A walk from Chapel Porth to St. Agnes
Discover the majesty of Cornwall’s north coast on a walk from the secluded beach at Chapel Porth to the picturesque village of St Agnes. Jodie from Cornish Ramblings takes us through this special stretch of coast. Distance 6 miles.
What better way to start the new year than with a ramble around the Cornish coast? I pulled on my hiking boots, popped Purdy the dog in the van, took a deep breath and made my way to Chapel Porth. I was a little apprehensive to say the least about how this first walk would go, now that I had landed into the year 2020 with an unsteady bump. But luckily for me, I needn’t have worried because as the cars started pulling into the National Trust car park and the smiling faces of my rambling group gathered around me, I suddenly felt more at home than I had in a long time.
I counted in total a mixture of 30 familiar and new faces. Wow! I always knew that the first few rambles of the year would be busy because it’s a time where people make decisions to do something different; find a new hobby, lose weight, get fitter, meet new likeminded people, join a walking group. It’s that saying, ‘new year new me’ I think. But it still always overwhelms me with joy and appreciation that people choose to join me and my group, Cornish Ramblings.
This particular walk is one of my favourites and is 6-miles of pure Cornish bliss. Along the way we took in the spectacular sights of St. Agnes Head, Trevaunance Cove and Wheal Coates. I wanted the ramble to be challenging enough to get the heart rates pumping, but not too challenging where it put people off. Especially if they were people, like me, who needed to shift some Christmas pounds, and regain the fitness that had been lost through spending the festive season sitting down for prolonged periods of time! This ramble had a few steep inclines, which was just enough to get the blood pumping and your heart rate lifted without feeling like you needed to stop to puff on your asthma inhaler. What made it even better was that the sun was shining, and the sky was the bluest it had been in a long while.
The name Chapel Porth comes from a medieval chapel and Holy Well, situated near to the beach. The beach is looked after by the National Trust and has a large expanse of golden sand when the tide is out. One of the best bits is the café, which is located at the back of the car park and boasts their legendary ‘hedgehog’ ice cream; a delicious concoction of Cornish ice cream slathered in Cornish clotted cream and topped with crushed hazelnuts. Definitely worth a taste if you’re visiting and want to indulge in something yummy and Cornish. You can also purchase hot and cold drinks as well as food which is great if you’ve just finished a 6-mile circular ramble to St. Agnes and need refuelling.
As we made our way out of the car park and up towards the coastal path, we were greeted with a short incline and treated to a panoramic shot of Chapel Porth Beach when we got to the top – totally worth the sweaty foreheads. The great thing about this walk is that you can literally just follow the coast path for the majority of the way. I do use an app on my phone to help guide me, it uses GPS so there’s no chance of me getting 30 ramblers lost! But getting to St. Agnes is pretty straightforward and you have the divine sea views to keep you company the entire way.
Continuing around the coast, we approach St. Agnes Head, Newdowns Head, Polberro Cove and then finally Trevaunance Cove. Popular with surfers, Trevaunance Cove in St. Agnes is a shingle beach at high tide, but when the tide goes out makes room for a glorious sandy stretch with plenty of rock pools and coves to explore. The pub Driftwood Spars and a couple of cafes are near to the beach should you need a comfort break or something to eat or drink.
After the group had had a little stop, we then made our way up a steep hill to reach Little Orchard Village. Here we made our way in the direction of Polberro via a more inland route, taking us across farmland and fields. The walk takes approximately 3 hours depending on how many times you stop to take pictures, or loiter on a bench staring out at the views. Eventually, this circular walk will bring you back out onto the coast and along some of the path you took at the start. This means beginning and ending the walk with those fantastic views of the sea and Chapel Porth. Just perfect!
‘For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.’ T. S. Eliot