Walking Britain graphic

Cornwall AONB Walk
Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

Region - Cornwall AONB

County/Area - Cornwall

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km

Ascent - 1355 feet / 411 metres

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SW383225
Lat 50.044959 // Long -5.656686
Postcode TR19 6JX (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Photo from the walk - Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk includes a visit to Land's End and the spectacular Gwennap Head with its amazing rock architecture. As with many of the coastal walks featured on the "Walking Britain" website, it has been designed to make the best of local public transport so you can concentrate on the delights of coastal walking on the South West Coast Path. As with any coastal walking, do not underestimate the time taken as there are many ups and downs and the path is never straight!

Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove Porthcurno to Land's End & Sennen Cove 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

It is suggested you park at Sennen Cove and catch a bus to Porthcurno. This service is relatively frequent but is quite complex and it is important that you make sure the bus you catching goes to Porthcurno on its way to Penzance. Assuming you have got your homework right, alight at the main bus stop in the centre of Porthcurno village (grid ref. SW383225)and head through the main car park down to the beach.

The onward route could easily be described as "follow the South West Coast Path back to Sennen Cove" but the route is worthy of a more detailed description. The SWC Path climbs steeply up the cliffs on leaving Porthcurno beach and skirts round the inland side of the world famous Minack Theatre, which you sadly don't get to see, to enter the theatre's car park. Cross this and exit at the western end to regain the coastal footpath, which stays at cliff top level before dropping down to go across the back of Porth Chapel beach.

The next section through to Porthgwarra is pleasant and you make good progress to reach this hamlet with a small, sandy beach. The temptation on the next section is to take the short cut across the back of Gwennap Head to Porth Loe but to do so would mean that you have missed one of the highlights of the Cornish Coast. Instead stay on the path nearest to the sea, passing the Landmarks on your right, and enjoy the rocky cliffs, which act as a magnet for rock climbers. Rock stacks and an arch add an extra dimension to this spectacular section of coast. In wet weather care is needed on some sections as a slip could be fatal.

Continue on the main footpath always staying as near as you can to the sea. Most of the minor headlands are worth visiting even though a short diversion from the path is necessary. Leaving Gwennap Head Land's End seems a short walk away but remember coastal walking always take longer. Continuing west, Nanjizal is the next highlight being a beautiful bay edged with rocky cliffs and shortly after the buildings on Land's End start to become more obvious.

Despite the large numbers of visitors to this most westerly point of the English mainland, few venture very far from their transport and you can walk undisturbed to within a half of a mile of the theme park. Notices abound warning visitors of the dangers of getting too close to the cliffs. Passing Dr Syntax's Head (the true most westerly point) the number of people suddenly decreases and you are back to typical Cornish coastal walking for the remaining stretch to Sennen Cove.

 
Go to full list of Cornwall AONB Walks

 
Maps   Ordnance Survey Logo   Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 102Sheet Map1:25kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Explorer 102Digital Map1:25kBUY MAP
Ordnance Survey Landranger 203Sheet Map1:50kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Landranger 203Digital Map1:50kBUY MAP

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Printer Friendly Page

For an easy to print version of this walk description and outline map Click Here

OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

Recommended Reading

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to Plymouth

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to PlymouthMap of part of the southern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from St Ives to Plymouth along the west Cornwall and Devon coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information


Recommended Cottage Holidays

Sykes Cottages

Over 7,000 personally inspected holiday cottages. In fact, we think we've got the finest selection in some of the UK and Ireland's most beautiful places.

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

the people's poncho

A durable, lightweight, stylish and compact alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers with 10% Discount. More info.

Christmas Gift Ideas

The Ordnance Survey Christmas Gift Shop has a wide range of great gifts perfect for walkers. More Info

New to Walking?

Click for a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.