Walking The Coast of Cornwall
With more than 400 miles of mainland coastline and an excellent public path network, Cornwall is all about rugged shorelines and vast countryside. Add to the mix a fantastic diversity of flora and fauna, interesting geology, fascinating history and some of the most striking views in the country and we have one of England’s best regions to explore on foot.
So on that note I’m going to take you on one of these stunning coastal path walks.
Lower Barns is about 2 miles from the sea and the village of Gorran Haven and the Dodman point. This quaint village is a thriving community and full of holiday visitors all year round. Back in the 13th century, the village would have been a thriving fishing port for pilchards.
With its safe harboured beach it’s a great place to swim and launch small boats. From fish and chips to coffee shop and local food store (called Cakebreads), there are plenty of supplies for a 2 hour walk. Walking up the path from the beach, it hugs the cliff edge looking back at the harbour to the open emerald green sea, crystal clear waters to outer waters with the inky velvet darkness of the deep waters. The terrain is very up and down so do advise good walking shoes.
Wild life is abundant and so are the sea birds especially the ever fishing comma rant. I love the smell in summer of the cocoanut gorse and wild hedgerows Cornwall is renowned for.
The path takes you past lots of little coves and bays before Vault beach. I did a lot of growing upon this beach and many a party night. When the surf is up, my son Jake, is always on his bodyboard on the reef at the far end of the beach. Last winter had exceptional surf, especially considering this is on the south coast. Heaven for the local boys.
From the beach, you follow the path inland a little and then onto the open top path where the wind is always up and great for hand gliding . Wild ponies are often grazing this walk.
Dropping down to hugging the coastal path again you follow the rolling cliff face around to Dodman Point with its granite cross, erected back in 1896 as a navigational aid for seafarers. Dodman point is also home to a huge Iron Age earthwork, thought to have housed a large cliff castle some 2000 years ago.
The view from this point is truly magnificent . On a clear day you can see towards the Roseland Peninsula. Great place for a picnic if it’s not too windy.
Going homeward bound the walk is through fields and lanes, taking you back into the village for that well earned glass of wine or beer in the Barley Sheaf, in the neighbouring village of Gorran.
This walk is inspiring in any weather. I couldn’t help myself looking forward to a cold blustery winters day and getting back to a hot soak at Lower Barns, followed by a delicious dinner in front of the fire. But I’m not wishing away this outstanding autumn weather, the days as just so mild and calm, bringing a real sense of peace to everything. How lucky we are!