One of the best walks in Perranporth, Cornwall is on the South West Coast Path to the nearby village of St Agnes. This moderate walk from Perranporth to St Agnes follows a route across beautiful Cornish cliff tops, providing amazing sea views and a glimpse at Cornwall’s mining heritage.
At 630-mile, the South West Coast Path is the longest National Trail in the UK. However, the stretch of walk from Perranporth to St Agnes is only 3.6 miles with an additional mile when your reach the village. You can extend the walk by adding the return walk to Perranporth. The path is mostly level but can be uneven and has several steep climbs.
- Distance: 3.6 miles (5.8 km) one-way
- Type of walk: out and back (or return by bus)
- Terrain: uneven coastal path
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Perranporth is a large, vibrant Cornish town with an enormous sandy beach, which stretches for three miles. The walk to St Agnes starts to the western side of Perranporth Beach at Droskyn Point.
Firstly, from the left of beach (west) take a steep walk up Cliff Road to the Millennium Sundial. Here you’ll get fantastic headland views looking back over Perranporth Beach and can see the fabulous Chapel Rock.
At Droskyn Point the trail is easy to find and navigate as it follows the cliff edge. This stretch of the route is very flat but can be narrow at times and is often uneven.
As you approach Cligga Head, you’ll see rugged cliffs rising out the sea and notice the aqua green patches in the water. This area was heavily mined for tin and wolframite and the colour change is caused by copper oxides from the cliff. Nowadays, Cligga Head is an area of Special Scientific Interest because of the unique geological features.
At the top of the cliffs, you can still see the remains of the mine buildings and shafts.
As you continue south along the coastal path, you’ll be able to look down on Hanover Cove. The area was named after the cargo ship that crashed on the rocks here in 1763.
Eventually the path drops into the valley at Trevella’s Coombe and the trail follows inland. Trevallas Valley was a mining area for hundreds of years and you can see the remaining tall engine house chimneys. A pretty stream runs down the valley, which would have been used to provide steam power for the mines.
If, like me, you’re a fan of the tv series Poldark, you’ll love this walk and the surrounding area. The valley was the setting for Ross Poldark’s family home. You’ll get to walk in the footsteps of miners and gain an insight of what it might have been to live here during those times.
The mining area near St Agnes was run by the Blue Hills Mine company. Unfortunately, the Visitor Centre is no longer open to the public.
Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes
The last stretch of the walk from Perranporth to St Agnes leads up a steep, rocky track past the gates of the Motorcycle Club. Then, we descended via Down Quay Gardens to Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes. In 2006 local volunteers transformed the wasteland area here and it is now an attractive viewpoint with flowers and benches.
Trevaunance Cove is significantly smaller than Perranporth Beach. It is a sheltered cove, with a sandy and pebble beach.
We headed for Schooners Restaurant which overlooks the beach. Make sure you get a window seat so you can enjoy the fantastic views during lunch. The restaurant has a casual nautical feel and is very dog friendly. Their menu offers a range of wood-fired sourdough pizza, seasonal specials, and cocktails.
St Agnes village
After a tasty lunch with fantastic sea views, we headed up Quay Road to the village of St Agnes. It is one of the largest villages in Cornwall and has a lot to offer visitors. There’s a choice of independent shops, including a butcher, greengrocers, and several delicatessens. You’ll also find a few pubs, restaurants, and cafés.
The bus to Perranporth
Of course, if you are feeling energetic you can retrace your steps along the coastal path to Perranporth. However, we had finished walking for the day, so returned to Perranporth by bus.
The bus stop is outside the gorgeous building of the Miners and Mechanics Institute on Vicarage Road. You need the number 87 bus, which only takes 13 minutes back to Perranporth and costs £4.
Getting to Perranporth in Cornwall
Perranporth is in North Cornwall in South-West England. You can get there on the A390 from Truro or A3075 from Newquay.
We took the train to Truro and took a taxi from there. You can get a bus from Truro too.
Have you tried the coastal walk from Perranporth to St Agnes? We’d love to hear your comments below.
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