Many guests who stay with us at Little Gwendreath Holiday Cottages love to head out on the South West Coast Path and explore the beautiful coastline of The Lizard Peninsula.
We had the pleasure of hosting two walkers whose goal for their stay was to complete a large section of the South West Coast Path. Clare and Carrie successfully managed to hike all the way from Marazion near St Michaels Mount to Falmouth during their 7 night stay with us. They kindly documented their route as an example itinerary for walking the South West Coast Path using public transport.
Here is the itinerary Clare and Carrie followed:
Day 1: Travelled to Little Gwendreath Holiday Cottages.
Day 2: Marazion to Porthleven - 10.8 miles/ 17.4 km
Drove 20 minutes to Porthleven to pick up the U4 bus from the harbour at 09.35 to take us to Marazion square. There are both on-street parking and various car parks in Porthleven. Buses went every hour but check the timetable for the latest schedule; the bus drivers were so pleasant and helpful. Upon arrival at Marazion square we walked through Marazion to follow the coastal path back to Porthleven.
This section starts off with fairly level walking and offers stunning views of Mounts Bay and St Michael's Mount. The path narrows as you approach Perranuthnoe and includes some climbs; you can break these up by enjoying some time on the sandy beaches on the way or even by visiting the Victoria Inn, reputed to be the oldest in Cornwall dating back to the 12th century. Next up is Prussia cove which is famous as being the home of the Carter family, well known smugglers in the 18th century. The mining history of Cornwall is in evidence with the Wheal Prosper engine house and chimney above Porthcew; from here you can take in the views towards The Lizard. As you get closer to Porthleven you will see a monument just beyond Tregear Point which is in memory of the many seamen who died in wrecks along this stretch of the coast and were buried on the cliffs prior to the Grylls Act in 1808.
Day 3: Porthleven to Mullion Cove - 7.4 miles/ 11.9 km
Weather was pretty inclement in the morning so we had a late start but transport options make no difference what time you start. The Number 34/L1 bus runs every hour and appears to be incredibly reliable and all the bus drivers were so helpful. We drove to Poldhu cove, parked the car and took the Number 34/L1 bus to Helston Tesco where we changed onto the U4 bus for the short journey on to Porthleven. The connection is only a 15 minute wait. We walked back to Poldhu cove and then completed a further circuit into Mullion Cove because the evening was so beautiful. Check out Little Gwendreath's blogs for further information on this section: Porthleven to Gunwalloe and Gunwalloe to Mullion.
Day 4: Mullion Cove to Kennack Sands - 12.0 miles/ 19.4 km
We left the car at Little Gwendreath, walked across the fields to the Kuggar bus stop to pick up the 08.57 Number 34/L1 bus to Mullion. We got off at the Mullion cricket club stop which is an easy connect to the coastal path where we had finished the day before. We walked to The Lizard, where you can then connect again with the Number 34/L1 bus to bring you back to Little Gwendreath. As it happens it was such a beautiful afternoon we walked on around from the Lizard to Kennack Sands and our cottage. Check out Little Gwendreath's blogs for further information on this section: Mullion to Kynance cove, Kynance cove to Lizard Point, Lizard Point to Cadgwith cove and Cadgwith cove to Gwendreath.
Day 5: St Keverne to Kennack Sands - 8.8 miles/ 14.2 km
This next section is the trickiest to do on public transport, the Number 36/L2 bus goes to St Keverne square and there is a bus stop on the B3293 at Double Lodges which is 4.3 miles/6.9 km from Little Gwendreath along a fast main road. Steve and Sarah, our hosts, were incredibly accommodating and dropped us at St Keverne square which enabled us to walk back to our cottage. This section of the walk is more strenuous than previous sections but so wild and challenging. The bonus of being able to walk straight back to our cottage meant no pressure time wise and no driving on return!! We did meet walkers on the route who relied on Telstar taxis to pick up or drop off and they found the drivers to be incredibly pleasant and flexible. Check out Little Gwendreath's blogs for further information on this section: Coverack to Roskillys and Gwendreath to Coverack.
Day 6: Helford to St Keverne - 8.9 miles/ 14.3 km
Drove 10 minutes to St Keverne square to pick up the 09.30 Number 33 bus to Helford to walk back. St Keverne is once again totally accessible from the coastal path. A fantastically glorious section of the coastal path following the Helford estuary and the beautiful Gillan creek before returning to the coast and walking through the quaint village of Porthallow before walking inland back to St Keverne. Check out Little Gwendreath's blogs for further information on this section: Saint Anthony-in-Meneage to Helford, Porthallow to Saint Anthony-in-Meneage and Roskillys to Porthallow.
Day 7: Falmouth to Helford - 10.3 miles/ 16.6 km
This was an extension to our original plan as we had made really good progress on previous days. We drove to Helford, parked up and took the ferry across to connect with the 10.15 Number 35 bus to Falmouth which departs from Helford passage turn, a half mile walk up the hill from where you get off the ferry. The bus takes you into the centre of Falmouth where you can easily pick up the coastal path to walk back to Helford passage to take the ferry back over to Helford. We were worried about doing the walk in time to catch the ferry back over but the walk is easy and we had loads of time despite not reaching Falmouth on the bus until 11.00.
This section starts off with views of Falmouth harbour and of Pendennis Castle and then passes Gyllyngvase and Maenporth beaches. The landscape then changes as you get closer to the Helford River. You pass the hamlet of Durgan which is at the bottom of a steep valley. Trebah beach at Polgwidden cove is where American soldiers set sail for Omaha beach in Normandy for the D-Day Landings in June 1944. The Helford River supports many types of fish, sea anemones and shellfish and birdlife such as ducks, egrets, herons, ospreys, kingfishers and fulmars, to name just a few. At the end of the walk is The Ferry Boat Inn at Helford Passage which is at least 300 years old where you can have a bite to eat and a drink whilst waiting for the ferry.
We had just the best time, everything we did using public transport was cheap, efficient and on time. We would thoroughly recommend Little Gwendreath Holiday Cottages as a base for walking this beautiful unspoilt section of the South West Coast Path from Marazion to Falmouth.