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Walking holidays in Cornwall on the South West Coast Path in 2012: Penzance to Falmouth

An exhilarating walking tour around Cornwall’s beautiful, wild and secluded Lizard, Britain’s most southerly point.

Penzance is an attractive small town that is worth exploring before your walking holiday gets underway. Places of interest include the Market House, the extraordinary Egyptian House, the Maritime Museum and the National Lighthouse Centre. The path from Penzance follows the beach around Mount’s Bay to the ancient island castle of St. Michael’s Mount. Approached by a granite causeway at low tide or by boat at high tide the little harbour, village and dramatic castle perched on top of this rocky island is a delight to explore.

The path crosses the lovely beach at Praa Sands before returning to the cliff top to pass the beautifully restored engine house and chimney of the Wheal Prosper Mine. After a while the path descends into the attractive fishing village of Porthleven. Passing the old coastguard station you follow the natural shingle bank of Loe Bar, the sea on one side and a large freshwater lake noted for its birdlife on the other.

The path continues along the cliff edge to Gunwalloe church, which has an unusual detached bell tower cut into the cliff-face, and then drops down to Polurrian Cove before climbing back up and down to the delightful fishing village of Mullion Cove. You’ll enjoy exhilarating walking along the cliff top path past Rill Point leads to the outstanding beauty spot of Kynance Cove. The path then winds on before reaching Lizard Point, Britain’s most southerly point.

On Day 4  your walking tour continues as a Lighthouse, Coastguard station and lifeboat station are passed in succession as you turn around the headland and follow the cliff edge past the Devil’s Frying-pan, a vast chasm caused by the collapse of a sea cave, to Cadgwith, another beautiful Cornish fishing village with thatched, whitewashed cottages and a small harbour. The cliff top paths leads around Lowland Point, which provides thrilling views over the Manacles, a notorious reef that has caused countless shipwrecks over the centuries.

Walking along the shores of the Helford River to the delightful village of Helford, with romantic thatched cottages and an ancient inn. Just upstream of the village is Frenchman’s Creek, one of many inlets branching off the river that was the inspiration for Daphne Du Maurier’s novel of the same name.

After you take the ferry across the Helford River you proceed through Durgan and onto Rosemullion Head, the views from here of The Helford river and south to the Manacles and north to the lighthouse at St Anthony are truly magnificent. The path continues towards Falmouth taking you to Maenporth, then Swanpool and finally Gyllynvase beach (each has a beach cafe that can provide refreshment).  The path then curls around Pendennis Point to reach the vibrant town of Falmouth.

This walk is rated moderate and includes 5 days walking.

Day 1 Travel to Penzance  
Day 2   Penzance to Porthleven 22.5 km
Day 3 Porthleven to Lizard 22.5 km
Day 4 Lizard to Coverack 17 km
Day 5 Coverack to Helford 21 km
Day 6 Helford to Falmouth 16 km
Day 7 Depart Falmouth  


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