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  • Writer's picturePolly at Candid Cornwall

Tehidy, Basset's Cove & Portreath Circular Walk

If you're looking for a walk that combines woodland, wildlife, cliffs, secluded coves, a tidal pool and an ice cream (or a pint) - this is the walk for you. Skip to the route

This walk is circular, so you can park up at Tehidy Woods East Lodge car park and be back to your car in a couple of hours (unless you stop for a swim or said refreshments).

Your walk begins in beautiful Tehidy Woods, formerly the estate of the Bassets, one of the four most powerful families in Cornwall in the 1700s to 1800s. Tehidy is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall, covering over 250 acres and has over 9 miles of footpaths - worth visiting for a full day in itself.

When you're in the woods, you can stick to the route below, or you can head off and explore the wildlife area of the woodland. Head towards the South Drive / Cafe / Lakes and you'll soon enter an area that doesn't allow dogs or cyclists (though frustratingly you'll probably still encounter both). This area is a safe haven for a plethora of woodland creatures. You're pretty much guaranteed to see curious squirrels (that will take a cashew confidently out of your hand), swans, ducks and moorhens. I've even seen a little family of water voles (or maybe rats) in a log here, that were absolutely adorable either way (divisive opinion on rats, I know).

The walk from North Cliffs to Portreath is one of my favourite stretches of coast path - dramatic doesn't quite cut it. Starting at Basset's cove, you'll encounter many ups and downs, secluded coves and gravity-defying cliffs. The small cove of Ralph's Cupboard is situated just around the corner from Portreath, and it's the remains of a collapsed sea cave. As you approach you'll see a stack in the cove covered in an almost vertical wall of grass, as though the cliff literally fell away yesterday. On the other side, depending on the time of year, you'll see thousands of nesting seagulls making the most of the inaccessible beach. The name of this cove comes from the cave's legendary occupant, the giant Wrath (or Ralph). He was said to be an unpleasant character with a fondness for wrecking ships, from which he would steal all the cargo and eat the crew. The 'cupboard' is where he stowed away all his loot. Can't beat a Cornish legend can you?

Portreath itself might not have the usual quintessential charm you'd expect of a small Cornish coastal town, but don't let that put you off. The beach is a mixture of rocks and sand, and at low tide there is a beautiful tidal pool on the eastern side of the beach out on the reef that is perfect for a post-walk swim. The town itself has a couple of pubs, restaurants and ice-cream parlours. If you mooch around the harbour there are some interesting structures up on the cliffs, too.

Now, onto the route!


The Route

Length: 4 miles

Gain: ±170 metres

Terrain: Woodland paths, cliff paths, roads.

Time allowance: 2 to 3 Hours

Considerations: This is mostly a moderate walk, with some steep coast path areas and sections on the road. I advise keeping dogs on leads at all times on this walk - in the woods there is a lot of wildlife and other dogs, and coast paths can be very dangerous for our curious four-legged friends.

  1. Park your car at Tehidy Wood's East Drive car park. It's free to park here but it can get a little busy at times, so bear that in mind.

  2. With the Tehidy Wood map to your right, follow the path into the woods. The path will weave you through some trees, keep an eye (and an ear) our for woodpeckers here! Keep right on the footpaths.

  3. You'll come to a long straight stretch with a very well kept golf course to your left and trees to your right, follow this area of path to the end, where you'll come to a fork - keep right here.

  4. Follow the path until you come to a T junction (at this point, if you don't have dogs, you can take a left and follow the path to the lakes and the Beech Wood area to feed the ducks, swans and tame squirrels). For this route, take a right at the T junction, following the signs for the North Cliffs.

  5. You'll then come to another T junction where you go right again.

  6. Follow the path until you reach a fork, and take the right turn takes you out of the woodland and onto a footpath that follows the edge of a field.

  7. Follow this path to the end, where you'll cross a style and come out onto the road.

  8. Take a left on the road, and carefully crossover when you come to a dusty track on the right of the road.

  9. Walk down this road and it will bring you out at Basset's Cove car park, with the lovely Basset's Cove a climb below.

  10. Join the coast path to the right of the car park here! This is where the beautiful views begin.

  11. It's pretty simple from here. Follow the coast path through Carvannel Downs, past Ralphs (or Hubbard's) Cupboard cove.

  12. Follow the coast path into Portreath, joining and walking down Battery Hill, where there are some stunning holiday homes.

  13. Once you get into the town, head onto the beach and head to the eastern side. If the tide is out, clamber over the rocks to take a look at (or a dip in) the tidal pool! Then enjoy Portreath at your leisure.

  14. When you're ready, join the main road on Tregea Hill and exit Portreath up the steep hill with cars parked on your right, and some interesting fake lambs on an astro-turf slope on your right.

  15. As you near the top of the hill, you'll see a fork in the road up ahead and there will be a footpath off to your left though a housing estate called Forthvean. Take this left.

  16. Walk up the path and take a right when you reach the housing estate road, and follow this to rejoin the main road.

  17. Once you get to the main road, take a left.

  18. Keep walking along this road, past Gwel an Mor Holiday park, until you see the entrance for Tehdiy East Drive Car Park on the right - then cross over and return to your car! And you're done!

1 Kommentar

28. Sept. 2022

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