Day Hiking Rinsey Head To St Michaels Mount In Cornwall
Day Hiking Rinsey Head To St Michaels Mount In Cornwall was the third day hiking trip myself and my partner Anne undertook on a Holiday Fellowship (HF) walking holiday in St Ives Cornwall in England.
The hiking route was one way and was the harder day hiking option at 9.75 miles and ascents totalling 1075 feet.
The hiking was along good cliff paths which were undulating but not too steep.
Rinsey Head & St Michaels Mount, Cornwall Video
This video slideshow shows the highlights of this Rinsey Head & St Michaels Mount Day Hiking Cornwall
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Rinsey Head & St Michaels Mount, Cornwall Route
Using minor roads, we were taken by coach to the hamlet of Rinsey and the coast at Rinsey Head, the start location for this day hiking trip. On leaving the coach we headed east to view the dramatic mine buildings of Wheal Trewavas perched on the side of the cliff, before looping round the coastal path to explore Wheal Prosper. Our walk then took us to Rinsey Head and the mile-long Praa Sands to enter an outstanding section of coastline which included Kenneggy Sands, Prussia Cove and Cudden Point where stunning views of St Michael’s Mount came into view. You may hear or read about stories of shipwrecks, smuggling and “Bessy Bussow’s kiddlywink”! It wasn’t long before we came to the delightful little village of Perranuthnoe which in the past was well known for its mining and fishing. Now it’s just a sleepy little hamlet.
Day Hiking Rinsey Head To St Michaels Mount In Cornwall actually ended at Marazion where there was a full range of facilities. If the time, tides and weather had permitted, there could have been the opportunity for a swim or a stroll along the causeway to the Mount. However, the tide was against us, that is, the tide was high. We also didn’t have time to take a boat ride to the mount and back. I feel that part of the experience of St Michael’s Mount would have been to walk to it across the causeway. Maybe I’ll walk across during another visit.
Rinsey Head & St Michaels Mount Day Hiking Cornwall Local Info
Rinsey, Rinsey Head And Rinsey Cove
A bronze-age barrow, or burial mound, at nearby Trewavas head indicates that there has been some form of community in the Rinsey area since ancient times. In the early 18th century, Rinsey was prosperous as a tin mining community. Today, Rinsey is a good base from which to explore the West of Cornwall, whether by car or on foot along the coast using the footpath. Positioned at the tip of Rinsey Head is a solitary holiday rental house with amazing views along the coast. It stands in 11 hectares of wild flowers, heather, bracken and gorse and the land both sides of it are the property of the National Trust. Rinsey Cove has a small beach and worth a visit if you are able to walk down the steep cliff path. Even though Rinsey Cove is in the shadow of the remains of the tin mine engine house the landscape is stunning. A part of the fascination people hold for this area is the stories of smuggling and shipwrecks.
The ruins of Wheal Trewavas may be scattered around the cliffs but the two engine houses make for a dramatic scene. Be careful on the coastal paths close to the site and be warned not to go in to the engine houses as they are not well maintained and are unsafe. Having started trading in 1834, Wheal Trewavas did not operate for long and was considered a successful mine with four copper deposits (or lodes) and one tin deposit. Wheal Trewavas closed in May 1846 and there were a few reasons and stories as to the reasons why. One reason was that the business dealings of the company were a bit dubious with dividends being paid out of bank overdrafts.
Wheal Prosper overlooks Rinsey Cove and provides a striking setting for the beautiful scenery of Rinsey Head. Also know as Rinsey Mine, it opened for mining in 1860 but was not prosperous and stopped operations in 1865. It produced mainly tin with a little copper and in earlier years from 1832 to 1849 the mine was also worked and produced 860 tons each year on average.
Praa Sands has a long association with smuggling. Until the war with France ceased around 1815, it is said that smugglers could land their contraband openly on the beach. After the war ended, the rewards offered for the capture of smuggled bounty meant that the coastguards became more observant and smugglers had to become more secretive.
It is said that at the west end of the beach, contraband was taken into a cave and through a tunnel that at one time led to house at Pengersick. Said house was reported to be the birthplace of the smuggler John Carter, who was also known as the King of Prussia.
The long, close to a mile, wide sandy beach has quite big waves which is great for water sports such as surfing. There is also canoeing, sailing and jet skiing. Sometimes during the year you may be lucky enough to view seals or dolphins and possibly basking sharks. There are holiday chalet, caravan parks and camping sites nearby together with a 9 hole golf course open to non members. It also has 3 car parks and a variety of shops and a pub but during winter the choice is reduced.
Prussia Cove which is comprised of Piskie’s Cove, Bessy’s Cove, and King’s Cove, acquired its name via the previously named King of Prussia Inn. During the 18th century, the Carter family, specifically John Carter, who it is said, looked like the Frederick the Great (King of Prussia), ran the Inn and were famous, or infamous for smuggling. Bessy’s Cove gets it’s name from Bessy Bussow who at one time ran an alehouse, or “kiddlywink”, on the cliffs, selling alcohol on which taxes, or duty, was not paid.
Kenneggy Sands has a crescent shape with a beach of golden sand. Located about halfway between Praa Sands and Prussia Cove, it is located below the disused mine of Wheal Speed. Access down to the beach is via a rope lined path which is unsuitable for young children or people with mobility difficulties.
Cudden Point is a large finger of land jutting out into the sea. You can get some fantastic views of the area: to the west is St Michael’s Mount in Mount’s Bay and beyond that is Mousehole; to the east you can see Praa Sands, Trewavas Head and as far as Gunwalloe on the Lizard. Down below is the charming Prussia Cove.
The village of Perranuthnoe gets it’s name from a combination of St Piran and ‘Uthnoe’, or Odenol, the local name given to the manor and has a mention in the Domesday Book of 1086. The precise age of the village is unknown but local names and some relics point to the time of the Bronze Age, between 2000 and 800 BC. Prior to hosting a dozen or so mines in the area during the late 18th and 19th centuries, the village was primarily involved with farming together with some fishing and crabbing. Perranuthnoe is still a comparatively undeveloped village, having a single pub, an art and craft centre and a small refreshment facility that caters for the beach.
Marazion, “Marghasyow” in Cornish, is a charming place in St. Mounts Bay and claims to be one of the oldest town in Britain. It was named ‘Ictis’ by the Romans, is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is the oldest town to be granted chartered status by King Henry III in 1257. Marazion, has long been a popular beach holiday destination for tourists in West Cornwall. It has excellent, clean sandy beaches, superb views towards the Lizard Peninsula and Land’s End, and is great for sailing and windsurfing. Marazion has a variety accommodation and a lovely assortment of restaurants, bars and pubs. It also has a variety of gift shops, craft shops and many art galleries showing prominent local artists.
St. Michael’s Mount
Located about 500 metres from the shore and opposite Marazion, St. Michael’s Mount is the most prominent feature of Mounts Bay and is the home of the St Aubyn family. It provides a unique view with its fairy tale castle towering some 70 metres above sea level. During high tide you can travel to the mount by a small ferry boat from Marazion harbour and at low tide you can walk across the causeway. Now a National Trust treasure, the mount has a harbour, shops and a restaurant with the castle and gardens being open to the public some days.
When Done & With Whom
I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a St Ives Cornwall hiking holiday with HF Holidays (HF) in England during May 2010. Using minor roads, we were driven by coach from our HF Holidays accommodation named “Chy Morvah” in St. Ives to the start location of the hamlet of Rinsey and the coast at Rinsey Head. The hiking route was one way and we were picked up by the coach at Marazion near St Michael’s Mount and returned to our accommodation.