50. Perranporth to Portreath

Bat Castle above Hanover Cove
Looking towards St. Agnes

An early start for my 2 day trip to North Cornwall. I park at the football ground and walk around to where I think the bus stop is. I have a 40 minute wait for the bus, the sun is out but there is a distinct spring chill this morning. I see my bus coming, it disappears behind some houses and to my horror does not appear down the street I am waiting!! I check the bus stop sign I have been waiting under, which seems ok. They must have changed it. I decide not to wait for the next bus, but to reverse my walk direction i.e. I will walk to Portreath.

Mine workings above St. Agnes
Wheal Coates

I climb the steep road up and out of Perranporth, still seething after missing my bus. Almost immediately after gaining the cliff top I encounter industrial mine workings, which will be a familiar sight all the way to Portreath. Above Hanover Cove, I pass a number of old mineshafts. Some the shafts are capped with a conical iron mesh structure, locally called ” Bat Castles” probably die to the fact that bats still nest within the shafts. I drop down into Trevellas Porth and see more mine chimneys at the Blue Hills Tinstreams. The path descends to the outskirts of St. Agnes.


As I climb up the steep miners path out of St. Agnes I notice a deep worked quarry with open mine galleries facing into the open mine. After rounding St. Agnes Head the path contours well into the steep hillside and gently descends to more mine workings. I pass the tin mine Wheal Coates, which outer structure is well-preserved. Shortly after I descend into the small village of Porthtowan, where I am able to walk along its beach, as the tide is out. I contour along the cliff top passing around a MOD airfield, with its distinctive Golf Ball Radar on show. Soon after passing the airfield I begin my descent into Portreath. I have over an hour to wait for the next bus, so with the sun beating down, I head into the Waterfront Inn, where a few pints of Shandies help quell my thirst. The short 12.5 miles has taken me a leisurely 3.75 hrs.

Distance today = 12.5 miles
Total distance =   731 miles


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