The Gribbin Head, St Austell Bay

Book now for next weekend – it’s the last time of the year the Gribbin Daymark (known locally as The Gribbon Lighthouse) will be open.  See Cornwall in it’s incredible September beauty.


The Gribbin, owned by the National Trust, can be seen across the whole of St Austell Bay, from Fowey to Mevagissey and beyond.  It is a familiar stripy sight fro hills and towns across mid-Cornwall.

There are a number of circular walks, from Fowey, Par or Polkerris, depending how far and how challenging you want your walk to be and whether you want to buy lunch out or take a picnic.

We chose a shorter walk, with a picnic and a swim.  We parked at Menabilly Barton, where you can leave your car for the day in a farmers field for just 50p.  The walk through the farmyard, past the house and following the path through the fields down to Polridmouth Bay is enough to fill you up in itself.  There are fields with curious calves, the view of the Gribbin up to the right and the sea ahead.  The bay has lots of tiny beaches, the most popular being Pridmouth and Menabilly.  The latter has the most beautiful cottage on the beach, loved by Daphne Du Maurier.  This really is bang in the middle of her patch.

From the beach, follow the coast path and climb to the Gribbin.  Its an area of such incredible beauty we thought we could be in heaven.

If you are not a member of the National Trust is costs just £1 to go in and climb the slate stairs, which are not spiral but follow the square edges.  When we reached the top we wished we had equipment for real photography and some binoculars too.  There is so much to look at, with sea, sky, woods, cliffs, harbours, towns, hills and boats everywhere.

The coastal footpath goes in several directions from the headland, we went into the most enchanting woods and followed the path back towards the beach for a swim.

Walking to Polkerris to eat at Sams on the Beach is also highly recommended.

The sunrises and sunsets at this time of year are just outstanding.  Choose which you see, or both and fill the day in between with wonderful sights, sounds, smells and tastes.  Be looked after well at Lower Barns and enjoy an indulgent relax with big beds and great food!

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