001393)

Just past the dyke (GR999397) the path went steeply down to an area where wild ponies were grazing.

Gorse and bluebells at Dodman Point (GR997398)
Wild ponies (GR996399)

Climbed up to the headland overlooking Hemmick Beach and then steeply down to the beach itself at the road (GR995405). There were just a few people around although it was still the Easter holidays. A grassy path led up to the clifftops outside Hemmick and then became a path through a rocky area of gorse. Eventually entered an area of shrubs and trees where I shared the path with a pheasant that seemed determined to walk the path rather than fly.

A steep descent led down towards Lambsowden Cove (GR983407). Leaving Lambsowden the official path crossed right across a field and then very steeply up a hill to another field. Turned left to follow along the field edge. Continued climbing more gently through a couple of fields and a wooded area and then stared a descent down towards Porthlune Cove. The path went steeply down through the woods and then Caerhays Castle came suddenly into view.

Caerhays Castle (GR976411)

Went through a kissing gate and cross the infamous hay fever field [I suffer from hay fever and on a family holiday some twenty years ago I was forced to sit in this very field while the farmer mowed they hay in the next field and my wife painted a picture of Caerhays Castle. My worst ever attack of hay fever resulted in me driving back to our rented cottage nearly blind].

Caerhays Castle (Lyn Case, c1997)

Reached the road at Caerhays Castle and immediately opposite the gates went to the café for some tea and a rest.

After a couple of mugs of tea and a Kit-Kat continued on the road past the castle. The road turned left up the hill and as it turned sharp right took a footpath off to the left signposted Portholland 1 mile (GR972413). Instead of going down to the official path at the bottom of the field, contoured around the field on another path which led behind the coastguard lookout point. Rejoined the official path at the top end of the field and went through a gate. The path was level and straight through the bushes on either side for about 500 yards and then, as Porthalland came into view, started to descend. East Portholland appeared rather suddenly and as the footpath joined a track turned left and dropped down into the village (GR960412).

East Portholland (GR960412)

East Portholland consists of just a few houses but it does have a café. Continued on the road past the seafront and at the road junction turned left and continued uphill. Reach West Portholland (GR959413). Very little at all here really, just a few houses, a letterbox and a small beach. End of the walk which was not too strenuous really but it seemed a lot further than I had measured it on the map.

The pre-booked taxi was actually waiting for me an hour earlier than I had ordered it as the driver was having a rest and enjoying the view. Returned to Mevagissey and had a couple of pints in the Fountain Inn before returning to The Old Parsonage B&B.

Days from Chepstow   154

Miles today   11.4

Miles from Chepstow   1935.4

3 thoughts on “154. Mevagissey to West Portholland

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