Portscatho
For Lunch

An all day walk along the Roseland Penisula following the South West Coast Path from the Place Ferry landing to Portscatho.

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Portscatho for Lunch

An all day walk along the Roseland Penisula following the South West Coast Path from the Place Ferry landing to Portscatho.
 

Follow the coast path from Place to Porthbeor beach as in the Creeks & Cliffs walk. 

When you arrive at Towan Beach continue along the coast path to Portscatho. 

Take some time to explore the village, have a well deserved bite to eat at the local pub before walking up the hill to Gerrans Church.

Passing the church turn left and follow the signs to the car park, carry on along the lane passing Treloan Farm towards Porth. 

From Porth follow the signs that will take you along the shores of Porth Creek to North Hill Point. 

From here you turn and follow the path which runs alongside the Percuil River back to Place Creek.

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More Info

Start point

Place Ferry landing

Distance

9 miles

Duration

All day.

Grading

Moderate to hard

End point

Circular walk

On the way...

South West Coast Path. Lunch in Portscatho. Amazing clifftop views. Unspoilt beaches. Penguins.

Get there...

By boat :: Ferries run regualrly to St Mawes from Falmouth, Truro and Trelissick Gardens.

The Falmouth and St Mawes Water Taxis can also pick you up and ferry you to St Mawes.

Check today's sailing times...

By car :: If you want to drive to St Mawes there is a large car park in the village.

From Truro follow the A390 and take the A3078 towards St Mawes.

From Falmouth, take the King Harry Ferry across the Fal River and follow signs for St Mawes.

More Information

Stepping off the Place ferry turn right to Place House taking the gate on your right to the small quay and turn left walking up past the gates of Place House. At the first footpath on the right go into the churchyard. The church, founded in the 12th Century, is always open for a visit. There is an old granite coffin in the churchyard and the entrance is made of Jurassic limestone from Caen, Normandy. Originally an Augustine monastery in the 11th Century the House has been a Tudor and Victorian mansion, ransacked with the stone being used in the formation of the St Mawes’ sea wall.

Take the steps in front of the church door up and it veers to the right. At the top of the steps look left for some beehives. Turn right and follow the path with Place House now on your right. The path takes you around to Cellars Beach and the houses along this path have private entrances. Walk up hill with two lone trees in the field to your left. Go through the kissing gate at the top. This takes you to Amsterdam Point with wonderful views of St Mawes and Falmouth, Pendennis castle and St Mawes castle.

Take the path diagonally down to the left and not the path along the top of the field immediately left. This is Carricknath Point where the pinewood begins. The path undulates up and down and follows the edge of the entrance to the Carrick Roads. As the land levels out to the right before the bridge is a path down to Great Molunan beach. The beach is sandy and best visited at low tide.

Returning to the bridge turn right towards the St Anthony’s lighthouse. After 600 metres walk up the steep slope to your left and after 50 metres at the first path that leads to the right decide whether you want to take this to visit the bird hide, where peregrine falcons nest on the opposite cliff face. There is also a sheltered look out/ex gun emplacement with great views over to Falmouth. Returning to the steep uphill path carry on up to the car park and café on the left. Turn right to get to the toilets and St Anthony’s Head look out where one can see the Lizard peninsula, over to Falmouth, up the River Fal and the entrance to the Helford River.

The path now follows the coastline to Porthbeor Beach for 2kms. There is a descent and ascent before it levels out in a field. 200 metres after the granite stile there is a footpath sign. To the right there are 109 steps (count them) down to the beach. For all the effort you will be rewarded, especially if the tide is out, by a quiet, sandy beach with a few caves. After Porthbeor there is a walk around Killgerran Head for 40 minutes to Porth Beach. 200 metres inland follow the sign for the car park and toilets. Returning to the beach it is another 2kms to Portscatho, 30 minutes walk.

Portscatho, meaning “harbour of boats” was an important fishing village with fish cellars around the walls of the harbour. It still has a small fishing fleet. The villages of Gerrans and Portscatho are interlinked with the church up at Gerrans the first to be mentioned in documentation as it goes back to Norman times. Dedicated to St Geraint who was a 9th or 10th Century Celtic saint, locally there are also sites in honour of King Geraint of Dumnonia who is associated with the legend of King Arthur and is supposedly buried around Veryan on Carne Beacon. The church high up on the hill is a valuable reference point for sailors. 

Walk up the hill out of Portscatho to Gerrans and visit the church at the top. Just before the church is a small lane to the left pointing to a car park. Take this lane, which leads all the way down to Porth 2 miles past Treloan and Rosteague through farmland. You are again at Porth Farm and the NT toilets 200 metres from the beach. Across from the NT entrance at the side of the car park walk down past Porth Farm cottage not back on the road into woodlands turning right parallel to the road and cross the bridge to your left. This takes you around Froe Creek into woodlands through a gate to Porth Creek and the Percuil River. After 20 minutes of woodland you arrive up at Drawler plantation and some of the best views of the river flowing into St Mawes Harbour with views over to St Mawes on the opposite bank through to Pendennis castle with Amsterdam point to the left. The woodlands you walk through are full of old oaks, hazel, sweet chestnut and many varieties and sizes of ferns. Eventually you come out at Place Ferry.

Public transport information

Ferry from St Mawes to Place.

Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets

Toilets on St Anthony’s Head and in Portscatho and at Porth Beach.

Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision

On St Anthony’s Head, and in Portscatho.

Nearest refreshments

Café on St Anthony’s Head–seasonal & pub and tea rooms/cafe in Portscatho.