Explore the dramatic beauty of Nare Head and Carne Beach on this happy hike.
Park in the village of Veryan and find the footpath on your left hand side after the Post Office.
Follow the path until you reach a road where you turn right towards Carne. Turn left at the T-junction and walk past Carne Farm where you’ll pick up a footpath on your right hand side which will take you down to Carne Beach.
Walk along the beach until you pick up the public footpath. Keep following the path past Lower Mill where you can cross the stream. The path will bring you out onto a road next to Melinsey Watermill.
Turn right and follow the quiet lane back to Veryan.
Starting Point: Veryan
Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 2 hours plus time for lunch
End Point: Circular walk
On the way: The beautiful Carne Beach, The Nare and Melinsey Mill.
Detailed walk information
Starting from Veryan church, it is a Norman church dedicated to the French saint St Symphorian. One of the most interesting facts surrounds the sinking of the Hera, a German ship in early 1914 on Gull Rock, which stands out alone, visible from Nare Head. 19 sailors died and are buried in the longest grave in the UK here in Veryan churchyard. With the gates of the church behind you walk up the main road to the crossroads and go ahead. The pub is on your left and a shop for provisions is visible at the end of the lane.
Jeremiah Trist built the two round houses in front of you in 1782 and there are five altogether in the village. The devil cannot hide in any corners hence their shape and they are built of cob. Walk between the houses being aware of traffic and continue on the left hand pavement. Ignore the first public footpath sign and continue past the last house to Churchtown Farm where there are usually fruit and veg for sale outside. There is a stile on the left. Take it and ascend up the side of the field and over to the right to another stile. This takes you onto a minor road with another stile immediately left into another field. This is the field that contains Carne Beacon. King Geraint is supposedly buried here and he arrived in a golden boat with silver oars, which was supposedly dragged up here. The remains of his castle is close by. It is the largest barrow in circumference in the country and was used in the 2nd World War as an observation platform hence the concrete base on top. Wonderful views all around include the “White Alps” of the China clay pits around St Austell.
From the mound continue up the field and climb the steep stile to the road. Follow the road and walk straight over as the main road bends to the left. This takes you into Carne. Follow the footpath sign to the right down the driveways with views of the sea and the Nare Hotel to the right. This is a steep descent to the fields where the South West Coast Path takes you either left, up to Nare Head (well worth the detour for the views) or right, down to the Nare Hotel and Carne Beach.
Carne Beach is a geologists haven with a wave cut platform, submerged forest, raised beach, rare limestone, a fault line, slate rich in silica, mudstones, quartz and fossils. It really is best to see all this at low tide and walking the sandy beach is a highlight of the day. At the end of the beach are the remains of a lime kiln, with lime used to make the poor Cornish soils less acidic.
There is a car park at the end of the beach. Walking to the back of it take the path up through the woodlands. Enter the gate at Lower Mill, walk past the houses and cross the bridge and go up the left hand side of the woods. In the short ascent it is amazing how suddenly high up above the tree line you are. Eventually the path gets to the road. Turn right and Mellinsey Mill is there on your left. It is an old 16th Century watermill now restored and one can look around and take refreshments.
After the Mill walk up the road. This is a steep climb and be wary of vehicles coming around the bends. This is the part of the walk that cannot avoid the road and it becomes very narrow further on but at least you get a close view of the ancient hedges and the mixture of tree species contained within. Eventually there is a pavement to walk on and this takes you back to Veryan.
Public transport information
50/51 bus from Truro or St Mawes.
Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets
Toilets in Veryan, Nare Hotel and Melinsey Mill
Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision
Parking spaces in the village of Veryan.
Pub in Veryan, Nare Hotel and Melinsey Mill
TIC in St Mawes at the Square 01326 270440.
Falmouth VIC on Prince of Wales Pier TR11 3DF 01326 741 194.
Truro Boscawen Street TIC TR1 2NE 01872 274 766.
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