Caerhays to Dodman Walk
Caerhays to Dodman
This is a moderate to challenging walk from the grandeur of Caerhays to the imposing majesty of Dodman Point.
Begin the walk at the car park by Porthluney Beach (OS Map Ref: SW 975 414) with Caerhays Castle behind you.
Bear to the right while facing the sea and pick up the South West Coast Path.
With the sea on your right follow the coast path down into the National Trust’s Lambsowden Cove before climbing up (steep in places!) to Greeb Point.
Keep following the path until you reach Hemmick Beach, approximately two miles from your start point and a good place to stop for a beach picnic.
The coast path will take you around Gell Point and High Point before you climb up to Dodman Point.
From the summit on a clear day you can see Fowey, Looe and Rame Head to the east and Nare Head, the Roseland and West Cornwall to the west.
Starting Point: Caerhays Castle
Distance: 3.5 miles
Duration: 2 hours
Grading: Moderate to hard
End Point: Dodman Point
On the way: Caerhays Castle, National Trust beaches, the South West Coast Path, Dodman Point and amazing views!
Detailed walk information
Starting from Porthluney Cove, Caerhays Castle is the backdrop and one can visit the gardens between February and June and the castle most of the year. Caerhays was in the ownership of the Trevanion family for over four and a half centuries until they left in 1810. It was taken over by the Williams family in the 1850’s who are renowned for their involvement in the mining industry. They presently also own Burncoose nurseries which gives a clue as to their gardening credentials as they indeed have the UK Magnolia collection at Caerhays.
From the car park go to the road and then through the kissing gate to go up and behind the café ignoring the path that goes uphill to the left. There is a gate to go through to a large field. Either go around the whole field edge or cut across on the well-marked path going uphill. Note the small standing stone in the field.
Go through the gate and down into some woodland along the South West Coast Path. The first of many sets of steps follow, uphill into woodland and then across to another descent into Lambsowden Cove. There are fabulous views to the Dodman and beyond. The terrain is up and down so take your time as each fold of the land encourages a photo. Whilst Nare Head is volcanic pillow lava the highest point on this part of the coast, Dodman point at 114m is made up of slate. On Hemmick beach at low tide one can see a variety of geological features including a very thick band of glacial head and it is worth walking up and down the beach. It is a steep climb up to the granite cross on top of Dodman Point. The cross was built in 1896 as a seafarers aid for navigation.
Dodman has been populated since the Bronze Age and the large bank 6m high and over 600m long known as the Bulwark denotes an Iron Age fort construction. There are 2 Bronze age barrows further inland, the whole of this area is free to roam on and there are also medieval strip fields. At the cross walk back to the coast path and inland up a path on the left for 30 metres and you will see an 18th century Watch House, one of a chain of look outs set up by the Admiralty along the south coast. The small-slated roof hut gives walkers protection when the weather is bad. From the cross continue around the Point until Vault Beach comes into view. It is a fabulous beach but this walk takes us to the left, off the coast path, which continues right, where the path divides. Go inland following the Bulwark to the gate. Continuing on will take you to the other side of the Dodman and the coast path that leads down to Hemmick. Do not take this but turn right and walk for half a mile inland to take you to Penare Farm. There is a car park here and to the left of the road is a footpath that takes you down to Hemmick Beach.
The path takes you through fields and on a clear day the views are wonderful. The coast path takes you back the way you came, to Caerhays and Porthluney Beach.
Public transport information
Car to Porthluney Cove car park outside the entrance to Caerhays Castle.
Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets
Toilets at Porthluney cove (in main season).
Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision
Porthlunet cove or for a short walk around Dodman point and down to Hemmick there is one NT car park at Penare (Grid ref 998403).
Café at Porthluney Cove.
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