St Ives - Bosigran - Penzance: Part 1

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This linear walk is continued on Walk 130. The fact that it is spread over two 'walks' indicates that it is a long walk! Over fifteen miles to be precise, with some pretty steep slogs thrown in for good measure. You therefore need to be sure of your capabilities before setting out, if doing the combined route all in one day. However, this does offer other options, the most obvious being to spread it over two days, maybe using Zennor or the Gurnards Head Inn (check whether open first!) as a staging post.

Another option is to miss out the section across country to Penzance, covered in Part 2 and continue along the coast to Pendeen Watch, a total distance from St Ives of just over thirteen miles. Here you can pick up on the route covered by Walk 128 from Land's End, but that's for another day.

The walk leaves St Ives close to the popular St Ives Tate Gallery. The first part is gentle coastal walking out to Clodgy Point, after which the walking becomes more strenuous as you rollercoaster over the headlands of Hor Point and Pen Enys Point. Things ease a little, albeit temporarily, at Carn Naun Point, where the path crosses the broad headland, capped with a vast carpet of heather and gorse. There is an old trig point here from where you can, in the summer, witness the comings and goings of pleasure boats viewing the seals on the Carracks, a short distance out.

We then plunge into River Cove, with the obligatory stream winding in from the left, then climb out. After rounding Mussel Point, the path takes a broad curve round the natural arena of Wicca Pool before dropping close to sea level at Gala Rocks. Here the path argues with large boulders and has clearly lost out, having to thread between these sleeping giants.

A very long climb then ensues, up Tremedda Cliff and on to Zennor Head. There is not much to see of Zennor from the coastal footpath, but the village has many points of interest, including a museum, church and public house. The path to the hamlet is at the end of the walk down from the headland. After crossing the stream as it races seaward at Pendour Cove and rounding the headland at Carnelloe, there is an interesting remnant of past mining, just below the path on the seaward side; and further remains above Treen Cove in the form of the dwindling remains of an engine house. There is a small beach below this point.

This part of the walk is dominated by the impressive headland of Gurnards Head, upon which are the remains of an ancient cliff castle and settlement. After a fairly level stretch of walking, it is necessary to tackle Porthmeor Cove! This is a picturesque cove, but made tricky by the unevenness of the path down into it and the boggy bits on the way out. Also, on the far side of the cove, care has to be taken where the path runs ridiculously close to a gully. The next headland is Bosigran, another ancient cliff castle, with the stone rampart best viewed as you approach. From here you can either continue to Pendeen Watch or cross country to Penzance.

Walk description continues on Walk 130.


England - South West England - Cornwall - Coast


Great Views, Sea
6/18/2019 - Lambert Tuffrey

Took the A17 bus from Penzance to Pendeen first thing in the morning and arrived around 6.50am in Boscaswell. From there it's a 20 minute walk across fields on footpaths to Pendeen lighthouse, where the coastal walk can be picked up. The whole route through to St. Ives is very well signed, though I still managed to briefly miss a few. It is a long walk, just under 14 miles by my smartphone, and pretty strenuous in places, but finishing in St. Ives for a late lunch at the Tate was a good incentive!