Sharing with you today a really nice walk that I’ve done a number of times and you can find the full walk with lots of extra information by clicking on the following link iwalkcornwall.
Hoping to cover a number of different areas of West Cornwall over the next few months on this blog, so that hopefully you can get inspired for your next – or first – visit to our beautiful part of the country.
So, let’s start at St Just where there is FREE PARKING – yes, you read correctly, there’s a large free carpark in the town centre where you can start your walk.
St Just is the nearest town to Land’s End and is approximately 8 miles west of Penzance on the edge of the moors. With normal levels of traffic you can reach St Just from our farm in half an hour.
St Just was originally the centre of the tin mining industry and evidence of this can be seen in the rows of granite mining cottages in the town and the disused engine houses across the surrounding landscape.
There’s much to enjoy in the town – including a number of galleries displaying the wonderful work of many local artists. Well worth a visit is the Kurt Jackson Foundation Gallery.
There’s a Warren’s bakery to grab a pasty to enjoy, as well as a number of cafes and eateries.
St Just church and The King’s Arms date back to 14th century and inside the church is an upright stone with a latin inscription which is thought to be from the 5th or 6th century.
The walk will take you away from the town and down to Cape Cornwall, a spectacular hump-backed headland jutting out into the sea which boasts a 138 year old mine chimney stack. Cape Cornwall marks the spot where the Atlantic currents divide. It was bought by Heinz for the nation as part of their centenary celebrations, and presented to the National Trust in 1987.
Off shore are The Brisons (also known as ‘General de Gaulle in his bath’) and are part of an underwater reef responsible for many shipwrecks.
After exploring the Cape and Priests Cove (and maybe enjoying an ice cream from the NT car park) the walk will take you along the South West coastpath toward Porth Nanven and the Cot Valley. Keep an eye and ear open for choughs along the coast, they’re becoming a more common sight now which is wonderful.
When you reach the Cot Valley track, it’s worth a detour down to Porth Nanven cove which is covered with big, rounded, egg shaped granite boulders. If you don’t mind clambering, on low tide you could scramble down over them to the sand and have a dip in the sea…
The route then follows the pretty valley back uphill towards St Just town.
There’s lots to see and enjoy on this route, and if you’re feeling energetic you can easily extend this walk in either direction along the coastpath from the Cape or the Cot Valley.
All around St Just there are old standing stones and prehistoric sites, many with myths and legends attached such as witch hauntings, places where demons fight or where piskies lead mortals far astray – so be careful where you venture!
I love walking in this part of Cornwall, and the stunning stretches of coastline combined with the moorland and mining relics make for a really varied landscape. I hope if you visit Cornwall you’ll take the time to explore our beautiful coast and countryside – it’s amazing how many ‘quiet’ places you can find in the height of the summer season if you just take off on a walk.
Just as a reminder, a full walk suggestion from St Just can be found if you click here, but you don’t necessarily have to follow a route – just get yourself onto the South West Coastpath and follow a section of it!