Polruan, South West Coast Path, Walks In Cornwall, England, UK
Polruan, South West Coast Path walk was about 6.25 miles in distance. The terrain of this route was along well marked paths, lanes and tracks across undulating ground with some short steep climbs and just one stile to climb over.
Starting on the edge of Polruan, this satisfying circuit features a scenic section of the South West Coast Path; a visit to St Wyllow’s church where the novelist Daphne du Maurier was married in 1932; and superb views across the mouth of the River Fowey.
Starting from Polruan car park overlooking Polruan Harbour, leg one went east on the South West Coast Path just past Lantic Bay; then inland north on field paths to a road junction. Leg two turned north west on lanes and woodland paths over the River Fowey/Pont Pill; then turned westwards on woodland paths, field paths and tracks to a path above the River Fowey.
Leg three was along woodland paths; firstly south to a stone monument; then eastwards to cross back over the River Fowey; then south west to the edge of Polruan. To complete the walk the fourth and final leg joined the South West Coast Path on the streets of Polruan around the headland; first west then south west, south east and north east back to Polruan car park to overlook Polruan Harbour once more.
Get an OS Map or a Walking Guide for your Walks
- Landranger 200 OS Map - Newquay and Bodmin - 1:50,000 Scale and
- Landranger 201 OS Map - Plymouth & Launceston, Tavistock & Looe - 1:50,000 Scale
- Explorer 107 OS Map - St. Austell, Liskeard, Fowey, Looe & Lostwithiel - 1:25,000 Scale
- Cornwall Walking Guides
Polruan, South West Coast Path Route
The Polruan, South West Coast Path route was circular in an anti-clockwise direction with four legs.
On this first leg we started from Polruan car park, heading eastwards on the South West Coast Path (SWCP) to just past Lantic Bay; then headed inland northwards over field paths to a road junction.
- From the entrance of Polruan car park overlooking Polruan Harbour and across to Fowey, we turned right along the St Saviour’s Hill to keep the sea to our right.
- We curved left and passed a school on the left and at a road junction by a ‘South West Coast Path’ sign, we turned right.
- We then went through a gate ahead to the left and followed the South West Coast Path down an incline.
- After going through a gate by the ‘Furze Park National Trust’ (NT) sign and follow the path as it snaked uphill between bushes.
- Further along we ignored a path to the left and went through a gate.
- Continue over undulating ground we gradually ascended and passed through two gates.
- Keeping ahead we went through another gate and continued ahead with a wire fence on our left.
- The path eventually descended through a gate.
- At a path junction we took the lower fork leading us to go down some steps and through a gate.
- Following the SWCP we passed through two gates.
- After passing Lantic Bay we kept ahead as the path climbed.
- At a fork in the path we passed a gate on our right, going left up a few steps and headed uphill.
- At a large gate at the top we went left along a grassy path with a wire fence on the right.
- Just before reaching a road we went through a gate on the right and walked along a hard surface path parallel to the road which led us through a gate on the left on to the roadside.
Having walked about 1.75 mile to this point, the second leg zigzagged north west along lanes and woodland paths to cross the River Fowey/Pont Pill; then turned westwards on more woodland paths, along field paths and tracks to a woodland path overlooking the River Fowey.
- Next we crossed the road to walk along the lane opposite.
- We passed Pencarrow NT car park on the right and followed the lane around to the left and downhill.
- On reaching St Wyllow’s church we turned right up steps and through the main gate into the churchyard.
- Walking towards the main church door we turned right to descend steps and went around to the left along the edge of the church and through a gate.
- We then head downhill on a path through woodland to go through a gate onto a road.
- Here at a bend in the road we turned left on the road and then went right down steps.
- We ignored a path on the left and went ahead to cross a footbridge over the River Fowey/Pont Pill.
- Walking straight ahead from footbridge we crossed a track between the buildings and went diagonally right uphill along a track behind the building on the right through woodland.
- At a junction of tracks we turned left along a rocky track to go through a gate next to a stle at the top of the hill.
- Here we headed diagonally left across a field to go through a metal gate in the top corner of the field.
- Now in another field we traced the right boundary to go through another metal gate in the corner of the field.
- Again tracing the right boundary of this field we reached two metal gates in the corner of the field and went through the second gate to the right
- Next we went left downhill along a track with the stone wall on the left and a wire fence on the right.
- After going through a metal gate and passing ruins of Hall Chapel on the right and a farmyard on the right we passed through a metal gate into a field.
- We crossed the field along the right edge of the field and at the far corner we went over a stile on the right to reach a woodland path.
At around the 3.5 miles mark, the third leg was along woodland paths; initially south to a stone monument then eastwards to cross back over the River Fowey/Pont Pill; then south west to the edge of Polruan.
- Here we turned left along the path, passing a WWII memorial on the right.
- Continuing on the path we had views across the River Fowey to the town of Fowey and also Polruan and its harbour.
- After passing a stone monument on the right we followed the path as it curved left and began to climb.
- After descending and ascending a few steps and passing an NT ‘Hall Walk sign we eventually passed through a kissing-gate.
- Keeping ahead we traced the right boundary of a field and went right through a gate, next to a stile that we encountered during leg 2.
- We followed the path downhill as it zigzagged through woodland.
- At the bottom we turned left to cross a track and retraced our earlier steps across the footbridge over the River Fowey/Pont Pill and walk ahead for about 75 metres, passing a building.
- Next we turned right up steps to follow an NT-established woodland path to Polruan.
- After crossing a short boardwalk we descended steps and later ascended more steps to pass through a gate.
- Continue on the path up steps to the left we walked parallel with a road on our left.
- Further on we went through a gate up steps into woodland and on to a junction of paths at an NT ‘Pont Pill’ sign on the left.
- Here we ignored the left fork to a church and headed diagonally right downhill.
- Soon after at another fork in the path we took the left fork.
- Keep ahead we descended a little to cross a stream and ascended a little to turn right along lane.
- After about 20 metres we turned left along a path signed to ‘Polruan’.
- After passing several benches on the left at about 800 metres, the path dropped downhill between houses.
- On the day we did this walk there was a diversion on the path due to a retaining wall in danger of collapse.
- We were diverted left up steps; then right down a tarmac path which curved left with houses and gardens on the left; then right down a path by a sign for ‘Village & Harbour’ with a wall on the left and a grassy bank on the right; then down steps between a building and a wall; then right down steps between buildings on to East Street.
- (Had the diversion not been in place we would have gone ahead and descend steps to the right then turn left on reaching a wall on East Street.)
- Now on East Street we passed cottages on the left with sea views on the right and continued ahead to a crossroads with Polruan quay on the right.
Having walking about 6 miles to this point the fourth and final leg joined the South West Coast Path around the headland and streets of Polruan, first west then south west then south east then north east back to Polruan car park to overlook Polruan Harbour and across to Fowey once again.
- Walking ahead along West Street we passed a church on the left and at the end of the street we turned left along Battery Lane.
- Heading uphill we ignored roads off to the left and followed the road around to the left.
- We then walked up an incline and the road became a stony track with a wall on the right.
- We then kept ahead on a tarmac path beyond the wall then on a grassy path.
- The path then curved left around a building then right and we turned left up a few steps to return to the car park from the rear.
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 Polruan, Cornwall and parked in St Saviour’s Hill car park which was also the start location of the hike, on a hill overlooking Polruan Harbour and across to Fowey.