Cornish Coast Path Challenge- Porscatho to St Antony Head

Distance: 8.59 miles

Time: 3 hours 16 minutes

This weekend we decided to take it easier with a slightly shorter walk than the big Gunwalloe to Kynance Cove one! This was now walk number 5 of our Cornish Coast Path Challenge and we felt like we were making good progress.

I'll be sharing tips from all our Cornish Coast path walks in a series of blog posts; check out our previous blog post all about our walk from Gunwalloe to Kynance Cove. Or this one from Carbis Bay to St Ives.

Parking was a bit more tricky here. We originally planned to start at St Antony's head as this is a National Trust car park, but we thought the car park might close before we got back, due to it being out of season. So we drove to Porscatho to start our walk at the other end. Porscatho is a beautiful village with stunning houses. We found a little side road to park safely on and started our walk there.

During late Spring through to early Autumn this walk wouldn't be too difficult, as the mild weather would give the ground a chance to dry up between showers. We went when it had been quite rainy so part of the walk was very muddy; good shoes are essential!

The sea along this walk was sparkling; at every cove we stopped and admired the clear, turquoise water, wishing it was warm enough to get in for a dip!

As with most of Cornwall, this stretch of the Cornish Coast Path was drenched in history, all of which was labelled with interesting facts that take you back many generations. Not too long into our route we found a mysterious looking pole. At first it looked like something you'd find in an adventure playground, but after reading the information provided by the National Trust, we learnt that it was actually a useful part of history for our Cornish Coast. Erected by the Coastguard, the pole was designed to mimic a ship's mast. It was used for training purposes to allow the coastguard to practice rescue missions! Of course I had to climb up to get a better look at the view.

We continued to walk through beautiful fields, surrounded by nothing but nature. The occasional beaches we came across were peaceful, as were the paths. It's rare to find too many people walking in muddy conditions! We'd often let our conversation trail off to listen to the gentle sound of the waves or the chirping of the birds.

As our walk continued, more of Cornwall's history began to unfold. Old lookout shelters built into the cliff top fields from wars over the last century had become derelict and overgrown, leaving their use to imagination. One particular cluster of shelters were accompanied by a plaque, explaining their use during the 1960's when the threat of a nuclear war was high. This caused me to pause for a moment and reflect on the history Cornwall had in my own parents' lifetime.

When we arrived at St Antony's head we were taken aback by the structures built into the cliffs. What would have once been a rugged and wild cliff edge had become huge shelters, gun or canon platforms and buildings during the second world war. Littered with plaques telling fascinating stories of a time when this now eerily quiet area would have been bustling with frantic soldiers.

After soaking up all the history and admiring the view we walked further along to St Antony's Head car park. Here there are some toilets and some beautiful holiday homes! The view over the bay in Falmouth is spectacular. We then turned back towards Porscatho to complete our walk, arriving in the quaint village well after dark and headed home for a well deserved hot chocolate!

Top Tip: It is much easier to park at St Antony's Head in the National Trust car park than it is to park at Porscatho. During Covid the National Trust car parks shut early for quite some time so we didn't want to risk parking there and get locked in! Don't forget to scan your National Trust card when you park at a National Trust spot- the more you scan, the more funding your favourite spots get to improve!

Picture 1, 2, 3 and 4- mine.

Here's where we found our facts:

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