Circular-Walk from Porthcurno, Cornwall

Difficulty of Circular-Walk: Moderate. Part road/part footpath and coast path. Steep in places.

Time: Depending on ability, sightseeing and photo opportunities (there are many); about 1-3 hours.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK
Circular Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe

Circular-Walk: A Bit of Housekeeping First…

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. National Trust Sign of Porthcurno
National Trust Sign of Porthcurno

It’s early April, the sun is shining and it’s very warm. A hat, sun cream and water are essential for a day like today.

Near the car park, at the bus stop, I found this National Trust sign (covered in a fine moss due to its position in the shade under the trees) letting me know the lie of the land. I took this photo using my mobile, just in case I would need it later.

As many walkers will be arriving by car and needing a car park, I’m posting this glamorous image of the car park’s Pay and Display machine and its accompanying sign. I know, not a thing of beauty, but nonetheless a necessary evil! All information is correct as of April 2018. There is also a public toilet block at the lower end of the car park, costing £0.20 a go (price correct at time of publication). Right! Circular-walk, here I come!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Porthcurno Car Park 'Pay and Display' with Information
Porthcurno Car Park ‘Pay and Display’ with Information

Circular-Walk: First Foot Forward

With the housekeeping done, I’m finally on my way! Well…as far as the cafe, that is! It’s hard to resist and the route passes its front door. A visit to the Porthcurno Beach Cafe is a must for some refreshments before the walk and, on this occasion, to buy some sun cream, which I have forgotten to bring. I feel my face catching the sun already!

So, coffee, a slice of cake and some sun cream later… I’m actually walking! Oh dear…a hill! A very steep hill at that with bends to challenge any that Monte Carlo might throw my way. Fortunately though, at the top of the first stretch, before the first bend (maybe the cake wasn’t a good idea?), there’s a granite memorial bench with a fabulous view down across the beach and beyond. Time to catch my breath!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. View Down Across Porthcurno Beach and Beyond
View Down Across Porthcurno Beach and Beyond

Onwards and upwards I go, around the chicane until I reach the top. To the left is the Minack Theatre, definitely worth a visit, but I won’t be visiting today, instead I’m continuing along the narrow lane called The Valley, towards St Levan Church passing some delightful bungalows and houses along the way. The lane is level here and the walking very easy. Soon the lane begins to descend and the church is clearly visible in the distance.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. The Lane as it winds down to St Levan Church.
The Lane as it winds down to St Levan Church

Circular-Walk: St Levan Church

The church is very pretty and worthy of a few photos…

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. St Levan Church Door
St Levan Church Door Flanked by Cheerful Daffodils

Sundial above granite portico.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Sundial Above Granite Portico
What Time Is It? Sundial Above Granite Portico

Impressive tower.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. St Levan Church Tower
St Levan Church Tower

Boot scraper!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Boot Scraper at St Levan Church
Clean Yer Boots!

After spending lots of time at the church taking pictures, it was time to carry on with the walk. Exiting the churchyard the way I came in and heading across the lane, I found a track with a signpost pointing the way. Back to the coast we go!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Signpost to Coast Path
Signpost to Coast Path

Circular-Walk: Southwest Coast Path

Continuing down along the track I pass a handsome house, Grey Gables on the right. Soon, the sound of running water can be heard and a granite slab bridge offers dry passage across a small stream.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Granite Slab Bridge
Granite Slab Bridge

The track has now become a footpath, which after a short ascent arrives at a fork. I go left and continue along a long, level footpath. At this time of year the hawthorn is in blossom and the air is filled with its sweet scent and the collective humming of insects.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Hawthorn (May Tree/Mayflower) Blossom
Hawthorn (May Tree/Mayflower) Blossom

Approaching the end of this section of footpath, I get my first glimpse of the sea again and I’m about to join the Southwest Coast Path at its Porthcurno to Porthgwarra (or vice versa) stage. This stage of the walk can be a bit challenging, but natural stone steps have been placed in particularly difficult areas to assist and a wooden bridge constructed to help cross the stream, the same one I crossed earlier near Grey Gables. This is where the little stream meets the big Atlantic! I’ve also spotted the ruins of St Levan Holy Well nearby and will explore before moving on.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. First Glimpse of the Sea
First Glimpse of the Sea

Circular-Walk: Homeward Bound

The coast path is very busy today, lots of families out enjoying this beautiful spring day. The sounds of happy chatter and children’s laughter are carried on the warm thermals, under which contented picnickers on their plaid car blankets, sit soaking up the vino as well as the sun. The views are quite breathtaking!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. The Southwest Coast Path and Porthchapel Beach
The Southwest Coast Path and Porthchapel Beach

After scaling the cliffs and dizzy heights above Porthchapel Beach (don’t look down!), the path begins to climb up towards Pedn-men-an-mere, a large rocky promontory looking like it’s taking on the Atlantic and single-handedly too! Beyond lies the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno and…? Hmmm… my secret! I’ll let you know later!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Looking Back from Pedn-men-an-mere.
Looking Back from Pedn-men-an-mere.

