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Cornish Walks: Hannafore Point and Porthluney Cove

Walk Hannafore Point

This is a gentle, mainly level walk that takes you through West Looe and out to Hannafore Point and beyond. There are stunning views of Looe, out to St George’s Island and on to Portnadler Bay, with plenty of seats at regular intervals all along the walk so you can take in the vista.

Distance: 2.7 miles (4.4km), within 20 minutes of Southern Halt and Stonerush Lakes.

1. Turn left out of the car park on the side road towards the bridge.

2. Turn left again and then turn right behind the building to follow the path that goes under the bridge. The path comes out on the riverside. An alternative route is to follow Hannafore Road passing the clock tower on your left. As you climb Hannafore Road, the gradient is 1:15 but for no longer than 100 metres. As you walk along beside the harbour, note the bronze statue of Nelson, a one-eyed bull seal who was a familiar sight around the harbour for 25 years before he died in 2003.

3. Continue past the Hannafore Beach kiosk until you reach the gate at the end of the road. The surface is now grass worn in places near the gate to expose tree roots. However, the next 2 fields are easily passable. You don’t have to stay on the path. A picnic table beckons those with food and drink to consume. Go up a gradual incline to the next field. Again - check the best route up to and through the gate. The path heads on a level gradient through this next field. We come to the last gate on the walk. From here the path becomes narrower with a stony surface leading to steps. This is Portnadler Bay.

4. Time to turn back and return to Looe. Head back to the gate separating the first and second field and then onto Hannaford Road. An alternative route back can be had by turning right, after the gate, and heading down this incline.

5. Turn left at the foot of the slope and follow the path. At regular intervals there are pathways back up to Hannafore Road. Pass the Coastguard Lookout. The last slope leads back up to Hannafore Road. You can continue to the end of this path and return to here to get to the road. Once back on Hannafore Road retrace your steps through West Looe and back to the car park.

Porthluney Cove

A short walk around the northern part of the ragged rocky coastline that bounds Veryan Bay will lead to secluded sandy coves that are backed by ancient hamlets that date back to prehistoric times. At Porthluney the magnificent Caerhays Castle that dominates the beach was designed by Buckingham Castle architect John Nash, and its extensive gardens and woodland are world-famous for their exotic plants. Visit in the spring, when Caerhays is open to the public and the gardens are at their luxurious best.

Distance: 3.9 miles (6.2km), about one hour from Southern Halt and Stonerush Lakes.

1. From the Porthluney Beach car park walk up to the road and turn right into a field a moment later, follow the South West Coast Path around behind the trees to your right. Carry on along the clifftop path as it sweeps around the coast and drops gently towards the sand at Hemmick Beach before pulling away leftwards to the road above. Porthluney’s Cornish name, ‘Porth Leveny’, means ‘Cove of the smooth river’.


2. Turn left on the road and take the footpath on the right a short distance beyond the cottage on the left, heading uphill through two fields before coming out on the road again.

3. Turn right on the road and walk through the hamlet of Boswinger, turning right after the farm to come out at the T-junction by the church.

4. At the T-junction turn left towards Caerhays and take the footpath on the right a short distance further on. At the end of the hedge go through the gap into the field on the left, carrying on alongside the hedge again and onwards along the lane heading gently downhill to Treveor.

5. At Treveor turn left on the road and walk on past the farm buildings to take the footpath on your left at the righthand bend. Walk down to the trees slightly to the right of the left-hand corner and go through into the field beyond, turning right to walk down the lane past the houses on Tregavarras Row. Tregavarras is a hamlet with medieval roots and was first recorded in 1269.

6. Bear left on the road to walk through Tregavarras, carrying on along the footpath on the first lane to the right when the road turns sharply left. Drop diagonally through the field to return to the car park at Porthluney Beach. Caerhays Castle, overlooking the beach, was built in 1807 and today is renowned worldwide for the extensive woodland gardens, featuring lavish collections of rhododendrons and camellias. It is also the home of the National Magnolia Collection. The gardens are open from February to June. For more information visit

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