16. South West Coast Path (South Cornwall)

162. Mullion to Porthleven

Monday 29th January 2018

Left the Old Inn in Mullion. Nice friendly pub that did decent food, beer and room. Limping badly with the left foot but hopefully can walk it off. Turned left out of the pub and then left on Lender Lane to a road junction and turned left for a hundred metres again left at a footpath sign down a track between houses (GR672196).

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Old Inn, Mullion (GR679192)

The foot seems to have got a bit better but generally achy after the exertions in the mud yesterday. Cloudy and dull today, colder and quite windy with a hint of rain as well. At Seven Pines (GR668195) the track turns left and becomes a narrower footpath. Some kind of monument comes into view and some sort of radar station. Reach the Marconi Centre (GR664196) and of course  the memorial commemorates the first radio signals across the Atlantic. The signal was sent from here and received at Signal Hill, St John’s, Newfoundland on 12th December 1901. I thought that I had seen the site of the first transmission at Lizard Point but apparently Marconi did research work there before establishing the site at Poldhu.

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Old Poldhu Bay Hotel and Poldhu Bay (GR665196

Continued past the hotel, which is now the Swallowcourt Poldhu care home – a stunning location for a care home if a little remote.

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Poldhu Cove (GR665198)

Continued down the hotel road and soon rejoined the South West Coast Path on the road overlooking Poldhu Cove. Followed the road round the cove and then turned left up a no through road (GR666200).

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Poldhu Cove and care home (GR663201)

The path climbs up onto the cliffs to overlook the sandy Church Cove and then drops down to the cove itself (GR662205). St Winwaloe Church is right next to the beach.

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St Winwaloe Church (Geograph.org.uk)

Continued round the cove and crossed a small wooden footbridge and followed the path to reach the road. Turned right towards Winnianton Farm (GR660208). Decided to continue on the road to avoid the mud which seems to be everywhere on the paths. Compensated with good views over Halzephron and Park Bean Coves before reaching the houses of Gunwalloe. The Halzephron Inn at Gunwalloe (GR657225) is the 2000 mile marker on my walk around England, but unfortunately was shut so there was no chance of a celebratory drink.

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Halzephron Inn, Gunwalloe – 2000 miles from Chepstow (GR657225)

Turned left down the lane towards the sea. A couple of hundred metres past Gunwalloe the path is diverted to a lane that runs parallel to the coast and eventually becomes a muddy path to Blue Rocks (GR650233) where the official path is rejoined and there was a little less mud.

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Flood defence work on Loe Bar (GR642243)

Struggled across the sandy beach at Loe Bar and climbed up to Bar Lodge, now a holiday home owned by the National Trust, (GR641243) to follow an inland diversion because of a cliff fall. This diversion was annoyingly long through the parkland of the Penrose Estate but initially at least it was pleasant enough through the woods along the old Victorian carriageway by the The Loe (a lake). Turned left at a diversion sign away from the lake and climbed up through the woods. Met two groups of people (GR641254) who said that it was very muddy and that the signposting was very bad and that they couldn’t see how to get to Porthleven.

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Porthleven Harbour (GR628258)

Turned back and continued along the road to a t-junction and turned left signposted to the car park. Reached the busy main road (GR639259) and followed it, in the rain, down to the harbour at Porthleven. Porthleven is the most southerly working port on the English mainland and is noted for the dramatic scenes of waves hitting the sea walls during storms. Today the only problem was persistent drizzle so I sought sanctuary in the Harbour Inn (GR629258).

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Porthleven Harbour (GR628258)

I had intended carrying on to Sydney Cove, but the warmth and lack of mud in the pub persuaded me to call an expensive taxi back to Mullion to collect the car and drive on to Penzance where I was to stay in the Dock Inn for the next three nights.

Days from Chepstow      162

Miles today                        6.2

Miles from Chepstow    2002.6

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