We have discovered a new favourite walk, which starts at the half way point on the South West coastal path in Porthallow. An easy drive from The Captain’s House to this small fishing village on the east side of the Lizard Peninsula. The traditional occupation of the locals was pilchard fishing and the old pilchard cellars can be seen near the beach.
On the beach is a big rock that marks the South West Coast Path’s half-way point. With Minehead in Somerset as the start and Poole in Dorset the finish of this 636-mile route that also includes the coasts of Devon and Cornwall.
We don’t have time for all of that! But often enjoy various parts of this scenic path on our visits to Cornwall. This new favourite took us on the path from Porthallow towards Nare Point, skirting the coast and providing a beautiful view back towards St Antony’s Head, St Mawes, and Falmouth, along with a wide expanse of sea often decorated with sails.
At Nare Point there is coastal watch station where you can sit and enjoy a view from the mouth of the Helford, all the way round, through more than 270 degrees. It is a really beautiful view and a great place to stop for a picnic lunch.
Like all coastal watch stations, they have a sign outside saying visitors welcome and the people on duty there are more than happy to talk to you about what is going on in the bay. The National Coastwatch form a voluntary back-up to the other emergency services keeping a watchful eye on traffic around the coast. One man we talked to told us about trawlers drifting engineless having to be rescued, floating cars that ran out of petrol, and kayaks that overturned, all emergencies he had helped in resolving.
After a good picnic we headed down towards Gillan creek and beach where we mooched around the rockpools and rested on the sand looking at the view. An enormous whale was washed ashore here last year and its picture was in all the papers.
It can be a bracing walk on a windy day but exhilarating and beautiful. At almost any time of the year you will pass several people walking the South West Coastal path, mostly in stages over a long period of time. It is one of the great walks of the British Isles.
We returned the way we came as we love the coastal views, but you can do a round trip walk – for more details look here.