Fowey Walks, South West Coast Path, Walks In Cornwall, England, UK
Fowey Walks, South West Coast Path was about 6 miles in distance. The terrain of this route was mainly easy well-defined footpaths, country lanes and fields. There were two short steep ascents and five stiles to negotiate.
Walking around this route you discover some of the hidden secrets of a beautiful area where Daphne du Maurier once lived. St Catherine’s Castle ruins are located at the tip of the rocky headland known as St Catherine’s Point at the entrance to the River Fowey estuary. Coombe Haven was a smugglers haunt, and the farmhouse up the valley had a hiding hole for them between the rooms! Before the D-Day landings this area bristled with US Navy personnel. The ornamental lake behind Polridmouth Cove use to be used as a decoy for Fowey harbour. Lights were placed around the lake to attract enemy air attacks away from the real harbour. On Gribbin Head you will see the red and white daymark tower that used to aid navigation of ships approaching the local harbours. Polkerris is an idyllic sandy Cornish cove, with a curved harbour wall.
Starting from Coombe Farm car park, leg one went eastwards along a lane and field and woodland paths; then curved around St Catherine’s Point through Covington Wood to head south west on the South West Coast Path to Alldays Fields. Leg two continued south west on the South West Coast Path via Coombe Haven, Southground Cliffs, Lankelly Cliffs, Southground Point and Polridmouth to Gribbin Head.
Leg three went northwards on the South West Coast Path and descended through woodland to Polkerris. To complete the walk the fourth and final leg went ascended back up the coast path through woodland and eastwards inland across a field path; then on the Saints’ Way eastwards along a lane, track, field and woodland paths; then south on Prickly Post Lane back to Coombe Farm car park.
Get an OS Map or a Walking Guide for your Walks
- Landranger 204 OS Map - Truro & Falmouth - 1:50,000 Scale and
- Landranger 200 OS Map - Newquay and Bodmin - 1:50,000 Scale
- Explorer 107 OS Map - St. Austell, Liskeard, Fowey, Looe & Lostwithiel - 1:25,000 Scale
- Cornwall Walking Guides
Fowey Walks, South West Coast Path Route
The Fowey Walks, South West Coast Path route was circular in a clockwise direction with four legs.
On this first leg we started from Coombe Farm car park, heading eastwards by lane and field and woodland paths; then curving around St Catherine’s Point through Covington Wood to head south west on the South West Coast Path to Alldays Fields.
- Exiting Coombe Farm car park onto a lane we turned left walking back the way we came in and soon turned right down a lane.
- We passed the farmhouse on the right and walked ahead towards St Catherines Point.
- The lane became a path and after passing through a gate we crossed a field on the path.
- After going through a gap in the hedges, we turned left beside a hedge on our left and passed through a kissing-gate into Covington Wood.
- We then followed an obvious path through the woodland, walking downhill.
- At a track T-junction we turned right and when the track split at a sign for ‘Covington Woods’, we took the right-hand track uphill.
- At a T-junction near the top of the hill we went left to a sign for St Catherine’s Castle.
- Here we turned left down a stepped path to visit the castle at St Catherine’s Point and returned to this point.
- On returning we turned left, then veered right passing a shelter.
- Walking ahead we took the lower left path through woods along the South West Coast Path, exiting Covington Wood via a gate into Alldays Fields.
Having walked about one mile to this point, the second leg continued south west on the South West Coast Path via Coombe Haven, Southground Cliffs, Lankelly Cliffs, Southground Point and Polridmouth to Gribbin Head.
- We walked ahead on the South West Coast Path and crossed a stile before descending into Coombe Haven and rising the other side via some steps and through a gate.
- Continuing on the coast path we descended through a gate, over a stile and small footbridge and rose again through another gate.
- Rising along Southground Cliffs we went through a gate and forward over Lankelly Cliffs before going over a stile and up steps to Southground Point.
- We then went steeply down steps through woodland to Polridmouth where we passed between a beach and a lake.
- After crossing stepping stones and walking along the concrete waterfront the path took us up a few steps and left before a gate to go behind the beach along a boardwalk.
- The path continued on the level for a while, enclosed by bushes and trees before going through a gate.
- We then went steeply up a grassy slope towards to the red and white daymark called Gribbin Tower on Gribbin Head.
- Passing the daymark on our left we headed through a gate in the right hand corner of the field.
At around the 2.5 miles mark, the third leg headed northwards on the South West Coast Path and descended to Polkerris.
- We continued on the coast path as it followed the coastline, passing through two kissing-gates then a gate before descending some steps.
- We carried on through two more gates before reaching a waymarker post at a path junction above Polkerris.
- Here we went left into woodland and zigzagged downhill along slopes and some steps to Polkerris.
Having walking about 4.25 miles to this point the fourth and final leg ascended back up the coast path through woodland and headed inland, eastwards across a field path; then east on the Saints’ Way on a lane, track, field and woodland paths; then south on Prickly Post Lane back to Coombe Farm car park.
- We returned uphill along the zig-zig path through woodland until reaching the waymark post again.
- Here we left the coast path going left on a path across a field and through a metal gate on to a lane.
- Turning right along the lane for about 100 metres we were now on the Saints’ Way which turned left down a track at the side of Tregaminion church.
- On reaching a farm we followed the track to the right and then then the left as indicated on a barn.
- We exited the farmyard by turning left through a metal gate into a field and bearing right up an incline.
- Continuing ahead downhill on the path we crossed a footbridge over a stream and passed through a kissing-gate.
- Bearing right along the right edge of a field on a defined path we crossed a footbridge and continued uphill below trees with a fence on our left.
- We emerged through a gate into a field and continued ahead with a hedge on our right.
- We crossed a track in the corner of the field and exited straight ahead over a stile.
- Walking straight ahead we crossed a Tarmac drive and continue on the path under trees between a wall and a fence.
- After passing through a kissing-gate we continued straight ahead over a track to cross a stile, go under a bridge and emerge through a kissing-gate.
- Continuing ahead over a small stream we ascended gradually, passing through a gate and emerging on Prickly Post Lane.
- Here we turned right on the lane, keeping straight ahead and leaving the Saints’ Way as we passed a left turn with another lane.
- Still keeping ahead on the lane, when we reached a fork with a track we veered diagonally left and after a few metres, turned right back into Coombe Farm car park.
When Done & With Whom
I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a Golant, Cornwall hiking holiday during June, 2013. We drove from our holiday accommodation in Golant, Cornwall to the starting location of Coombe Farm National Trust car park, Cornwall at grid reference SX110512, which was also the start location of the hike.