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Hiking in Britain

Walk #79: Gwithian to Perranporth


K04	St Agnes
K02	Porthtowan.
K04 St Agnes
K02 Porthtowan.

General Data

Date Walked 18/04/2000
County Cornwall
Start Location Gwithian
End Location Perranporth
Start time 08.35
End time 14.45
Distance 16.5 miles
Description This was an interesting walk, mainly involving road walking but with some footpaths to add some diversity.
Pack Today I carried my Craghoppers WP70 rucksack, without tent, sleeping bag or trangia.
Condition Now that I am no longer carrying my trangia or fuel bottle my pack is slightly lighter, and the walk today was easier as a result. Due to all the road walking I wore my trainers all day - even during the rain - and my feet are absolutely fine.
Weather The weather today was frankly awful. The two hours from Gwithian to Portreath was marked with mild spitting and light drizzle, but nothing particularly to worry about. After Portreath, however, the drizzle became constant rain. The next six or seven hours whilst I was walking were identical and I ended up getting totally soaked. To add insult to injury half an hour after I arrived at my B&B the rain stopped and the sun appeared a while later, leading to a very nice late afternoon.
OS map Landranger number 203 (Land's End & Isles of Scilly, St Ives & Lizard Point) and Explorer number 104 (Redruth & St Agnes)

Map of the walk

Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format. For a detailed table of timings for this walk, please see the table file.


The most notable thing about today was the weather, which was frankly awful. I ended up getting soaked, and to make things worse I stupidly did not put my spare clothes in a waterproof bag and therefore even they got wet. This was a very stupid thing for me to have let happen, especially as I have been caught out by this in the past and have sworn that it would not happen again.

Another feature of today was that I totally shunned the coastal path and spent most of the day road walking. In a way this is a shame, but IMHO walking the coast path in driving rain is not what I would ever call enjoyable. A positive thing about this is that I have reached Perranporth a day earlier than I had expected, which leaves me in good stead for the rest of the trip. My priority for this trip is to walk from Land's End to Minehead, and not necessarily to walk the Coastal Path.

My clothes are currently spread all over the radiators in my room in the B&B trying to be dried out. I also have some of my spare clothes spread out so that they can also be slowly dried. The B&B that I am in is not the nicest that I have ever stayed in, but the owners are nice enough and considering that it is only 13.50 per night I cannot complain too much. The main thing is that I have now had my shower and am dry, two factors that always improve my mood and outlook.

I went out for a meal at the Tywarnhale Pub in Portreath this evening and ordered a jumbo cod and chips. And it was indeed jumbo - a 15-inch plate with a piece of cod on it that stretched over both sides of the plate, and the rest of the plate filled with chips and vegetables. It is not often that I do not manage to finish fish and chips, but even I could not eat all that food.


From Gwithian head north following Churchtown Road (the B3301). After a while the road swings uphill to the northeast before heading east and then northeast for six miles into the coastal village of Portreath, which in the rain was a friendly or unattractive town.

Head out of Portreath eastwards on the B3300 until you reach a school on the right. By the school there is a path on the opposite (northern) side of the road that leads to an old mineral tramway. Following this muddy footpath means that you do not have to travel on the busy road below.

After a couple of miles you reach a road at Cambrose. Follow this minor road (not the main road) northwards. It makes a 90-degree right turn downhill followed by a 90 degree left turn so that you are heading northwards again. The road then turns right again, taking you down a little dip, and shortly after climbing out of the dip take a road to the left heading northwards. When you get to a T-junction at School Farm turn right and follow the lane to the main road. Turn left onto the road and follow it down into Porthtowan.

Continue on the road up a steep hill out of Porthtowan. After a while you reach a pub at a place called Towan Cross. Take the road leading on to the left that leads past Goonvrea Farm and onwards to a crossroads at Bolster. Turn right and head down into St Agnes.

Take the B3285 out of St Agnes eastwards, and then northwards past an airfield and down into the town of Perranporth.

For more details of the coast path sections of this walk, please see the National Trail Guidebook "South West Coast Path - Padstow to Falmouth", which has ISBN 1-85410-387-3.


From To Distance (m)Ascent (ft) Descent (ft)
Gwithian Portreath 6.0 479 515
Portreath Porthtowan 3.8 489 456
Porthtowan Perranporth 6.7 797 797

This makes a total distance of 16.5 miles, with 1765 feet of ascent and 1768 feet of descent.

  Profile of walk #79
For more information on profiles, ascents and descents, see this page


I stayed at a B&B at 44 Tywarnhale Road in Perranporth, 01872 572380, which was quite cheap at 13.50 a night.

For more details of suitable accommodation in this area, please see the South West Coast Path Association's Annual handbook.


Please note that I take no responsibility for anything that may happen when following these directions. If you intend to follow this route, then please use the relevant maps and check the route out before you go out. As always when walking, use common sense and you should be fine.

If you find any information on any of these routes that is inaccurate, or you wish to add anything, then please email me.

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And finally, enjoy your walking!

This walk was mentioned in the following routes:
My sectional Land's End to John O'Groats walk

Nearby walks

#TitleWalk length (miles)
2Waterbeach to Newmarket Road, Cambridge5.4
5A short walk around Waterbeach to Car Dyke3.0
6Waterbeach to Newmarket Road, Cambridge5.4

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