The final part of the footpath is easy going and the views just get better. From the top of Pedn-men-an-mere I can see the Minack Theatre and just visible through the haze in the far distance is The Lizard, Britain’s most southerly point.

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. View from above Porthcurno to The Lizard, Cornwall, UK
View from Pedn-men-an-mere to The Lizard in the far distance.

From the Minack, it is possible to continue along the southwest coast path, which descends rather steeply to the beach below, or to a slightly higher footpath if returning to the car park. However, I’ve decided to avoid the steep path and return instead along the lane, chicane an’all, back to Porthcurno. Before doing so though, I stood at the top of the path and took this photograph of  Porthcurno Beach far below. Look at the colour of the water… Stunning!

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Beautiful Porthcurno Beach Down Below The Minack Theatre.
Beautiful Porthcurno Beach down below The Minack Theatre.

Circular-Walk: The Watering Hole, aka Porthcurno Beach Cafe

Although a relatively short circular walk, it packs a punch! A combination of that infamous Cornish air, sunlight, cliffs, coast path and amazing views all help to deliver a memorable walk. Walking down the hill towards the car park, I see the cafe. My secret’s about to come out! Earlier whilst buying my sun cream, I noticed the menu and couldn’t think of a better way to finish off a lovely walk and enjoy the late afternoon sunshine, than to sit out on the cafe’s terrace with a glass of sparkling Prosecco and a selection of delicious tapas.

Hey! “You only live once… Cheers!”

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Welcome Sight - Porthcurno Beach Cafe
Welcome Sight – Porthcurno Beach Cafe

Circular-Walk: …And Finally

Owners of the cafe and lovely hosts, Sacha and Spencer, assure you a warm welcome. Make sure you visit when you’re next in Porthcurno…

Circular-Walk from Porthcurno Beach Cafe, Porthcurno, Cornwall, UK. Sacha and Spencer, Owners of Porthcurno Beach Cafe
Sacha and Spencer, Owners of Porthcurno Beach Cafe

Porthcurno Beach Cafe

Tel: 01736 811108

 

 

Spring Has Finally Arrived in Porthcurno, Cornwall!

Primroses herald the arrival of spring…finally!

What a difference a day or two has made here in Porthcurno, we have primroses again! Easter Sunday, just a couple of days ago, was a complete wash out with high winds, rain and cold temperatures. The cafe, Porthcurno Beach Cafe, was open and we were surprised at the number of souls who braved the horrible weather and ventured in… I put it down to a combination of the fresh coffee aroma and lure of a warm wood burner heater, that helped convince them! We were very grateful to see them and urged them to come back to Cornwall for another visit “It’s not always like this!” we assured them.

 

A View from the Cafe

Back to today…the sun was shining, and a walk was high on the agenda. Gone was the dark grey sky and ocean of the past few days. Today the sea was strikingly azure, reflecting the blue hues of the sky above. Birdsong filled the air and I noticed a few bumblebees, warming themselves on a granite wall, preparing themselves for a day of harvesting precious nectar. I overheard someone say that they had just seen a Merlin, a small falcon, which incidentally was featured on BBC’s Countryfile at the weekend. I scanned the sky, but I wasn’t so lucky. Perhaps tomorrow…

 

Beautiful bright shrub with bluebells in the background.

Up the lane, past the car park I couldn’t help but notice this beautiful shrub on the right side of the road but haven’t a clue what it is. Do you? I’m sure I didn’t see any flowers on it a couple of days ago, but I could be mistaken. I’m sure this strange yellow ball in the sky, spreading all that warmth (what, on earth, can it be?) is responsible for this sudden burst of colour and activity in the natural world. Long may it last!

 

You’re always guaranteed a warm welcome at the Porthcurno Beach Cafe!

Whether you’re a local or are on holiday visiting from afar, please drop in and say hello, we’d love to see you and hear about your day…

We can offer a selection of teas and coffees; lunch, afternoon tea and more! Furthermore, the cafe is now fully licensed, so you may now enjoy a pre-meal gin and tonic and a glass of wine or Prosecco with your meal. Cheers!

For more information, visit our website http://porthcurnobeachcafe.co.uk